I often fear being recognized as a millennial depending on the context of the conversation.

This word has good and bad connotation. In some conversations the idea of the millennials is fascinating, the generation that is going to take over the world. In other conversations millennials are those who are glued to their phones, texting and driving, having social anxiety for they are believed to rarely socialize with others. On one hand people can’t wait to pick our brains and try to figure out the way our mind works, and on the other hand we are blamed for all of the texting and driving accidents.

I fear being recognized as a millennial- even though you will immediately know I am one when you see me (this week I was mistaken for 12 years old at the liquor store, I thought the lady at the counter was going to have a heart attack). Baby face if you will. I fear this for I am nervous how one will perceive me once they know, I immediately get nervous they will strike judgement once they know my age. This is a natural instinct for many times this is the case, yet also a fear brought on from a past scenario, a fear I clearly need to let go of.

I have never taken the time to defend millennials for much of the time I didn’t feel as though I fell under that category. I have been pinned as an old soul my entire life. Until I realized at a business meeting where I and one other person were millenials that being the generation we are is not a bad thing- no matter what anyone has to say about it.

Does our generation love technology? Yes. But rightly so, it is where the world is moving. It is where the money will be made; and spent. Do we spend a lot of time on our very expensive devices? Yes, we do. But Gen Xers can’t argue that they don’t. Next time you’re in a waiting room, or even at dinner, take a look around and see how many people that are on their phones aren’t from my generation.

At this same meeting I decided to step outside my comfort zone and stand up for my generation. I decided to say no to the idea that we are just a bunch of technology junkies that don’t wish to have experiences outside of our phones. Yes we love up on our tech, but we also love up on our experiences. After this conversation I felt a little heated, bothered by the fact that such quick judgement had arisen from another generation about mine. I took a step back post meeting and realized that the judgement wasn’t merely from another generation, it was from myself as well. For years I had categorized myself in the ‘old soul’ pile, fighting against the way the world was moving. Until this day, I decided to scare my soul and be proud of who I am- inside and out, generation and all.

I am now proud to be a millennial. For I, just as my peers, am my own version of millennial.

I urge you to join me in this soul scaring journey | www.scareyoursoul.com

Originally published at medium.com