Everything that describes Generation X, or defines Gen X, or is listed as the traits of Gen X is part of the fabric of my being. And the price of that has been a very long, hard road, full of many stones and empty wells. The price of being truly Generation X has been many dark nights of the soul.
And this is X: angst-filled, exhausted, burnt-out, lost, neglected, and displaced. And this is not some bullet-point list to describe a demographic. This is a reality, a day and night struggle for a generation of real people. While there are word lists that can be used to describe us by those writing a sociology thesis, or articles written by those who don't know who we really are, there is something here that needs to be said: these words have been people's lives, and our lives have been full of real and honest struggle.
Here is a Gen X word list for you: wounded, empty, misunderstood.
A life described by these kinds of words can quickly be led to reality and honesty and a very dark night of the soul. Enough dark nights of the soul can begin to create a certain friction within your being. This friction can carve out parts of you so deep that the emptiness echoes to an almost unbearable loudness, so that the loneliness penetrates your soul with an almost unbearable sting. Enough of this emptiness, enough of this pain and it all begins to get pulled down into a black hole of hopelessness, even to the point of despondency. And that is is why it is surprising, even stunning when you find that this same friction can sometimes ignite a spark.
It is this spark that has brought about a flame just bright enough through the darkest of tunnels within my heart and mind to search and when I give up, to try again, to keep searching.
I cannot get over Someone who was willing to be covered in wounds deep enough to know intimately what my own scars feel like. And I have plenty. If you are Generation X, the statistics, and the documented history, and the inarguable reality shows that you prabably do, too.
If I will have a god, it will be a God who not only knows about, but has intrinsically understood what my generation has gone through - why we have been angry, and tired, and alienated, and nihilistic, and alone, and forgotten.
It is the completely broken that knows the pain of the completely broken.
If I will have a god, it will be a God who has intimately known betrayal, and heartache, and abuse, and fear, and neglect of every kind.
I cannot get over Christ.
Our generation came along in the driest desert where the wells were shallow or even already dry. This has meant that we have had to search elsewhere for sustenance, for survival, for a source from which to give others who have relied upon us. And this is why I believe we will, when it is said and done, be the next great generation. We have had that friction within us, and that friction - those dark nights of our souls - can lead us, if we chose it, to take us to the most luminous place we could have imagined: a place where we become everything we were meant to be, both individually and collectively.
Because of our circumstances, we will be, if we chose to be, the generation that draws from the deepest water - the water that sustains and fills so greatly that we will be able to take the wasteland we inherited, and build upon it the most stunningly beautiful urban landscape ever seen for the world we leave behind.
I will use the spark of my dark nights that has created a flame, and I will hold it down into the infinite well to see how endlessly deep the water is, because the water in the shallow well that was given to me, to my generation, evaporated before I could ever take a drink.
When I cannot give any more because my well is empty - because there was hardly any water in it to begin with, that is when I can draw from the deepest well of all: God. It is those days that I am having the hardest time forgiving, the hardest time loving, that I must draw from that well. It is the nights when I realize how finite I am, how fragile I am, and how shallow my well is that I need that water to sustain me. It is the dark nights of the soul that I need that water - nights like tonight.
(c) 2012 Chloe Koffas