As a 90’s baby that grew up in Mumbai, I feel that my generation is caught between the old and the new. The feeling of being perpetually in limbo. Wanting to appease tradition and at the same time, desiring to break away from it and carve out a path to modernity. This constant in-betweenness feels like the one that we experience in adolescence. While adolescence may only last for a few years, this limbo of being the generation in between doesn’t really have a definite end.
I acknowledge that every generation has felt like that. Not fitting in with those that come before or after us is a common human sentiment. Also, thanks to the rapid advancement in technology the generation gap is exponentially increasing. The ideology and beliefs with regards to everything look so different across generations.
With work, the generation before us grew up in the context of having to work more than 12 hour days (read: really long days) in order to carve out a better life for themselves whereas I see Generation Z (or Gen Z) fighting for stricter non-flexible boundaries at work in a system that currently won’t allow it. I come from the generation when the internet had just become available, so even though we had technology that looks very similar to the technology we have today, I didn’t have to deal with the ups and downs of being exposed to it while I was really young.
With family and relationships structures, I see societies in urban India moving closer to the idea of individualisation than the idea of a collective where a society’s say matters in almost everything. The change in how families, society, and even work culture for that matter are structured looks outwardly extreme and rigid. This makes the previous generation and new(er) generation play the blame game with each other where each one thinks that they are better than the other.
Being a 90’s baby, I feel like I struggle with the extremes of rules set out by both these generations. It brings forth a feeling of being perpetually stuck. But at the same time, I feel that acknowledging this inability to abide by these (varyingly different) sets of rules is the first step in freeing yourself from feeling stuck. It’s important to realise that these rules of being don’t really exist, but instead they are like the rules of a game that has been solely created so that some structure can help us deal with all the chaos.
It’s probably for those of us who feel like this ‘generation in between’ to create our own set of rules that don’t have to be endorsed by many but might help us navigate through life.