Today, they go deep and talk about appearance v. substance and other deep-yet-amusing issues that you don’t want to miss.
Millie: Hey, Boo, I’ve been wondering about something.
Boo: You think I know something you don’t know? C’mon, how likely is that?
Millie: You don’t really mean that. But actually, that’s a perfect jumping off point.
Boo: It is?
Millie: Yeah, because what I want to ask you about is how you dealt with outside pressures to appear, feel or think a certain way as opposed to marching to your own internal beat.
Boo: Oooh, well this is something to talk about. I think the pressures I faced were probably different than the ones you’re looking at, but when we get into what there is to do about it, I think we’ll probably find a lot of common ground.
Millie: Good, you know I love that!
Boo: Yes, you’re not one for too much confrontation. Ok, let’s start with the pressures—for me it was being smart but not too threatening, figuring out a way to “have it all” without letting them see me sweat, being a source of pride to my parents and achieving as much as I could.
Millie: Hmmm. I don’t think the pressures are that different, actually. I think I’m expected to be smart, hard-working, fit, healthy, attractive and nice to be around—and I definitely want to please my parents. It hasn’t changed all that much. But I guess social media has to be part of my story too. Keeping up appearances online feels like part of my job too. Not only do I have to be all those things; I have to project them. Share a little, but not too much.
Boo: Why am I exhausted just thinking about it?
Millie: It’s not that bad! It’s more about training your followers. I don’t post every day. Not even close. Not necessarily even weekly. I try really hard not to get out there unless I actually have something to share. But, I’ll admit, it’s still me keeping up my personal brand. I’m not going to let the world know when I’m bored, lonely or feeling insecure. It’s ‘me-light’! And I try not to pay attention to the attention I do or don’t get as a result.
Boo: So, then why do you do it? It still sounds like work and it isn’t exactly the “real you.”
Millie: I guess it’s still a calling card. An entrance into what I hope might end up being more meaningful things. And if I ever feel like not doing it, I don’t.
Boo: I see, and honestly, I feel that somewhat too. I might be clumsier with the camera and cornier with the caption, but you’re right—my social media is “me-light” too.
Millie: Ok, so, pressures, check! Now, what do you do about them? How do you honor your inner voice?
Boo: Well, you know, I’ve always been a bit of a respectful rebel. So, I’ve often asked myself why I do the things I do—is it because everyone expects me to or is it because I want to? I think when I was younger it was easier to just keep going—like when I was working as a lawyer, I’d say to myself, “If I’m good at this, that should be enough.” I didn’t delve too deeply into questions about whether I felt fulfilled; they would have been distracting to the singular goal of “success,” because it was someone else’s definition of the word. As I’ve matured, I’ve given myself permission to assign my own meaning to things. So, now, my thought process is more nuanced.
Millie: Interesting. I think, for me, I’d like to be able to look at it that way from the start. It’s a process I go through—every decision I make, I try really hard to wrestle with. Everything is so fast around me—click this, buy that, one button, that sound-byte. So, I try to reverse the acceleration a little in my own life. Have you heard of the slow-food movement? I try to do that, but with my choices. I deliberate a lot. Quietly. It drives my friends and family crazy at times—they think I’m a space cadet!
Boo: Ha ha, I’ll admit I have sometimes shared that thought!
Millie: I know! You’ve not been shy about telling me!
Boo: Well, I’m working on saying what I really think. That inner voice!
Millie: Fair enough.
At Amava, we believe that age does not define us. We favor actual interactions and honest relationships over clichés like the one about Millennials and Boomers being at odds, at cultural loggerheads or at war. In real life, Millie & Boo are at the café enjoying one another’s company. The Millennial and Boomer (get it?) are two friends having conversations about things that matter—work, social issues, money, relationships, travel and more. They were nice enough to write some of it down for us so you can be entertained and perhaps enlightened by their sharing and comparing. We hope it inspires you to start conversations of your own.