Another Millennial: An Interview

I recently interviewed the wife of the first millennial. The featured image is a quick crayon drawing I made of her. I’m also working on a mosaic of her cameo to make a pair of it. I like doing interviews from a generational perspective. I may have to shake it up and interview a Baby Boomer next.

How do you use technology in your daily life?

. . .I use it a lot. I use it, on a personal level, I use it as a way to connect with friends and to connect with just people in general. I’m a big Instagram user. I like to go on Facebook. I’m not a huge poster on Facebook. But, I really enjoy the community on Instagram . . . I like the social aspect of it because, for me as an introvert, it’s just an easier way for me to connect with people. I’m a big user of technology.

And, then obviously for work reasons, you know, I’m constantly on email and that’s my biggest form of communication with the majority of people at work . . . Unless they have offices near me or anything like that.

What do you see as the difference between Facebook and Instagram?

I think Instagram is more of . . . I like that it’s a specific thing. I like that it’s just pictures. I’m a very visual person so I really love pictures. I like taking pictures. I like seeing what other people are doing through the lens of . . . what they capture in their photography.

And, on Facebook, it’s almost too many things that are coming at you. You have people . . . just posting their thoughts, Twitter style. And, then you also have pictures and then you have news articles. So, the way that my news feed on Facebook has turned into is more of a news place . . . I’ve removed a lot of people from my news feed and pretty much just have friends and family . . . close friends and family that I care about. But, the majority is news . . . media outlets that I like to follow like New York Times and Vox and . . . bloggers that I like to follow. So, it’s okay for that reason but it’s not, it’s really not the way that I . . . it’s not the platform I like to use to . . . connect with others. So, I prefer the fact that Instagram forces you to use one format and everybody on there is connecting through that one format.

Do you use any of the fitness apps? Body metric tracking things?

I have in the past . . . I’ve used . . . a food calorie counter before but I found that it was making me sort of unhealthy . . . When I’m not hardcore tracking . . . calorie consumption and calorie burning I’m a healthier person . . . That type of system works really well for me almost to a fault because I like to be able to achieve. I like to have things tracked. And, it’s actually unhealthy for somebody like me to be doing that. Because I actually have to learn to be a little more . . . a little less rigid on that type of stuff . . .

When I was training for the marathon I used Garmin Connect but I didn’t really use it in a social format. I used it more as just a way to track my progress and how I was doing with all of my training runs and stuff like that. But, now that I’m not actively training for anything I don’t really use it. I still I use my watch just because it’s nice when you’re on a run to see how far you’re going and stuff like that but I don’t yeah I don’t really use any of the fitness stuff in a social manner. I actually find it annoying when people’s Nike, you know how far they run, comes up on Facebook because I’m like “I don’t really care” or I feel like maybe that needs to be its own community and not bombarding you know everyone that you’re friends with on Facebook with it.

Do you get most of your reading or news through your iPhone or a tablet?

Yes. Yeah. I used to like take a break when I was at work during lunch and sign on to news sites like New York Times or CNN. I don’t even go to CNN anymore. It’s so bad lately. But, now since you can follow all these places on Twitter or Facebook that’s pretty much how I, you know, get my news . . .

I keep friends in my news feed that tend to share great articles and things like that and if I see that certain friends are reading from a publication or a blog, a news site, frequently and I’ve read some of the articles and I like it, I’ll start following that specific place as well. So, yeah, I don’t really go to the front page of any of the news sites anymore I just see what comes up on my news feed and go from there.

What’s your favorite news site and why?

I would say right now it’s between New York Times and Vox. . . I really like Vox because I like the visual stuff. I like the ones that are very, you know, like “Oh, 12 maps that’ll show this.” The visual stuff is, I’m a visual person, so for me that’s really great. But, the New York Times still has a lot of content that, even though it’s a little more old school . . . they still write really great articles that I’m interested in and I like the writing and the perspective.

What was the last NYT article that you really liked?

Oh man. There was, I think, I mean there was a long read, and I’m pretty sure it was NYT, but now I don’t know. I’m not completely sure. . . But, it was the break down of the sexual assault cases in the military. It was a very long read but it was really well done and I just felt like it gave a lot of background but also had a nice human element in it and made me just really curious about the subject matter itself.

