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February 22, 2024 19 mins

There's much more to being a millennial than being nostalgic for AOL away messages and knowing which Hogwarts house you belong to! Jana talks to Kate Kennedy about the life lessons learned from the generation of burned CDs and MapQuest. 

Kate shares her observations on how millennials make their own way in the workforce, and we find out what being a millennial means as the generation grows older and starts their own families.  

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:01):
Wind Down with Janet Kramer and I'm Heeart Radio podcast.

Speaker 2 (00:06):
This week's Thursday Therapy. We're going to take a different
spin on it and we're going to talk all about
millennial with Kate Kennedy. So she actually got started, she
actually got to quit her job because she made this
famous doormat, and then she then quit her job. Now
is writing books, has podcasts all about pop culture and
millennial things. So considering, wait, are we have a millennial?

Speaker 3 (00:30):
What? Oreay?

Speaker 2 (00:31):
I actually need to know? That was one of my questions. No,
I think we're we're supposed to be, but I don't
count as a what nineteen eighty three is a what?
Oh we had no more millennials? So it says, yeah,
what's the cutoff? Ninety six? Friend, Yeah, we're goa nineteen
eighty one, eighty two, but just into eighty two. I
don't feel like I am a millennial. Oh friend, you are.

(00:52):
If you dance to Usher on Super Bowl, you're a millennial.
Let's get Kate on. Okay, So take us back because
when I was your bio, I was like, wait, what what?
You started selling doormats at sea and you were doing
what job?

Speaker 3 (01:08):
Then I worked in like corporate market research and like
TV ratings and stuff and with like marketing effectness for advertisers.
It's a lot of buzzwords. But I, like a lot
of millennials, wanted to monetize my hobbies, you know, follow
my dream my dumb dreams, And I started a doormat
company when I was nervous about like burning down my apartment.
You know that episode of Friends or a Phoebe where

(01:29):
Rachel burns down BB's apartment with a straight or a
hair straightener. So I started putting turn off your curling
iron and turn off your straighter on doormat. So it's
like a welcome map, but instead it reminds you of
stuff on your way out. And called you a remind doormat.
And they kind of took off for like forgetful people
like me, And so, yeah, I left my job and
I've kind of been swinging from vines of self employment

(01:50):
ever since.

Speaker 2 (01:51):
You just I mean, at first of all, I love
that because you're trying to almost like you're inventing yourself
as you go. That's at least what I'm trying to do. Good.
I feel like I'm talking to a soulmate when I
read your bio. First of all, I'm a huge fan
of alliteration, So Kate Kennedy really hits me, feels real
good to me. But for the dummies over here, alliteration

(02:12):
is what like the same letter like Roman Russell, exactly
like Roman Russell. So that's called hush fan alliteration. I
love Lily Lionne Lockhart, legend wild.

Speaker 1 (02:26):
He's the middle. That's her good.

Speaker 2 (02:29):
Anyways, it was funny because I was like reading your
bio and I'm like, I actually feel like you're my soulmate.
Like it's this like jack of all trades, like just
kind of going with the flow, seeing where it takes you.

Speaker 1 (02:40):
And I like that about you. How old are you?
I'm thirty six. Hey, so you're younger on the millennial side.
Then no, wait, you're not.

Speaker 3 (02:49):
I'm like the exact median, So it's eighty.

Speaker 2 (02:53):
It's like eight right here, I've got eighty one to
ninety six, Techne ninety six. Yeah, a gen Z is
ninety seven to twenty twelve. But I feel like that's
the millennial way we create. We create, we curate, we do,
and we pave yeah and then we just figure it out. Yeah,

(03:15):
and we like they linked along the way.

Speaker 1 (03:18):
Absolutely.

Speaker 3 (03:19):
I think what's so cool about millennials is like we
were the first to you know create and thus to
define what it meant to like have an online PERSONAA.
Like we came of age during the Information Age, the
most seismic, you know, technological shift of the twentieth century,
the Internet, so like we built our dreams in a
world that no longer exists. So I think there's some
people that like really rooted themselves in the traditions and

(03:41):
some people that were like, well, now all these opportunities
are out there, like let me see if I can
shape shiftft and pivot and kind of maximize it. And
I hate when people view it as like job hopping
or whatever. It's like, why wouldn't we harness opportunities available
to us? So yeah, I've just tried a lot of stuff,
and podcasting and writing is what's stuck.

