The Millenial’s Guide to the Woes of Work, the Mess of Marriage, and the Density of Depression

It’s been quite some time since I’ve written anything deep and insightful (or written anything at all for that matter), but I’m going to give it a shot due to having so much on my mind and not knowing what to do with it. So here goes nothing.

I’ve often heard my generation be referred to as “Millenials” or “Generation Y.” After some consideration, I’ve determined that a better suited name would be “Generation WHY.” Allow me to explain; our generation questions everything, and constantly worries about what’s in it for themselves. Why do I have to work? Why do I have to pay outrageous sums of money for college tuition? Why won’t my parents support me well into my 30s? Why can’t I do what I really want? Why do I have to do what authorities tell me? Why won’t my parents buy me what I want? Why do I spend so much time worrying what’s happening all around the world while my own life and society is crumbling around me? Why should I care? Some of these are valid points that I agree with, while others are simply idiotic and disrespectful; I’ll let you determine which are which.

Now that the brief description is out of the way, let’s start with the Woes of Work. Work can really suck, can’t it? No matter which shift you work, there’s a high probability that you feel the prior shift is incompetent and simply enjoys making your life a living hell. I assure you, this isn’t the case. Well, most of the time at least. If you work for a giant corporation (as I do), you begin to realize a few key things about work:

  1. The harder you work, the more capable your superiors believe you are, the more they’ll give you to do. Even if that means they give you more tasks than you are physically capable of completing in a standard eight hour period.
  2. No matter how hard you work, there’s always someone who is more qualified than you.
  3. If you work with primarily women, the WILL start rumors and try to make it impossible for you to look better than them in any way.
  4. You have to absolutely focus on yourself and your work. Remember, you’re there to make money, not friends. If they insist on gossiping and dragging you into it, have the common sense to keep it to yourself.
  5. You’ll begin to notice that the associates who have been with the company for an extended period of time go one of three ways, they become bored and less productive due to familiarity of their work. Two, they’ll become stressed to the point of becoming a seemingly constant angry, detached entity. Or three, they retain their constantly cheery, outgoing behavior and are viewed as an over-achiever that no one likes.

These kinds of situations have become increasingly normal, which (in my opinion) is depressing and almost pitiful. Simply walking into an establishment, you’ll be able to identify what’s happening with the associates, who holds resent for another, and who really does their fair share of the work that needs to be done. This is a result of associates being unable to separate their home lives from their work lives. This isn’t simply an option, no. This is something that NEEDS to be done, not only to increase productivity in the work place, but also to increase happiness in your home life. Don’t take your work home with you, you’ll regret it.

Another thing that I’d like to mention about the workplace is interpersonal communication and relationships in the work place. By relationships, I’m referring to everything from friendships, to infatuation with a coworker, all the way to ruining your home life by having an affair with a coworker; but I’ll come back to this in just a moment. I’d like to first talk about interpersonal communication and micro-messages. If you’re unfamiliar with these concepts, I’ll do my best to explain. I’ll also include and excerpt with a link to some helpful tools. Interpersonal communication studies how tone of voice and body language have an effect on productivity and acceptance of coworkers and superiors. Example being, the way you greet an associate that you enjoy working with is going to be considerably different than the manner in which you would greet an associate that you dislike or deem useless, if you choose to greet that associate at all. The trick is to not pick favorites, although this will happen regardless, you need to learn how to control your behavior around the associate that you are dissatisfied with. If that associate becomes aware that their very presence is a bother to you, it will show in their productivity and they’ll either begin to avoid you, or purposefully inject themselves into your course of work simply to make things difficult for you depending on what kind of person they are. On the other hand, there’s affection and infatuation. This is just as dangerous, if not worse. Allow me to explain. At first, things are great. You like each other, you strive to impress the other person, and everything seems to fit into place. Sometimes these things work out and it’s fantastic, but more likely than not, things become twisted and cause problems. You’ll begin to find irritating habits about the other person, productivity will decline, and will eventually culminate with you not wanting to see one another and someone quitting, which hurts the establishment. The thing that most couples fail to realize is that every healthy relationship includes space (I’ll touch on this more a bit later), and working with this person as well as spending large quantities of time together outside of work can be detrimental to your relationship. My advice is to avoid personal relationships in the workplace. If you begin to find yourself in one of these situations, you need to find a way to get yourself out. Whether that means you quit, or attempt to move to a completely different part of the establishment or another location of the establishment, I’ll let you decide. However, just remember that in order to keep yourself happy and productive at work, you need to separate your home and work life.