What do you think is your favorite app? [Social media or not].

I’m actually trying to think of it not social media. I guess . . . the one that I use, I mean, ah, it’s hard because I play a lot of games. . . On my iPad I tend to . . . always have one hidden object-based game on there at a time. So, you know, each game will usually take me from anywhere from like one to three or four weeks to beat. So, those are some of my favorite apps.

I guess the NYT crossword puzzle app is one of my favorite ones as well. I have a yearly subscription so I can open the app and I get . . . each day there’s a new crossword puzzle and I can play them. And, it . . . tracks how well I’m doing and stuff like that. So, that one I really like.

And, then I also use, I have a lot of like functional ones. The one I really love is I have a little app that just shows you the NYC subway map so if . . . the subway’s messed up and I need to find a different way to get home I can pull it up discretely and that’s a really nice functional app as well.

And, then I have some photo editor ones. So, like Dip Tick, which is like a pic stitch type app that you can do to make picture collages. So, lots of games [laughs]. I should really, if I answer that honestly, I would say Bejeweled, but that’s just too embarrassing. [laughs]. That’s probably the one I play the most, which is terrible.

Oh! But I . . . do my reading on the iBooks app on my iPad. So, all of my books (I still get given as gifts regular books),but I do all my purchasing through iBooks on my, I have a mini iPad, so that one is used on a daily basis too.

So, you don’t like miss, so many people talk about that they can’t get used to reading not a hard book?

No, that drives me crazy. So, first of all, for me, I live in NY. I have a 40 minute commute. I have to switch two times. There’s a lot of walking, and my mini iPad is just so much easier. It fits in my purse. It’s really light. It’s really easy to pull out when you’re in a packed subway car. So, that I really like about it. It’s still, to me, I mean, you still get to flip through pages, which I like. It has a night time version. So, now, if one, if [my husband] or I are still up reading, it’s not so bright. You don’t have to have on like a full other light, which I like.

And the other reason that is weird to me, so, I live in Williamsburg [Brooklyn, NY] . . . hipster town, and everybody here is so like environmentally friendly and they like compost their stuff, their like garbage, and they’re like big recyclers. But, they’re like big sticklers on like old time books. But, old time books take paper and to me that’s not very environmentally friendly. I mean I don’t know what the difference, I don’t know how much like using stuff on my iPad affects the environment. But, it’s paper and we’re like wasting too much paper. So, that’s something that I feel is a little hypocritical. But, yeah, I don’t miss old books.

What is your favorite book and why?

So, it’s a toss up between the Harry Potter series and then the Lord of the Rings series. And, then I have to say series because that’s what I read the most of. [pause]. Oh man, why? That’s tough. I guess with LOTR, I think it’s so impressive the creativity of fantasy writers and the ability to create just completely new (mean I guess LOTR is more impressive than Harry Potter cuz it really is completely different world, it’s not based in our own world) . . . and, you know, the making up of languages and of people and of cultures. I just like immersing myself in something that’s so . . . different. I know it’s not entirely different but you know something that is different from our world and . . . Yeah, I like to get lost in Middle Earth sometimes . . .

What is your favorite movie and why?

[Sighs] favorite movie . . . [long pause] I have so many favorite movies but I guess the one that I always come back to is the Bird Cage. And, I find myself quoting that movie and thinking about that movie so much. It’s, there’s just something so funny and so endearing. And, I think it’s like, it’s comedy genius that movie. Like every single scene is hilarious. I think everybody in it is extremely talented. And, it was ahead of its time a little bit with the subject matter. And, I could watch that movie twelve times in a row every day.

[What or who] do you want to be when you grow up?

Oh, man. I don’t know. I think about this a lot because I’ve changed careers . . . I’m 31 and I’ve already changed careers twice and I’m always thinking of the next step. I guess there isn’t something that I want to be, more of . . . I guess I want to be someone who . . . between work and hobbies is somebody who is being stimulated very often intellectually; is being challenged; is traveling the world and learning lots of new things and meeting new people and [long pause] yeah . . .

I have to be open to opportunities and potential changes in my career because I go back and forth. I’m very happy right now where I am. But, I’m the kind of person that is, gets dissatisfied and bored fairly easily so I have to work on keeping perspective about the positives in my life and the positives of my situation.