Speaker 2 (03:59):
The one after millennials, So they're called gen zs. Would
you rather be a gen Z millennial or Generation X,
which is exes sixty five to eighty I married an X.

Speaker 3 (04:12):
Yeah, X is like they don't have people coming at
them from both sides, like Boom or State millennials and
Gen Z kind of makes fun of how cringey we are.
But gen X, I feel like kind of chills in
the middle. So I feel like that's nice for their
Like Moniker, I don't know. I love being a millennial.
The whole point of the book is like it's not
inherently cringey to have been born between eighty three and
ninety six. Like people give us a hard time for

(04:33):
skinny jeans and side parts and whatever the hell else
we do talking about like our Harry Potter houses or something.
But I think that we're really dynamic because when we
came of age and yeah, i'd be a millennial.

Speaker 1 (04:44):
I so I never identified Mila millennia.

Speaker 2 (04:48):
I should talk for a living, talking for a living, Gate,
you don't like being a millennial.

Speaker 1 (04:56):
I just have never identified as one. I'm sorry. Did
you watch a Super Bowl and in that way?

Speaker 2 (05:03):
Yeah? But I think it's like I was doing different
things during Usher than like Kate was well when she
was listening. Not something I'm gonna comment on at Eastern
Michigan University, like Usher means something different to me than
it does to her.

Speaker 3 (05:15):
I mean I was grinding in middle school.

Speaker 1 (05:17):
Wow, Kate middle school. I feel like everyone that's true.

Speaker 2 (05:24):
We did no I was the TUTSI roll. We rolled,
We didn't grind this. This is the most forty year
old moment.

Speaker 1 (05:34):
I two rolled. I get it cut.

Speaker 2 (05:37):
But I did see this is very sidebar and we're
going to get to your book. I promised, and we're
going off on tangents. But I saw this really funny
TikTok where it was like, you know, you're a millennial
or basically mom too. When it's like she's like, we
we raised the roof. We like, we did see roll.
We like, there's who who said that? Somebody said it
did it? Was it?

Speaker 1 (05:56):
You?

Speaker 2 (05:57):
Probably? But I can't. I wish people could see what
you do when you're doing to dell.

Speaker 1 (06:04):
Their roof. We tootsy rolled, we like.

Speaker 2 (06:06):
There was so many of them, and I mean I
was I was crying, laughing, like because I'm like, that's
a millennial.

Speaker 1 (06:11):
That's just what we did.

Speaker 2 (06:13):
But I don't know, I personally prefer I like being
a millennial. I don't know if I love gen zs.
They seem a little give to me without working hard enough.
It's kind of my some of them that I've come across,
not to stereotype all of them. I think it is
hard though, like what you're saying, and like you're stuck
in between because I know I quit teaching. I remember

(06:35):
my dad had a real moment with me because he
thought I had ruined my life because I wouldn't get
summers off direct quote, and and because dad said I
would never make it if I didn't go to college.
So I'm a failure. I went to college, and what
am I doing with that big question mark? But it
is interesting because I felt like I remember the job
hopping being the thing, right, like a little shaming about

(06:56):
the job hopping, and it was like, explain these jumps
in your resume, and do people even do resumes anymore?

Speaker 1 (07:01):
I don't know. I don't did job iping too.

Speaker 3 (07:04):
It's like, okay, you know, in prior generations, maybe you
could have a job for twenty five years because you
could get like a pension.

Speaker 1 (07:11):
They were like benefits.

Speaker 3 (07:13):
But now, you know, especially a lot of millennials graduating,
like the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, like
you know, after the you know, late two thousands, like
stock market crash, and like a ton of people got
laid off, a ton of people couldn't find a job
when they entered the workforce. So it's kind of a
funny rhetoric that, like, we need to be loyal to
companies on principles, but on principle, but what if companies

(07:35):
have never been loyal to you, Like, shouldn't you look
out for your best interest and go from job to
job where it suits you. I don't really think that
that's a bad thing, but traditional values kind of label
it as a bad thing.

