The Millennial generation is the product of a discrepancy between accessibility and attainability. Anyone can send an email, but the responses are few, and the jobs are even further and far between.
How we got this way is rather simple.
It took a decade or two of indoctrination, of someone telling us that the world was ours, followed by the painful realization that reading Tweets were as close to big wide world domination as many of us would get. Ours would be a second-hand success. Most of us were left to fake it or blame the odds and cede to apathy. Delusions of entitlement headed off work ethic at the pass, and a narrowing spectrum of life experience and a contrary exposure to idealistic extremes left our senses dull.
Technology shoulders some of this responsibility (as does globalization, a weak economy that’s seeing the number of young adults making less than $25,000 increase by six million, and Sean Rad), but technology, for all its 0s and 1s has done something interesting, and slightly ironic: it has turned us into sentimentalists that lack the ability to see, or be lead to the truth. It has made us nostalgic for a history that’s not ours, and as a result denies us the future we desire.
It’s why we say things like: “I miss real photographs,” while simultaneously Instagramming, or Tweet, “I like the smell of books.” We’re stockpiling nostalgia, visions that never really belonged to (most) of us in the first place. We’re hoarding the image in our head without the means or the actual desire to put in the hard work to accomplish it. We’re busy surfing the internet wave, but never stop to realize that the wave is wet or that it’s pulled us under, or when, more often than not, we’ve missed the crest all together.
We don’t appear to want to shoulder any responsibility– like the fact that we refuse to read the fine print, and then collectively uproar that a conglomerate didn’t provide us with the magnifying glass. We’re a bit French (aie) in that manner. And when someone questions our abilities, we get pretty tetchy.
We want everything, while understanding the value of nothing. We accept everyone while having sympathy for no one. We see the man on the side of the road, but we aren’t going to be the one to stop. We jump in the fire and take a piss on it all at once. Tristan Walker may have succeeded, deservedly so, but for most of us this will not be the case.
We have to be willing to get out from behind the computer. We have to not only pay attention, but be willing to engage. We need unsentimental efficiency to disarm our nostalgia.
Yes and yes. I don’t know what to do about it yet, but this is relevant to my life.
This has been sitting in my drafts for ages. I’m not sure why I wrote it, seemed like something I should have down somewhere.
I’ve been marking events with piercings for a six years, looking forward to those long exhaling moments where the peircer pushes the needle through, the rush of heat fills my ear and the jewellery is inserted. They might just be holes in my ears to anyone else but to me they mark times of change in my life.
I got my first lobe piercings with my mum, at some crappy chemist by some girl with a gun in hand. I’d pretended I didn’t want earrings for a long time because I was scared of the pain, but I was feeling especially honest that day and when I quietly asked, my mum surprised me by taking me out for it straight away. I went to bed with swollen lobes and instructions about spraying antibacterial fluid and turning the studs every few hours.
I got my second set of lobes on a weekend away with friends in Terrigal. I’d been strictly forbidden to get these by my parents and when I got home with them they made me take them out. I just put another pair of studs in.
I had my helix pierced when I finished high school, it was one I’d wanted for a long time. I went to what turned out to be a fairly average piercing place near my house and my ear bled everywhere afterwards and swelled up like a balloon. I actually wondered what I would do if my ear was permanently disfigured, but with a lot of sea salt soaks it all turned out ok.
I got an anti helix when I was 20, the day after I broke up with my first boyfriend. It was a day out to take my mind off the waves of guilt that were crashing over me after I’d spent months umming and ahhing about how to tell him. I still think about him when I clean that piercing.
I got a rook before my last year of uni. I actually had to get this sucker pierced twice because I was stupid and went to a shitty place the first time. It was pouring and I didn’t want to catch the bus and walk Polymorph. So I let a girl from some shop in Broadway pierce my rook wayyy too deep and struggle to get the curved barbell in. Afterwards it was pinching me and the balls of the barbell were actually recessed into my cartilage. I had to get it taken out at Polymorph, wait six weeks for it to close up and get it redone. When I went back, I took my boyfriend of a few weeks at the time and in some weird metaphor for that relationship my rook didn’t heal properly for the two and a bit years we were together.. I babied it with sea salt soaks, slept on my other side and didn’t wear headphones, but it was sore and I bumped it a lot in my sleep. I was always warning him to be careful of it. I don’t know why but when it was finally healed to perfection, we’d broken up.