There’s not much else I can say on the matter, I’m not allowed to affect free will. So, I’ll move onto the next topic I’d like to discuss: the Mess of Marriage. Before I go any farther, I’m not implying that my marriage is a mess, or that your personal beliefs of marriage are irrelevant. I’m simply voicing my opinion and giving advice to the best of my abilities.

So on to marriage. For some, the wedding is the happiest day of their lives until they have children, but for others, it’s a massive expense that causes more stress than it’s worth. Mine was the latter. By no means do I regret my wedding, it was beautiful and I loved it, but it was far from my dream wedding and it just stressed me out constantly worrying about what I’d forgotten. Something to keep in mind is that it doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to be what you and your significant other wants. You’ve got to communicate with one another. A lack of communication could result in a haphazard marriage where one person is content and the other is unhappy. This can lead to lies, hiding things, affairs, and neglecting not only the needs of your partner but your own needs as well. You don’t want to do this. A side note, you don’t want to talk to anyone about your marital problems, they’ll only make you doubt yourself and your relationship more.

The best advice I can give you is to have faith in what you love, in who you love. Always, always, always communicate, don’t hide anything. Complete and total trust is what helps a relationship thrive and survive. If you have no trust, you have nothing. If you have no love, you have no business being in a relationship. You need to learn to love yourself before you’re capable of loving anyone else, and that’s something that I was having a hard time accepting when I first got with my husband. He’s made me a better person, but it took me quite some time to get where I am with him. Time. That’s important. Time is everything when it comes to love. Don’t rush into things, and do your best to keep a clear mind. Discuss where you see yourself down the line and make sure you have reasonable goals, not only personal goals, but goals with your loved one. Don’t let others bring you down or interfere with your relationship. That’s about all I can say about marriage and love at this point, but there’s always more to it. There’s always more.

Onto my final point, the Density of Depression.

Depression, in my experience, is natural. It comes when you least expect it, and more often than not it comes with absolutely no trigger. One day you’ll be completely okay, then the next it’s like the weight of the world is sitting on your chest attempting to convince you that the world would be better off without you. You can’t believe the demon that sits on your shoulder and whispers terrible things to you. To be honest, battling depression is no easy task, and it usually never completely goes away. It’s like a crippling blow to your self-esteem and it completely skews your perception of the world around you. It’s similar to looking into the mirror after a hot shower; even if you wipe the condensation away, it forms again quickly and you’re unable to focus on anything very clearly. Now there’s a difference between depression and sadness. Sadness goes away, while depression lingers in the back of your mind constantly and tugs at the corners of your mind, not allowing you to focus on anything completely and leaving you in a constant state of self-doubt. It’s unfair to yourself to allow yourself to feel this way. I’m not saying you’re going to be able to simply magically move past it and wish it all away. It’s going to be there, but there’s always a way to distract yourself. Read a book, write an article, go for a walk, take a nap, color in a coloring book, clean something. There’s always something else to do. You can’t allow depression to cloud your mind, you can’t let it convince you that the world would be better off without you. You’re here for a reason, and you’ll never know what it is if you take the easy way out. There’s someone out there who loves you, someone who cares deeply for you. You can’t destroy their happiness just because you can’t find yours. You’ll be okay, you can make it through this.

I don’t have anything else to say on the matter, so I’ll close this entry here. I’ll simply leave you with this: Find your happiness, and once you find it, you hold onto it. Don’t choke it, let it breathe. You need to breathe. You can make it through anything if you put your mind to it and don’t let the shadows hold you back. I believe in you.