Speaker 2 (07:45):
Yeah, he was definitely not happy with me, thought I
made the worst decision of my life. I remember, and
now teaching. Can you imagine like my teacher friends, I'm
just like, bless their souls.

Speaker 1 (07:55):
It's a lot, Oh, I got a lot. Yeah. Absolutely.
In your book, One in a Millennial, what you like?

Speaker 2 (08:01):
What's the thing that listeners are going to take the
most from reading your book?

Speaker 3 (08:05):
I think it's a kind of sits the intersection of
two experiences, the generational one being a millennial, but also
the a gender one related to being a female and
how like the pop culture and me that I loved
made me a product of my time as a millennial.
But I also think there's a theme throughout girlhood, throughout
womanhood where your interests are kind of dismissed, minimize. You're
told things are insignificant, or you're told you simply emotionally

(08:26):
responding to things as you being dramatic, and I kind
of wanted to honor and really I kind of call
it like, you know, verbally man spreading on the pages,
like all of the experiences I felt like I should
shrink or not be proud of or the things I
loved that you know, we're too mainstream to be sophisticated.
I kind of just wanted to own and encourage people
to like like what you like instead of, you know,

(08:48):
caring about being liked.

Speaker 2 (08:50):
But that's the problem though with our generation, though, is
we're kind of based off of likes because of the
social media that we came into.

Speaker 3 (09:00):
Yeah, we're very like, very external validation driven and in
social media just yeah, app compounds to the issue, and
I think that's kind of part of it. Is Like,
don't you feel like as you've gotten older, there's you
more confidence in ownership and like who you are, but
you at least I can only speak for myself. I
spent my whole life so deeply concerned with how people

(09:21):
perceived me, and now I just kind of want to
hug myself, you know, and be like like your top
forty music dress up like this.

Speaker 1 (09:27):
Wise girls live your life.

Speaker 2 (09:29):
Yeah, wear what you want. I wonder this, do you
feel like? This?

Speaker 1 (09:45):
Is something I wonder often.

Speaker 2 (09:46):
So Janna and I both have three kids and they're
all basically the same ages, and our girls lead the charge.

Speaker 1 (09:53):
They are eight years old now, and.

Speaker 2 (09:55):
I wonder do you feel like our dog will ever
feel what we have felt? Because I actually resonate with
what you're saying. I think it was like almost like
dream but dream private because exactly it was a very
like it was a man a man's man's world. I
mean it was just I mean that's just culture, right,

(10:17):
that's fact, not opinion. So it's interesting because I wonder, then,
do you think our daughters?

Speaker 1 (10:23):
Do you have kids?

Speaker 2 (10:24):
Kate?

Speaker 1 (10:25):
Yeah, oh you do? What do you have?

Speaker 3 (10:27):
I just had a baby in August? So I have
a five month six month old son.

Speaker 2 (10:32):
Noll. Okay, congratulations the three of us for even talking
publicly while being recorded in postpartum, all three of us.
And then yeah, I am just sweating all the time
right now, not ever since I gave birth, and I
never stopped.

Speaker 1 (10:45):
It's okay, I was just telling her.

Speaker 2 (10:47):
I was like, I stink like the smellingness because I'm
six Sorry, jeez, I'm three months postpartum.

Speaker 1 (10:53):
I can't talk.

Speaker 2 (10:54):
Yeah, and I'm eight months and still sweating. So and
then I decided to wear like an actual sweater suit
today to try to be festive. So do you feel
like then our kids grow up even knowing that like it.
It feels refreshing to me that they may never like
our girls specifically, may never feel that way because we've
really taken the narrative in a different direction. I think

(11:15):
every like generation has their own pluses and minuses. Like
I think one great thing about growing up now it's like, yeah,
you have the con of social media at a formative age,
but you have the plus of mental health being an
open conversation. I think what's unique about being a millennial is, like,
you know, we had all the social media came out
of nowhere like halfway through our adolescence, and we weren't

(11:36):
talking about mental health. So the harsh level of comparison
paired with like, you know, me not understanding the difference
between butterflies and like an anxiety disorder, like that didn't
work in our favor. So I have hope for younger
people that there's a more more transparency around like how
you're internalizing the things young girls go through and hopefully
more working through it than avoiding it than feeling ashamed.

