What it means to be part of Gen Y

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

If you had asked me 5 years ago where I would be in my life right now, I probably would have said that I would be working as an actor and doing some other work on the side. Wow, have times changed! The path that I have inadvertently taken in life is pretty amazing and I have to say that I'm very happy with the balance of things in my life.

From a young age, I started participating in many activities:

  • I was always an over-achiever in school, always striving to get A's or above 90% in all of my classes. I graduated from OAC with nearly a 90% average
  • I was a Brownie and a Girl Guide. I was never great at the cookie-selling, but I had a lot of badges
  • I took tap and jazz lessons from age 7 to 9
  • I was always in the school productions, choir and band
  • In junior high I was a Prefect
  • In high school I volunteered for a local youth crisis hot line and a youth choir
  • I got my first part time job at 17 and was promoted to supervisor within 7 months
  • I was yearbook editor for my final two years of high school

You get the picture.

This pattern has continued into my adult life - I constantly have a million things on the go. In talking to many of my friends, it seems that we are very similar in this way and I really thinks it speaks to our nature as Gen Y kids. We were children of the 90's and have adapted into a fast-paced, multi-tasking lifestyle that suits us just fine.

Where am I at in my life right now is a product of the journey that I have taken in life:

ashleys pie

(See the over-achiever in me? I couldn't just explain it, I had to draw a flow chart)

I have to say that I'm generally happy with the balance of things in my life:

ashleys pie 2

I have a good mix of work and play as well as many things that I am passionate about.
There are times when I feel stressed because I feel like I'm doing too much (usually when I am rehearsing for or performing in a show) but most of the time I think I do my best work when I'm kept busy. For this exercise I didn't even add Joey, my friends or family into the mix but they are a HUGE part of my life as well!

I feel as a Gen Y kid I can lack focus. I always have so many projects on the go and at times I think I lack direction. The conversations with my friends this week have been as a result of feeling that even though I divert my energy in a number of directions, that I'm not going anywhere specific with them. This week I got my act together and started to figure out what I'm doing and where I see myself going, which is why you see that purple box in the bottom corner of my flow chart - apply to nutrition school.

Nutrition school has been on my brain for awhile and it's a direction I've started to go in fairly organically. It's no secret that my eating drastically changed as a result of doing Weight Watchers and then even more so after being diagnosed with Crohn's and since working for Weight Watchers I've developed a big interest in all thing related to food, nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle. I started to examine my options privately and after Joey and Lori both mentioned that it might be a good idea for me to look into it I started taking the search a little more seriously. I've come to terms with the fact that I won't be able to enroll until September 2010, but I'm excited nonetheless and feeling good about having a little bit more direction.

I recognize that registering for school means changing the arrangement of "my pie". I realistically won't be able to do a show for 2 years while attending and I'm okay with that. I will also need to take a little bit of time away from music but plan to continue dancing to help fuel my creative energies.

I'm really happy with all the things I've accomplished so far in life and I look forward to what is in store for me. I'm sure the things I'm doing now will lead me to new things and people and I find this prospect incredibly exciting. I have no idea where I expect to be five years from now, but I'm pretty sure that I will learn a lot along the way.

How do you find balance in your life? Five years ago, would you have imagined you would be where you are today? What has helped bring you to where you are now?


Allie said...

Ash, I totally identify with everything you said in your post. I was and am exactly the same way.

I'm often told that I lack focus when that's simply not the case. I am interested in many different things and it's reflected in the choices I make. I've always been half jock half performer.

I went to school for public relations (I graduate June 15th!!)and have now decided that it's not the career for me. I am taking the year off and next year am going to apply to teacher's college - a decision I wish I had figured out sooner. I couldn't be happier that I finally know where I'm headed.

I loved reading your entry today as I can fully relate!

Can't wait to pop by your meeting again.


Anonymous said...

Wow do we have a lot in common. I gradated from high school in the with a 90 something average, over did it with the competitive tap/jazz/ballet as a child (quit at 9), was the student designer for my high school fashion shows, scholarship to university, graduated with the university gold medal, 8 jobs in three years in advertising- tripling my salary and tah-dah.. got Crohn's and off to nutrition school I went. You know Crohn's + Type A go hand in hand.

GF Gidget said...

I don't have Crohn's. I have Celiac's, but I am def a Type A perfectionistic overachiever just like you!

Anonymous said...

hey! this is awesome! Which nutrition program are you thinking of enrolling in?? I'm also thinking of enrolling in a health and wellness program (nutrition a huge chunk) I believe it is mohawk college's program :)

5 years ago I was..17 years old...bogged down in a VERY unhealthy relationship (with a boy AND food) and very unhappy in my last year of highschool...I didn't even KNOW what I wanted or where I was going. Fast forward ...I am now 22 was in university for 2 years (unhappy 2 years) am now completing my educational assistant (for special needs kids) certification at a college and next year hope to apply for health and wellness program! :)

I am also ALWAYS on the go..doing something new..when I was 17 I had a summer job (that carried over many summers) as a summer camp leader for a non profit centre...and I am now working there full time in MANY different programs...that lead me to my decision to obtain my E.A certificate :) I also teach tap dance lessons for this centre..and I love it!

so yea i guess I am always doing something else and learning something new...in a few years I'll be able to be an E.A in schools hopefully doing something with a nutrition degree AND I'll be able to teach dance (already have all my exams)..SO I think..all in all..I'm doing pretty well! lol

Ashley Gibson said...

Thanks for the feedback everyone! The more I talk to people about this, the more I realize that I'm not alone!

Allie - congrats on graduation coming up!! I think sometimes you have to figure things out along the way. Looking forward to seeing your smiling face at a meeting sometime soon!

Meghan - Wow! knew some of the similarities we shared, but there are so many more. Very interesting...

Katrina - I find that many performers share that Type A personality! (Part of the reason musical theatre school was painful at times)

Jocelyn - that's so great about school! I'm looking at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition (and not just because I like to copy Meghan ;))

misssarahlou said...

I had never heard of Gen Y until your post - i googled it (as I have to with many things i hear in canada) and find that I too am probably a typical Gen Y girl.

It was something that we were talking about in work a couple of weeks ago actually about the differences between younger and older employees we jsut never specifically called it Gen Y. Interesting, very interesting. :o)

CoconutGal said...

Wow Ash. I so relate. Why do the people that pile on so much end up sick? Seems like an interesting combo to research huh?
Thanks for sharing this... I'm happy I am not alone. How long has it been since you were diagnosed with Crohn's?
(sorry you're going to have to answer all my questions I keep asking as I play catch up!)

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