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The Relative Conundrum

January 24, 2017

Photo of painting by Norman Rockwell 

 

Scenario: It’s Thanksgiving dinner and aunt Sarah rambles on about how Donald Trump is going to be a wonderful presidential candidate. You hold your breath because you know it’s not worth the rant or disownment of other family members. Just when you thought things were settling down, cousin Danny bashes you on not eating the turkey this year due to dietary choices. When will you ever be understood by family members?

 

For some, they don’t have much of a problem with this. Everyone in the family has the same political and environmental views. For most of us, on the other hand, every family member, distant or immediate, has their own take on life. Having many different outlooks is a wonderful thing, but sometimes we feel like complete and utter outcasts.

 

Our music tastes, political views, fashion sense and life choices are constantly seen as strange or peculiar. “Oh you millennials...” I’ve been told that we millennials make gender titles too complicated. It’s hard to handle these situations without making someone uncomfortable or frustrated or sounding like “that” girl. Sometimes we just realize it isn’t worth the debate.

 

Don’t get me started on children. “Oh, you say that now, but you’ll want one” or “What are you going to do when you get old and have no one to take care of you?” I’ve had multiple conversations with fellow classmates and friends regarding this topic. I’m pretty sure any woman of youth who isn’t too excited about the idea of giving birth and raising a child has had this exact conversation with a relative.

 

I know we’ve all gone through these things growing up. We’re classified as “dirty hippies” for not wearing bras or “disconnected from the world” for simply pulling out our phones. I’m not here to bash my family members or your's for their beliefs, but to simply inform you that you’re not alone in these situations. Yes, they are the wise, more experienced individuals, but that sure doesn’t mean we don’t understand the world or can’t use our voices.

 

We work on things such as strengthening our music tastes, enlightening ourselves in political affairs and old films, and taking interest in education and clubs to be knowledgeable and unique beings. It feels like a punch in the gut being told that my "opinion will change as I get older”. It’s hard not being treated as adults when we are, in fact, engaging in real adult events. This quandary will never come to an end, but it’s easy to connect with others and understand that we all go through the same situation. It’s about taking advantage of the time you have with your family, no matter how xenophobic or problematic they may be. You won’t see them again until Easter morning, right?

 

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