NPR logo Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Metaphor. Source: BarrieJH hide caption

toggle caption
Source: BarrieJH

I'm a Generation Nexter, part of the group born between 1981 and 1988 ('84 to be exact). Our rentals,* the Boomers, raised us with one clear message: do what makes you happy. Previous generations were largely told to find a stable job in order to make money and support a family. But now there's a new requirement thrown into the mix: pursue a career that you enjoy, nay, that you love. Easy, right? So naturally, it's taking us Nexters a little longer to figure things out. And social scientists, cultural analysts, or whatever you want to call 'em, have even come up with a term for this period of discovery: The Odyssey Years. They are years marked by uncertainty and fluctuation. Many of us bounce around from job to job, trying to figure out what "fits." Some may go back to school for a second (or third) degree. And the lucky ones travel in search of some larger life purpose, or just for a good time. But it's not laziness or even procrastination. We're sifting through life's possibilities. We're trying to discover who we are and who we want to be. It's a genuine effort to be happy, rentals' orders. And anytime I'm hit with the "slacker!" insult, I just come right back with J.R.R.Tolkien's "Not all who wander are lost." So, humph.

What do you say TOTN bloggers? Is there a shred of truth to this, or am I just romanticizing?

* That's my new term for "parents," derived from "parental units." It'll catch on. Trust.