Life is full of a million tiny moments, and when one tiny moment transitions into another, change happens. Basically every second we are awake, or even when we are asleep, something is different than what it was before: your heart makes a new beat, your mind drifts into new, uncharted waters, you feel something you’ve never felt before. And when all of these changes occur simultaneously, you become a kid trapped on a roller coaster when you really don’t like roller coasters at all.
One of the funniest things about change is how much, or how little, we control it. Just when you think you have the reigns, you don’t, and a situation catapults out of control. Just when you make something delicate into something perfect, it breaks. Naturally, of course, it has to.
Why has changed evolved into this concept that almost everyone is afraid of? I’ve heard so many people say, “Oh, I don’t do change well.” My mom always tells me that my dad is “afraid of change.” Change can certainly be good, because before something good turns into something bad, something bad must have turned into that something good. But I guess we just hone in on the negativity because as humans, that is what we are programmed to do.
I always thought that I couldn’t cope with change. My first year of middle school, I was an absolute wreck and a 95-pound ball of anxiety. My freshman year of high school, my anxiety creeped back upon me like a skeleton with long, bony fingers (basically Nicole Richie circa 2006). So, as I’m now the bony skeleton creeping upon another new part of my life, I can’t help but wonder just how much change will destroy me over the next year.
So far, it’s been interesting. I’ve learned a lot because I’ve messed up a lot. Then again, my recent mess ups brought me to some of my most balanced moments. I can’t help but wonder–am I just endlessly screwing up to beat change to the punch? When I think about these mistakes I’ve made, I don’t feel regret. I just feel like I’ve made a mistake. Does that make me a horrible person? If each of us could apologize to every person we’ve ever hurt, then I think that we would. But that couldn’t work for a couple of reasons–no matter how much we say or do, we can never really go back and change what happened. Gatsby can say that the past is repeatable as many times as he wants, and perhaps he’s right. We can repeat the past with our tortured emotions and our aching hearts. But, ultimately, we’re just going to end up back in the present. Changes happens, yes. And so does reality.
After all that’s happened in the past two months–some mistakes made by yours truly, some mistakes made by immature boys who think it’s OK to tell a lady to “go f— yourself”–I understand that life isn’t always a box of chocolates. It’s more like a fortune cookie. It’s always pretty sweet on the outside. But often, what’s inside can disappoint you. It can also pleasantly surprise you.
Here is my life at the moment in three fortune cookies:
#1 would be a fortune cookie that you crack open, but find no fortune. This cookie offered me nothing, and instead, chose to disappear. In the end, it will be this fortune’s loss and not mine. Because if you run away, no one gets your message, and you’ve accomplished nothing.
#2 would be a fortune that makes me feel like a total asshole. “Stop shopping too much, there are naked children in Bangladesh,” “You are a selfish whore,” “Go sit in the corner and think about what you did. –Taylor Swift,” etc.
#3 would be a good fortune. It doesn’t even necessarily have to compliment me, but it would make me think about myself. Some of my favorite fortunes I’ve ever gotten that remind me of this one include, “I learn by going where I have to go,” “Your life is like a kaleidoscope,” and “A kiss makes the heart young and wipe out the years.” And that grammatical error could not be more suitable for this fortune–I love it every second anyway.
Today I feel different. Two days ago, I spent a lot of time sleeping. I napped from 12-5pm and then got back in bed at 8pm, only to get up at 10am the next morning. I cried a little, of course. But today, I feel different. So right now, I like change, because it brought me here.
Earlier in the week, Joel Stein wrote a cover story for Time magazine about our generation, the “millennials,” and how narcissistic we are. The Fro-Yo Diaries embodies the millennial attitude (from my perspective, of course, and that perspective clearly differs from Joel Stein’s). But, just to give you all a run for your money–whatever that expression means (what a millennial comment of me to make)–I’ve decided to write about my most “millennial” moments. I would encourage everyone to read Joel Stein’s article, but you can only do that by obtaining a physical copy/subscription of Time. Obviously they restrict us from reading a full copy of the article online because, like, if they did, that would be so millennial of them.
Millennial Moment #1:
My mom often criticizes me for making a mess and then not cleaning it up. The other day, I was eating some dried apricots from their plastic container and decided that for the first time in my life, I would put them back in the cabinet when I was done with them. As I was standing in front of the cabinet, seriously struggling to re-seal the lid, my mom charged into the kitchen. This is the conversation that ensued:
Mom: Hannah, will you move please?
Me: Hold on, I’m just putting this thing away.
Mom: HANNAH I HAVE NOT EATEN ONE THING TODAY, NOT BREAKFAST, LUNCH, OR DINNER.
Me: OK, OK, I’m done. Relax. I’ve made dinner for myself the past two nights. It’s not a big deal.
Mom: DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND I HAVEN’T EATEN ANYTHING ALL DAY????????
Joel, how horribly rude and obnoxious was it of me to try to put my apricots away?!?!
Millennial Moment #2:
I make my parents pay $175 for me to have a 45 minute session with my therapist twice a month. Now if that isn’t selfish of me, then what is? I mean, anxiety doesn’t even exist anyway. And young adults don’t have problems. And young adults aren’t allowed to complain. Because we aren’t spending 14 hours of our day studying and working. Because instead we’re playing on our iPhones. Which we solely use for Tinder to meet fake people that that boost our egos, and not for medication-reminders or to set alarms so we make sure our two hours of sleep don’t interfere with getting to class on time or to keep track of our schedules in a calendar (just like you do) or to, God-forbid, have a means through which our neurotic Jewish mothers can use the “Find My Friends” app to see where we are at all times. No, no. Never any of that.
Millennial Moment #3:
I went back through all of my text messages and counted: on Saturday, May 11, I sent 64 text messages. This is actually a really low number for me, as most millennials spend their Saturday afternoons super hungover from going to wild techno raves the previous night, which we do, wearing neon clothes, practically every weekend. But if I went back to my texts from Friday and counted–which a millennial would never do because that requires too much manual labor (you know, all that scrolling)–I’m sure my stats would at least be tripled.
Millennial Moment #4:
Please watch this video in which Joel Stein tries to be a millennial for a day.
Then, ask yourself: have you EVER sexted by saying “Do you have time to have sex tonight?” No, obviously you haven’t. Millennials would never waste that much time on writing a text message. Obvs, we love to abbrev (Obviously, we love to abbreviate). Our sexts would look a lot more like this:
D u hav tme 2 hav S tn?
Note: S is capital, inferring the use of the abbreviation for “sex” and not “snapchat,” which is represented by a lowercase “s.”
This essay is dedicated to Joel Stein, slanderer of the selfie, denature-er of the multitask, and green monster of envy of how successful we’re going to be when we create the flying cars that you watched in The Jetsons–not that I, or any other millennial, even really has the capability to comprehend what a Saturday morning cartoon is. Just because your last name is “Stein” does not mean that you have a free pass to target our generation and still be considered a mensch.