I got my conch pierced late last year after a long break. I was accompanying a friend to get an antihelix and it just seemed like it was time for another one. I was single again, just started a new job, just started a new course. Life was good. This healed like a dream, got the barbell switched out for a ring in six weeks.
I think I’m done with piercings. It’s been a good six years. It’s time to start marking events in new ways.
It was an emotional day for me today. There wasn’t a particular stimulus, but it was just a thought or realization that overwhelmed me.
YES YES YES. When you tell someone you have eczema, they’ll immediately sprout a magic cure all method that worked for their sister’s best friend’s cousin’s baby. Have you tried aloe vera? Have you tried oatmeal? Have you tried Burt’s Bees? Aveeno? Pinetarsol? Dermaveen? QV? Salt baths? Bleach baths? Vitamin E? Jojoba oil? Coconut oil? Tamanu oil? Eating better? Sleeping earlier? Praying to God? Dancing in a circle and chanting please fuck off eczema?
Please, I would pray to Kanye if it worked.
THINK before you tell me these magic methods. Unless I ask for your thoughts and suggestions, please don’t think you’re doing me a favour by suggesting every brand you’ve seen at the chemist before. I’ve seen them too. I know you think you’re being all nice and helpful but look at my skin. LOOK AT IT. Do you think I want to look like this? Do you think I haven’t tried everything? I. Have. Tried. Everything. Now please, don’t be all offended when I change the topic. Let’s just talk about something else ok?
I’m really struggling. My skin is killing me. Mentally and emotionally drained and just really desperate to go home and find some normality. Rents offered to change my plane ticket to leave on Thursday instead of Saturday but I feel bad.. I know some of my relatives will be like oh she didn’t wanna see us. And it would cost $250.
I don’t know. I just want my skin to be normal again. I just want it to be summer so I can go to the beach every weekend and have clear skin. I want a doctor who believes in TSW to take care of me and write me scripts for whatever I need and look at my wounds properly instead of trying to talk me into steroids. I want to sleep through the night without lying awake and itching. I want to stop ripping my skin up and bleeding on everything. I want to not wake up in a sandpit of my own dead skin. I want to wake up not in pain. I want to wake up and wear whatever I want, not just whatever clothes are the least painful. I want to stop choking up when I look at myself in the mirror. I want to stop mentally bracing myself for a shower. I want to stop checking my clothes for flakes of dead skin every 5 minutes.
Is it too much to ask for? I just want my life back. Fuck you steroids. Fuck you eczema.
June already. I’m in Hong Kong for my cousin’s wedding and I am struggling.
My skin was already a bit shit before I left, a combination of dry Aussie winter weather outside and too warm clothes the rest of the time that made me overheat and itch like crazy. I was dry, flaking like snowfall and could barely keep any moisture in my skin.
Add a nine hour flight and 32 deg weather with 50% humidity. A swift change like that to my skin is torture. I’m a mottled mess of scabs, swelling, oozing and crust, not to mention so fucking itchy I tear up all the scabs every few hours.
Not being able to wear long pants and sleeves means my mum has been seeing all my scabby limbs and has proclaimed tsw to be nonsense, telling me I need urgent medical attention before I do some permanent damage to my skin. Fuck off. Steroids did this permanent damage to my skin. I know she loves me and cares about me etc etc but I’m so sick of being told I’m wrong when it’s my skin we’re talking about. I know how steroids work, I used them for 23 years. What doctors never seem to care about is that steroids only treat the rash. I put them on and you see my rash disappear and you think you’ve done a good job. Well done! You made my rash disappear! What you don’t know is that perfectly clear skin still itches and still makes me scratch. Now I stop using the steroids because my skin is clear, but the itch remains - and watch my rash return within a week. Steroids are not a long term treatment plan for eczema. They do nothing but treat a symptom, and cause dependance by making sure you need a stronger and stronger prescription as time goes on.
