On New Year’s Day, 2020, Bridie Jabour, The Guardian’s opinion editor, published a column about millennial malaise: being in your 30s and somewhat dissatisfied with your situation in life.
She’d attended a few dinners where women around her age were facing varied challenges: relationship breakdown, fertility issues, being a parent, starting a new job. Though everyone’s situation was unique, “they all seemed to be kind of melancholy and questioning it all,” Bridie said.
Bridie’s column sampled some of the experiences of her generation. It went viral overnight, racking up 600,000 views in a normally sleepy summer period. She received interview requests from New York, India, South America, as well as country Queensland.
She seemed to have touched a nerve for millennials facing a unique set of economic and social circumstances: precarious work, delay in having children, soaring house prices putting home ownership out of reach for many.
But even aside from the challenges facing this particular generation of young people, Bridie recognises that what she’s describing is a “good old-fashioned existential crisis”.
This interview covers Bridie’s take on work and the endless pressure to be productive, the spiritual lives of millennials, the question of whether or not to have children, why being wry is a millennial thing, and longing for meaning in a world where meaning, like everything else in life, is complicated.
Bridie Jabour’s book Trivial Grievances: On the Contradictions, Myths, and Misery of Your 30s
The results of CPX’s Easter 2021 Survey on Australians’ openness to a range of spiritual phenomena.