Hey guys, welcome back to TNTH!
Before we begin, can we just say how clickbait-y this title sounds? Trust me, I’m not trying to have you guys click this post and feel sorry for me, I just feel like this is something that most overachievers in their 20’s feel because of just how the world is nowadays.
I feel like there are two different types of 20-somethings in the world:
- The first type is those who use their 20’s to live life and explore the world. They go out on the weekends and party, they aren’t tied down to anyone because they enjoy being single, they are simply living for themselves and they are having fun along the way because they know this is the only time in their lives where living this way is acceptable and expected.
- The other type is those who grow up entirely too fast. They are thinking about 30 years ahead of their time, they want to begin having children, they get engaged and then married within years of each other, they fucking have life insurance despite how healthy they are, and they truly think that they are full-blown adults that should be acting like one.
I feel like I’m a combination of both. I feel like I want to be both types of 20-somethings because honestly, those who are the first type are people who probably were sheltered as teenagers and those who are the second type were probably teenagers who did all the partying and drinking already. I was definitely a late-bloomer, so I feel myself wanting to embrace my 20’s as a YOUNG adult (because that’s what I am) and have fun while I have these years. Yet, I also feel myself wanting to have that “picture-perfect” stable life where I have expectations of what my 20’s should be like. I told myself that by the time I am 26, I want to be engaged. People think I’m crazy, but I personally feel like 26 is a good age to finally start to wind down and make life decisions. This doesn’t mean I’m going to force myself to find a man to marry me at 26, it just means that I’m ready to settle down romantically. I don’t necessarily surround myself with people who are married (I mean, married 20-somethings in NYC don’t exist unless you were in the military or something because those are the only people in the world at my age getting married, again – no shade), but I do know people personally and socially that are in serious relationships, who live with their partners, who have little families already. Granted, I don’t want to have children (I mean, not yet), but I do want to be on the track of getting that “picture-perfect” life. I want to experience that and much more: a stable career, a stable lifestyle, a stable household; pretty much a stable life that many of us call ‘goals’ on social media.
Which brings me to my next point: we all want this type of lifestyle because 9 out of the 10 times we see it portrayed on social media. We see old schoolmates having kids, landing dream jobs, getting engaged, living in their own apartments, and we think that just because someone else in their 20-somethings is living life like that, you believe that the way you’re living your life is the wrong way. Everyone who feels this way knows it’s nonsensical and not true, yet we still feel like we aren’t living our best lives.
I know I am not wasting my life away. I know that I am on my own individual path of happiness and success and whether or not I get that “picture-perfect” life I envisioned myself having, I am going to have a good life regardless. It still doesn’t mean that I don’t feel these things. It’s merely the fact that when I see someone else living the life I thought I was going to have at my age, I get really discouraged. Just recently, a former schoolmate and her high-school sweetheart got engaged. I was happy for them because they’ve been with each other since high-school, but it did make me stare intently at my high-school sweetheart/now partner like “… when is that gonna be us, my dude?”
But I digress.
I know that everything that I’m doing with my life at this very moment is helping me grow and move forward with it. I know getting through grad school and getting my master’s degree is going to pay off once it’s actually all done and over with. I know that the rocky parts of my life currently are going to help me make better decisions in the future. I know that everything happens for a reason, whether you like it or not.
As for now, live in the present.
Enjoy your 20’s for what they were meant to be. Find yourself, discover your passions, gain some life experience, be reckless, fearless, wild. Do everything you want to do before it’s too late. Be with yourself before you allow a significant other in your world, shit– before you allow a baby to come into your world. Life is different for everyone and just because you’re not where some other people are, doesn’t mean you can’t be happy and celebrate you and where YOU are.
Be 20-something, not 40-something.