We have a lot of problems, us millennials, we have issues on issues and yes I’m absolutely including myself in this equation because it would be dishonest not to-ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you how much I hate lying more than any other sin-but that’s a separate article. I’m not certain just how many problems us millennials have or more importantly, the cause(s). If I knew I would be above my selfish, impatient, weak generation wouldn’t I? I do however, know one piece of the puzzle.
YouTube is a great example for the millennial generation, people post videos to get attention, other people watch and subscribe and then before you know it a bunch of randoms have a following. Getting a lot of attention for putting in minimal effort, that’s a millennial’s dream come true. These popular YouTubers start tags which are topics for other YouTubers to make videos on, one of these tags that’s been circulating for years is the tattoo tag. People make videos explaining the tattoos they have and why they got them. It makes sense considering nearly every individual has at least one tattoo. The downside being, since tattoos are now mainstream and almost everybody is inundated in ink, the meaning of the permanent imagery has become severely diluted. It is true that it’s not a rule for every tattoo to have significance but no one would argue that it’s a better story when they do. I have no idea why I’ve watched so many of these videos of random people talking about their tattoos when none of it is important. I see tattoos that look great all the time and I enjoy following artists who do amazing work but the only tattoos I truly love are my own. I don’t care how much other people love their tattoos, I’m happy they do but the art they wear means nothing to me. Yet for some reason I still found these trivial tattoo tag videos oddly addicting. One of which played out like the narrative of a heartfelt film and legit made me tear up.
The Part 1 and Part 2 tattoo story in the links above is not what drew me to my conclusion. It was a different tattoo tag video that I stumbled up which illustrated the perfect example of what it means to be a millennial. It was a video of this girl who had black and gray tattoos which is why I clicked on it since I’ve always been partial to black and gray. She was young, probably early twenties with parts of both arms donning black and gray design work, none of which as she explained, had much meaning apart from aesthetic value. When she explained her pineapple tattoo, the millennial mentality made perfect sense to me. She said she wanted a pineapple tattoo so she got one. She liked pineapples so she got one tattooed. She could’ve bought a painting or purchased a real one from the grocery store but instead, she got one embedded in her skin.
She said, if it makes you happy get it tattooed. “Do what makes you happy,” she said. This is not bad advice and it wasn’t a bad tattoo, meaning it was done very well and I’m sure she is pleased with it. What this girl said is exactly what we do these days, isn’t it? We do what makes us happy, which would be great except that this is all we do. Happiness and millennials. That’s the mantra of my generation; do what makes you happy. Spinning around and around on an endless loop in our entitled, self-absorbed, idealistic minds. We want to be happy but we don’t want to work for it, we want to be given it. We just want to be happy. All we want is to be happy. All I want is to be happy. Don’t worry, be happy is not the carefree lyric to live by that it used to be, not for us.
Chasing happiness is not working for millennials, chasing happiness does not work for anyone because happiness is not the answer.
That’s why we’re so screwed up isn’t it? Why we are so apathetic yet anxious, dreaming yet depressed. We’re doing things like getting pineapple tattoos hoping that moment of happiness will last a lifetime. If you’re reading this in objection, if this is not you please don’t take it personally, I’ll just speak for me. I have no end game here, both literally and metaphorically. I didn’t write this piece on happiness and pineapples and tattoos with a fancy ending in mind. I have no idea how to wrap this up while giving the reader a sense of clarity. If I had clarity, if I could see clearly, I doubt I would be writing the ramblings of a lost girl. All I know is that it is not fun to be lost. All I know is that when you’re lost it’s like suffocating in a room full of oxygen. All I know is that I can’t judge the pineapple girl because she and I are similar in many ways.
All I know is that happiness alone is not enough for me. Happiness is fleeting and shallow and unreliable and I would love to have it back. Don’t worry, be happy? I don’t even know how to do that, not for very long anyway. What about don’t worry, be a pineapple? Stand tall, be tough on the outside, sweet on the inside and always wear a crown. Well, I’m not tall and as far as the inside/outside thing goes, I’m the opposite. Also, I have no idea where my crown went.
I might find it though, I may not always be lost. All is not lost until all hope is lost and I think I may still have a sliver of hope. I might find my crown, I might grow, I might soften up on the inside. I might learn how to be tough in the right way. Who knows, I might be a pineapple babe some day, some way. Right now I just wish being a pineapple was enough for me.