Heraclitus

What do you give someone who has everything?

I always remember getting stuck on that question whenever I was invited to a particularly rich friend’s birthday party. For me, it’s one of the biggest oxymorons of life; sort of like the non-fictional long-last cousin of “How can you kill that which is already dead?”

I need order in my life, and I can’t deal with something going in any way against itself. What can probably, beyond all joking apart, be a clear sign of OCD, has landed me in a fall out or two I would have much rather never had. I end up frustrating people by bringing up old things they’d said that in some way contradict what they’d be telling me at that point, and needless to say, I’m sometimes quite tactless when it comes to dealing with change. If something looks, feels, or is good, then it shouldn’t ever change, and when it does, something in my brain goes haywire. Contemplating on this, I found myself recently reaching a conclusion I should have probably arrived at a couple of years ago.

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We’ve all heard the term Generation Y being loosely thrown into a conversation, an age-gap argument, or even an ad, desperately trying to appeal to our sense of nostalgia. And, at least with me, it always does the trick magnificently. I love that I can count myself as part of a movement defined by an age, and a pretty monumental one at that. It gives my life all that much more importance in the context of my short, meaningless existence.

I’ve lived through two different millennia. I was alive when they turned the Internet on (no one will ever change my South Park inspired view of a monolithic modem hidden somewhere in the Arizona Desert that has a comic on/off switch for the World Wide Web).

I remember a simpler time; when there were only 151 Pokémon, and when the only bleeping thing in your pocket demanding your attention was a Tamagotchi (“mobile” phones could barely fit in a gym bag anyway). I was having breakfast with my parents when all the TV channels switched to the breaking news that Princess Diana had died in a tragic car accident, and a couple of years later, I was in the study just fiddling around when they did the same thing, this time with horrific images of two towers slowly crumbling down in the middle of New York City.

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I relished all the freedom a brand new empty floppy disk could give me, and I helped pave the way to perfecting touch-typing on a mobile phone. I’ve witnessed wars, revolutions and earthquakes being reported, from the radio, to TV, to a slow-dial up Internet connection, to heavy yet portable laptops, to having the news pop up on an HD four inch screen at my fingertips a couple of minutes after it happens. And the progress just keeps getting faster and faster – this week, a brand new first generation iPhone 2G was sold for $3,000 on eBay as a vintage item.

No one can or will ever understand us. Generation X was there to plant the seeds of change, and Generation Z is just buying the finished polished product online. We saw the tree grow. We are Generation Y, and when it comes to seeing the world change, we’ve really had it all. So what life advice can you give to someone who feels like he’s seen it all? Nothing, except this – you haven’t really. Life will always keep changing, there will always be things you won’t expect, comprehend, or want…and it’s only set to happen at a faster rate. Get on board and accept that everything in life has its expiration date, and that nothing under the Sun can survive it…and that actually includes the Sun itself.

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