(11:58):
But I also like researched a lot for this book
about that age you're talking about eight, And I thought,
and I think the themes of girlhood like kind of
transcend generations. I read this book called The Confidence Code
for Girls, and it talks about how from ages nine
to fourteen, girls confidence like nose dives and young boys rises.

Speaker 3 (12:16):
And I think that tween age is so interesting. And
I came back a book I came across a quote
that like stopped me in my tracks. It was if
life was one long grade school, girls would rule the
world because girls are like so disproportionately amazingly confident, and
then these things like in society kind of break down
that confidence as they go through puberty. And I think
there's still a big message there, like for myself as

(12:37):
a parent too, in terms of thinking like keeping that
that kind of confidence of girlhood alive and not making
them feel like they need to age out of certain
hobbies or interests or I don't know, you know that
age when all of a sudden, you're not looking at
the world and where you're like staring into a mirror.
You're like in dressing rooms, you're so you're aware of
boys and all these things. I wrote a lot about
that time period in Girlhood because I think that's something

(12:59):
everybody and relate to. Things really do change. But I
love that wistful age of yeah, seven eight, when you're
like on a fact finding mission about the world that
you don't have access to yet and.

Speaker 1 (13:10):
I'm so unafraid.

Speaker 2 (13:11):
Yeah, And the quote that I always go back to
is who were you before the world told you any different?

Speaker 1 (13:17):
You know?

Speaker 2 (13:18):
So it's like, yeah, And that's where it's I'm very
mindful of, like trying to be careful the words that
I say, especially because I'm like, I don't want to
be the reason why, you know, my kids feel a
certain way, because I'm the one telling them things. Right. So,
when I was getting on Jolly the other day for
not she just leaves gobs of toothpaste in the sink,

(13:38):
and I'm like, for the love of God, animals, please wash.
But I'm like, you know, and I'm like, but I
have to watch it too. Because I'm like, god, what,
like what are you thinking? You know, like that's what
I want to say, because it's just it's I don't
understand how they they're just so messy, but I'm really
their fear at her age, right, So I was afraid
all the time to leave a mess because it was

(13:59):
so catas strophic. On the other side of things, anything
that was just childlike or innocent would just became catastrophic
and I should know better and very like shaming mm hmm.

Speaker 1 (14:10):
And so it's very I I do the same thing.

Speaker 2 (14:14):
Do you remember that, oh, very early, probably like six six, Yeah,
very interesting. But it is like how do you then
like you don't want to go opposite, like, oh, just
leave the leave the mess.

Speaker 1 (14:28):
I know, I know. Then you're just they're not. I
don't know. So that's just like that's hard.

Speaker 2 (14:32):
I feel like we're all I think our age essentially,
especially when it comes to parenting, feels like we're like
bowling without bumpers and we're just trying to like keep
it like if we hit any pins, it's a win.
It's kind of how I feel right now, because you know,
like there's just so much coming at us, so much
coming at them. We're parenting. We have nobody to lean
into that's ever parented with the amount of information that

(14:55):
comes at us or technology, so we are essentially like
the We're the ones everyone will look to to start
to ask, but we know nothing and everything at the
same time.

Speaker 3 (15:08):
Totally when I had when I became a mom, everyone
told me about mother's instinct, which I do have like
in some cases, but I feel like my desire to
look for the right answer will like override my instinct,
and like my instinct is to google it.

Speaker 1 (15:22):
That's it.

Speaker 2 (15:23):
Yeah, it's like over analyzing everything because we just because
our scar tissue gets.

Speaker 1 (15:28):
In the way.

