Portrait of a Generation

Categories Musings

My dear readers, I have a confession to make. I can’t stop thinking about you.

A few nights ago, for instance, I fell asleep thinking about reader profiles and style guides and what it means to write for you. To create something you care about and that, collectively, creates a space where you enjoy coming and where, every single time you visit, you can be assured of finding something new,  fresh, and worthwhile.

In the past, writing on this blog has been, for the most, all about me—the me that didn’t want to forget, the me that needed to make sense of things, the me that wanted to share the most glorious, inexpressible joy.

But now, before and while and after I write, I don’t think about me. I think about you. I think about what you want to remember, what you need to make sense of, what gives you that sense of glorious, inexpressible joy.

So I’ve been thinking. Who are you, exactly? What do you dream about? What frustrates you? What do you wish for? And, more than anything, what keeps you coming back to read what I write?

I’ve been thinking (and reading your comments, your shares, and your favorite posts). And I think (key word: THINK) I’ve figured you out.

I think, mostly, you are millennials, educated ones who carry all of the baggage that comes with that label. I think you are looking for ways to channel your creativity and can-do-anything spirit because, through no fault of your own, you’ve been dealt an unfair set of cards that, if you’re lucky, has landed you a job that gives you at least glimmers of the dreams you began building before you ever turned 5.

I think that, because you’re educated, you’re probably better off than most. And because you’re willing and able to imagine yourself in others’ shoes, you probably realize just how much better off you really are, and you’re grateful. Optimistic, even. Not about politics or the economy, necessarily, but about small groups of people being the change they wish to see.

I think that, in many ways, you’re more impressed by originality and sincerity than you are in something big. I think this is especially true in music, or any of the arts, really. I think you look for books and movies that you can get lost in, and I think you appreciate art that makes you feel.

I think that, despite what others may think, you’re fairly conventional, and you’re really not asking for much. You want to get married and have kids, eventually. You want balance. You want to be a good citizen, a good neighbor. You want to spend time with your family. You want to be happy, and you want others to be happy, too.

I think, right now, you’re looking for small ways to stay inspired. I think you’re looking to live life to its fullest on the modest income that you have, which is why you spend hours on the internet looking for ideas, inspiration, experiences, and things you don’t already know.

And readers, this is what I think I give you—I think, somehow, through my introverted tendencies to think and listen and ponder and create, I manage to find small ways of keeping you inspired. And, going forward, this is what I hope for you. I hope to grab you with stories. I hope to immerse you in destinations. I hope to give you ideas. I hope to peak your curiosity. I hope to fill you with a lifelong pleasure in food. I hope to share with you experiences that highlight everyday beauty in everyday living. And I hope that, at least in some way, it inspires you.

So I’ve been thinking. Who are you, exactly? What do you dream about? What frustrates you? What do you wish for? And, more than anything, what keeps you coming back to read what I write? Please, leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

But most of all, keep reading. It’s you that keeps me writing.

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