I’m so tired. I’m so fucking tired of people staring at me, so tired of every girl who works in retail judging my skin, so tired of strangers offering me business cards to their traditional chinese medicine doctors on the train, so tired of every family member asking me if I’ve tried this cream or that cream or drinking soup with some herb in it or eating some root, so tired of doctors telling me in a serious voice that I just need to go back on steroids. Just fuck off all of you. Fuck off. You don’t think I want a magic cream that makes me look normal in a week? You don’t think I want to sleep at night? Stop itching in public? Wear whatever clothes I want? Have a shower without it hurting? You don’t think I want that magic cream? That’s all I fucking want you morons. But it doesn’t work, that’s why I’m refusing it. If I could have a little respect for my own decisions that would be really fucking nice right now. Fuck.
Now I’m going to squeeze my ugly skin into a pretty dress and go listen to “Oh have you tried this?” for another eight hours.
Almost two weeks since I got back from Vietnam and I’ve only just got myself back into any kind of routine. I’d say the above is a pretty good summary, ten days in ten photos.
The first two photos are of Honoi, where we paid way too much for our first round of drinks in a tiny, third storey bar with a view over this insane intersection. I don’t drink so you can see me with my pineapple juice haha. We learn the only way to cross the road is to give no fucks, just start walking and everyone will go around you. We visited Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, trekked down streets full of shoes or ladders or fabric, I got a massage and a manicure for measly $16 AU. We stopped for iced coffee every few hours - sweet baby jesus the Vietnamese know how to do coffee - with syrup and milk. My favourite one came from a cafe named Cong, which blended a shot of coffee with a coconut milk slushy. Mmmm.
The third and fourth photos are from Halong Bay where we spent just 24 hours. The place is overrun with tourist boats just like ours, but still gorgeous. We walk through a couple of caves, hike to the top of one of the formations for this incredible view, kayak to a floating village and play cards on the deck with two fellow Aussies.
Photos five and six are from Hoi An. I really liked the sleepy coastal town feel of the whole place, I think it was my favourite city in Vietnam. We spent two nights in a home stay, where we had our own little stand alone room backing onto an outdoor hut surrounded with palm trees where our breakfast was served. We visit the beach, where local tourists ask my white friends if they can take a photo lol, we have some clothes made up at a tailor, of which my silk shirt turned out very averagely but it was a touristy thing we just had to do. We took a day trip where we visited Hai Van Pass in photo five, and explored the old citadel of Hue in photo six.
Photos seven and eight are from Ho Chi Minh City. We arrived late at night and only had one full day to spend so we didn’t get to explore much. We stayed in a slightly older hotel hidden inside this great alleyway. We visited the war museum which was really confronting, and did a quick tour of the Reunification Palace. Our last drinks in Vietnam were on the rooftop of the Sheraton with this sunset view.
We splash out on the way home via Singapore and stay at Marina Bay Sands for one night, squeezing four people into a three person booking. That left us with only three passes for the infinity pool, but with a bit of fibbing we manage to get all four of us in there haha. The view is pretty insane, and I forced myself to go for a swim even though my skin was killing me. We visit the botanical gardens and have a lazy dinner in a food court. Five minutes from checkout on the day we fly home, my friend slips in the shower and cuts her foot quite deeply.. not deep enough that she decides to wash her hair before telling us to call first aid lol. She gets bandaged up but told not to walk on it, so with five hours left in Singapore we hit up two shopping centres, asking for a wheelchair at each one and complete speed shops of Uniqlo and Muji. Success! I spent more money in a single day in Singapore than a whole eight days in Vietnam.
I feel like we could have easily spent a few more days in each place, but for the time constraints it was a good trip. My skin was horrific for most of it, raw and insanely itchy. I’m still recovering nearly two weeks later, but that’s another post. A great ten days.