So, right now I work part-time in a high-level job that allows me a lot of room for creativity, a lot of room to pretty much do whatever I want. If I were really interested to take a class or to take a course in something that had to do with my job, I know that I would be allowed to do that. My boss is very open. If I see changes that need to be made, I can set forth a proposal and a lot of times, I’m able to actually implement it, which is something really really great and something I don’t think I could easily give up.

I have to still do a lot of administrative things, but, you know, there isn’t the perfect job anywhere. And, the amount of stuff I have to do is not that bad. It would be really hard for me to move into a different position especially full-time. So, right now, you know, it’s what earns money. But, it also still stimulates me. It’s still challenging. I’m still learning a lot and I have to focus in on that.

And, I also have to focus in on making it what I want to make it. So, if there’s areas of, different areas that I’m interested in, I need to take the initiative to learn more about them or to do more work around them. And, it allows me to (the part time) allows me two days a week to explore hobbies and other things like writing or just anything that I’m interested in in the moment like training for a marathon or doing other things.

So, yeah, I don’t know. I just want to make sure I’m always, I’m not compromising on that sort of stuff in the future. Not just compromising but also not being fearful of taking on new opportunities that might seem scary. Yeah, I don’t know. That’s a hard one. I don’t know that I answered anything actually.

You’ve mentioned creativity and hobbies . . . Do you want to tell me more about that?

Yeah, I mean, I guess it goes along with I love to play games. I love to play logic games. I love crossword puzzles. You know, there’s a part of me that really needs to have that. Now that I . . .have more space for that and more space . . . [for things I] like to do, there is a creative part of me and I think I’m still discovering what that is. Like, Instagram and picture taking has been something that’s been very satisfying, but that’s definitely a hobby. I would never look to be doing that as a job. I kept a blog during my marathon training which I really enjoyed. You know, right now I’m working on a piece for Melissa at Vox on the military sexual assault cases that I’m interested in. [I’m] kinda figuring out a way to use GIF’s or, you know, visuals to tell stories in that format is something very interesting to me. So, yeah, just having time to be able to do those things . . . is important. And, having a part time job is really nice for that reason. I feel a little more whole now.

Just to shift gears . . . What do you think your main take away from high school was?

. . . I’m getting the fuck out of here! [laughs] No . . . My high school was a very interesting experience. We had moved, I guess it was 4 years, 3 years before I entered high school to [a city in] Texas. While I really enjoyed, while there were parts of my high school experience that were really neat – like I always tell people, “You know Dazed and Confused and like Varsity Blues? Like that was my high school.” That classic American high school that’s always depicted in movies, I feel like I really lived through that. And, there’s something neat about that and nostalgic about it.

But, it was really hard. And, I think at that time I was really confused about my identity. I felt like the important thing, besides making good grades so that I could get into a good college, was based around popularity. So, I think that I really wasn’t myself in high school and I think if I went back I would probably be friends with different people. And, maybe be in clubs and organizations that were a little bit more in line with my actual interests . . .

I . . . feel like when I was leaving I was so ready to get out of that . . . very small town, the small town like [pause] focus that everybody had there and the really inward, you know, focus, like nobody wanted to leave Texas. Nobody was interested in anything international. I just remember being really excited to . . . get out of there and to meet people in college that maybe had more interests that were similar to my own.

So, it sounds really negative but that really was how I felt. And, I mean, I haven’t, I would say my college friends are the people that I’ve kept up with the most. High school friends I haven’t really kept up with in the same way. So, yeah, just ready to get out of that city, I think. [laughs] Maybe less intense than “get me the fuck out of here,” but, kind of. I was ready to move on.

What do you think your main take away from college was?

. . . I mean, I loved my college experience. I was really excited to start law school. I was nervous to move to Boston because I wasn’t really excited about that. But, I left just feeling like I really enjoyed my experience, that I’d made really really good friends that I knew I would stay in touch with forever. I mean, I ended up marrying my college boyfriend. Yeah, I mean, just a really good, just feeling like I’d finally found my people, was how I felt leaving college . .

I was more selective about my friendships. Especially at Georgetown there really isn’t that same, like, concern about being cool. People were just, it was just great. Everybody was interested in having great intellectual conversations. I don’t know, I just, yeah, I think that I made friends with the people I should have made friends with in high school, sort of thing. People who cared, you know. People who were a little more intellectual and cared about the world. People I could have interesting discussions with and I don’t know.

