A poetic exploration of Millennial Culture

Art Credits to Jordan Rosendale

Ever stay at a party too long and get a weird taste in your mouth?

Like, your tongue suddenly recalls every other party

and starts to feel

like you took the blue pill

in the Matrix?

Is that the metaphor?

(the movie is before my time,

someone tells me)

Or feel that brake in your chest

when you’re there,

at the party,

when it dawns on you that

your work evaluation is next week?

and you’re just dreading that conversation

in the dimly lit office

with your boss, and the papers, and the files

talking to you about margins and


where you will most certainly

yield to a strange hiccup

of workspace jargon,

in a suit,

you don’t quite fit?

Either way,

at the end of the day,

when I arrive home,

weary and baggy eyed,

my friends (and Buzzfeed) tell me,

coo at me, even

that I should self-care;

A “call to action”, if you will.

“Take a day. Relax”

“Get that bubble bath, betch!”

“Ten Cute Things to get Through the Week”

And naturally, I do.

You bet your avocado,

I drag my little, tequila-makes-me-queasy butt

from the party to that bright, red Target store-

standing under fluorescent lights

sporting my pink, pink lipstick.

I jolt into the store and buy myself some things

because it gives me comfort?

A sense of accomplishment?

tiny pleasures I can afford

and not think on too harshly;

The “now” is much less dismal than “the future”.

All is well now that

I bought a magical gem roller from Amazon,

snapped a picture

and tagged it,

“Fridays at 27 amirte”,

I used to do all this;

(and may have, in fact, done some of this,


used to bookmark

“Cute Fluffy Things to Treat Yoself With”

on my broken android phone,


perilously tried the venture of Cake-in-a-Mug

ate lumpy, somewhat cocoa tasting flour.


spent $6 bucks on a Latte I didn’t really care for.

Used to. Keyword.

I can stop at anytime.

Listen- it’s all great and I can’t help but feel like it’s a distraction.

Maybe, just maybe-

my constant mood is a result

of the grooves of blue light

coming from my phone,

invading my sleep,

the LED mirror,

showing off my worry lines,

the many, incessant little pings,

chiming off alerts for non-nuanced headlines and articles


the collapsed vein of traffic

(who agreed to this?)

and the honking,

and raucous podcasts;

and less so from

the evening light,

my boyfriend’s blue eyes,

Loitering, loitering, in some kind of flux.

It’s like,

self -care has become another freelance gig-

too much work in too little time,

squeezing in “wellness”

into brunch mimosas and rosewater masks.

“Tomorrow will be better”

“Tomorrow we can call the doctor”

“Tomorrow this will seem like a smaller problem”

I’m rocking this cherry stem prayer

back and forth under my tongue.

but everything is too big

and we are much too small.

small powerful things, caught sleeping,

then jolted awake

and the mavericks can’t save us

and neither can Amazon.

Self-care, they tell me;

Tomorrow you can do the work!

Tomorrow the problems will be a meme!

Tomorrow there is no tomorrow!

so then comes the waiting-

only there’s no Silicon Valley savior


producing the cure all app

for sleepwalking,

and institutional crises,

and student loans

and anxiety

anytime soon.

Where’s the tenderness?

The fix?

I am trying to touch things, you see

touching and touching and not knowing

where we set it all down.

where the wound comes from;

only knowing there is a wound,

a grief, an unraveling,

sold back to us in small doses

and inflated prices-

The shared grief economy.

Old vinyls and books and 90s memorabilia and discontinued toys.

My childhood!

“A simpler time”

Someone’s always saying this.

The other day I bid for a Pokemon Thermos cup

after reading my loan balance,

and listening to NPR

setting up a retirement plan

for a future

I just can’t imagine.


So why not stop?

Boycott self-care!

I will call my friends instead,

(and call, and call, until one of them

overcomes the anxiety and answers!)

talk about the hard stuff slowly,

allow for a tenderness;

maybe a garden,

maybe go to more town halls,

a more caring self-care-

a longer term subscription.

sitting next to people,

feeling elbows, and hot breath,

and one another.

maybe I wouldn’t need to

cling to self -care tips

and spend paychecks on brunch

if caring were a full time deal;

An argument for space,

An argument for saying

“You Are Here”;

Now allow yourself

to take up space,

less annexing of our souls to things,

Let’s put the spirit first-

Let’s care one another into being;

I am talking about building out slow.

Can I get that in millennial pink?

So long “self-care”!

In any case,

your shipping fees are much too high.

Writer. Influencer Relations Specialist at Playful Studios. Pitch me @ barbaracastro@playfulstudios.com https://www.barbaracastrorojas.ink

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