Speaker 2 (15:29):
But let us not forget. We had map Quest, okay,
and I love the lime wire. We had LimeWire and
all the things, you know, because map Quest got me
so busted. One time, my best friend and I printed
out directions to Michigan State and left them on the
desk and her mom found them and then asked what
we were doing that night, and We're like totally going
to Becky's and she was like, that's interesting, what's this

(15:51):
paper copy?

Speaker 3 (15:54):
Early lessons of never having a paper trail and I
got in trouble for printing out the lyrics to Shaggy's
it Isn't Me and I laughed thinking about my mom
seeing in the printer tray like shorty calm butt naked
like banging on the bathroom floor. You remember that song?
I don't know I rented.

Speaker 1 (16:11):
I think I wanted to memorize it. Why were you
printing nick ka, This is a question memori know. We
never she wanted to memorize it.

Speaker 3 (16:21):
Did you guys use AOL instant messenger?

Speaker 2 (16:23):
Yeah, that's how I talked to him, like the high
school boyfriends, and the away message mattered, Oh it did.
It was like when we broke right, I'm done away message.

Speaker 1 (16:34):
That's so something that would be, that's like, that's you.
Mine was like I'm the best day ever.

Speaker 2 (16:41):
B RB.

Speaker 3 (16:43):
Some people use them to share like how busy they were,
like you know, school, feball church, hit the cell. And
then some people you like, would put up vague emo
quotes like my hopes are so high that your kids
might kill me, So won't you kill me? So well
die happy? You remember like dashboard, which is so extreme,
But I did that. I would like be passive aggressive
about my feelings toward boys via away message Kate hot

(17:05):
girl move was going idle and being like, I'm so busy.

Speaker 1 (17:09):
I'm great out on your buddy list.

Speaker 2 (17:12):
That's what I can't wait to teach Jolie. It's like
they like, you don't need to do all that, Like
it's just don't be available, you know, because that's when
they want you if you're two And just like I
wish I just enjoyed high school. I was always up
on my high school sweetheart and worrying about making sure
he was okay. And I'm like, I should just been
with my girlfriends. Well we learned it later. Yeah, we'll

(17:34):
pass away later. Yeah, okay. Kate, so you have a
book once in a millennial you also have a podcast
be there in five?

Speaker 1 (17:40):
Is that correct?

Speaker 2 (17:41):
Which I just enjoy feels very millennialist, a millennial ish.
What is what's your like dream of all dreams? If
you could like unapologetically no filter, what does Kate want
to do next?

Speaker 1 (17:56):
WWKD?

Speaker 3 (17:59):
You know what's so crazy? And this isn't even like
a promotional shtick. Is like writing that one and Emilia
was my dream and like I'm kind of a random person,
non celebrity podcaster who had trouble getting through a lot
of gatekeepers to like get my work out there, and
being able to write a book about like things, all
things girlish and frivolous and pop culture related is just
like such a moment of pride for me. And it's

(18:21):
been really really cool. Like to your point about LimeWire,
like the cover is a burned CD. I mean it's
just so I love being able to share the experiences
I've learned from my listeners over the years. And I mean,
I'm sure you guys can relate. Podcasting is a great gig.
It's a really cool job, and I hope to be
able to do it for a while. But with internet careers,
you never know. So what's next for me is sustainability
of what I have when I get to the church.

Speaker 2 (18:44):
Said amen, And Kate, where can our listeners find you?

Speaker 3 (18:49):
You can find me at my podcast be there in
five wherever podcasts are, and my Instagram is at Kate
Kennedy and yeah by one on a one know wherever
books are sold. Or the audiobook Nine Months Pregnant, That
was a journey.

Speaker 1 (19:02):
I love it.

Speaker 2 (19:03):
So we're a little out of breath then, because I
would I was, I was doing mine when I was like,
still nauseous, and I was.

Speaker 1 (19:09):
Like and then he like that wanted to like you.
It's tough.

Speaker 2 (19:17):
Well, thank you Kate so much for coming on mine down.
We appreciate, We appreciate you, and everyone go download her
podcast and then get her book, One in a Millennial.
Thank you guys, Thanks girl, Appreciate you, k Kye.

Speaker 1 (19:31):
I Love Kate
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