What event do you think has influenced you the most so far in . . . life?

What event? [long pause] I mean, I guess when I decided to quit the law firm . . . I think it was the first time in my life that I really felt something was wrong. And, even though it was the culmination of what I had gone to school to study for and even though I was earning a lot of money and even though I was doing really well, it just wasn’t a good fit for me. And, it was really scary to . . . leave that and leave the security and leave the logic. Because I had payed a lot of money to go to law school, to become an attorney and then I decided it wasn’t what I wanted to do. I think making that step has made me so much more open-minded about life and about getting rid of those ideas and standards that you think society puts on you. Just doing something that was scary and not, you know. I didn’t work for four months and I didn’t earn money for four months. That was really scary. And, now, you know, I’m in a place where I chose a job that’s a lot more, that fulfills me in a lot many more ways than working at the law firm did. I think, I don’t know, when I think back in my life it’s the before and after that time. I think now I’m just less afraid. I feel less like I have to follow this certain path and I’m more open to just like “Oh, whatever comes next.” I don’t feel so handcuffed to a certain type of life . . .

What is your philosophy of life?

[laughs] My philosophy of life! I guess my philosophy of life is to . .. Ultimately I want to be a good person. I want to live a life where, I want to live a life closest to what I think is happiness. And, that’s equal parts a career that is stimulating . . . cultivating great relationships with friends and family, meeting new people. I don’t know, not ever feel like I’m not doing something that I want to be doing or that I’m interested in; having space for all of that. So, I don’t know, I guess the pursuit of happiness and being open to having that look . . . maybe very strangely to other people. I think that’s what is my goal in life to be a happy person.

Who do you love the most in the world?

[laughs] [my husband] and my cat. I mean obviously I love my husband. . . I love my husband because he’s my best friend, the person that I would rather hang out with more than anyone else. Like really. Like if I had to choose, like I set up dates and I keep up with girlfriends but I’d really rather be home having dinner with [my husband] or watching t.v. with [my husband] or going to a movie with him. He really is like my best friend.

I love his perspective on the world. I tend to be negative and see things from a negative perspective. And, he’s extremely positive and always motivated, excited. He’s excited about everything. Like anytime we eat, he’s excited about it even if it’s like Doritos. And, that’s really infectious. It’s just a really nice . . balance in the home. I’m negative and he laughs at it and think it’s hilarious, which makes me less negative. It’s nice.

And, then I love my cat! Which I’m total crazy cat lady and I don’t care. I love animals so he’s the first pet that’s like mine. I mean, I obviously share him with [my husband] but he’s like my first first pet . . . I love dogs but I love living with a cat because I think it’s like you live with this crazy roommate. Who’s crazy and does crazy things. People always comment that I pose my cat for Instagram and it’s not the case. He’s just this crazy funny personality that I just get to witness on a daily basis. I like cats because you have to earn their affection and so when they’re affectionate with you it’s like, you had to earn it. They wouldn’t be that way with you just because you’re a warm body.

Ah! As we speak! [cat crawls into her lap.] He’s like, “Oh, mama. You’re speaking about me? I will come sit on your lap.”

And, he’s actually sick and we have to do all this stuff to keep him healthy and alive. The other day [my husband and I], after a $600 vet bill, we were discussing it and . . . it doesn’t even bother me because I feel so lucky there’s this little soul, this unique little soul, that we have the opportunity to take care of for however long he lives. He brings so much joy and I don’t know. He’s such a cutie . . .

. . . If you were able to say something to people a hundred years from now, what would you say to them?

Like say to all people? . . . [laughs] Man. A hundred years from now. See, I have to first start out with what exactly a hundred years would mean . . A hundred years ago. I mean it’s hard, that’s so far in advance. Like, you know, “take care of our planet” or something like that, but by then we’re screwed, right? . . .

I don’t know, like, “Love each other.” Yeah, it’s hard because I’d love to say all this stuff about the environment and science but that’s too far ahead. Whatever we’ve done, by then I wouldn’t have the proper advice for people a hundred years from now. Because we’d be so like old school . . . “Adopt cats. Don’t let the machines take you over.” . . .

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