07 April 2008

Being Gen X in a Bear Market

I went to therapy on Friday, and we were talking about managing working full time and being a mother. My therapist was saying how my generation (Gen X) didn't get any guidance on how to manage this, because the Baby Boomers didn't know how to do it, so they didn't teach us. We feel like we need to do it all- there's even some widely thrown around Oprah infused quote that says "You can have it all, just not all at once" (or something like that). My therapist thinks that our children's generation won't even have to make this decision- by that point, it will be completely accepted in society that you can't do it all.

I graduated college in 2000, just about four years too late to enjoy the dot com era and the stock market boom of the mid-90's. Unfortunately, 9-11 happened just one year later, and everything changed. We had watched college graduates literally strike it rich with the internet, and expected to (at least somewhat) do the same when it was our turn to get a job. We took on ridiculous student loans, knowing that we'd pay them back with our big fancy jobs. We were wrong.

Today's market is pretty shitty. I get Google blog alerts on Frugal Living, and there are plenty of them. Everyone is paring down to the bare essentials, because everyone is up to their eyeballs in debt, unsure of their job security, and, well, afraid. It feels like it isn't fair.

Right now I'm in a bad situation because I depend on someone who is not dependable. I do this because I was stupid, and I let him take advantage of me and spend my money, leaving me with thousands of dollars of credit card debt. He continues to short me and steal from me, and yet I can't do anything because I need him to support me. I need him, until I pay off our debt.

I didn't really know. I didn't really understand what would happen in a bad market, and I don't think a lot of people my age really understood. Now I get it, but I hope it's not too late.

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