Many times people tell you how hard your twenties can be. In fact, they start telling you how hard life is just before high school. They say at first that high school will be the most challenging years of your life. Then, you hit your twenties, and you learn the harsh truth: Your twenties are tougher. This is coming from someone smack dab in the middle of them. Being in your twenties is like this middle ground, more like a battle ground, where you’re caught between professionalism and not having your shit together. It’s terrifying. It’s a roller coaster worse than the last thirteen seasons of Grey’s Anatomy.
Of course, I can only speak from my experience. However, as I was scrolling through Facebook the other night at 2 am, when I couldn’t sleep (anyway I can cash in on all those kindergarten naps refused?), I noticed that not only had some guy I had a crush on in high school was now married, and his wife was also expecting a child. While I was grappling with this whole “Am I being socially left behind?” and “Should I be married and pregnant?” I realized that I had left clothes in the community dryer…for almost a week. Which promptly answered all my questions for me: If I can’t keep track of my laundry, there is no way I can take care of a human life, husband or infant. I’m still impressed I manage to bathe myself some days and feed my cats. I’m making myself sound a lot more depressed and a lot less self-sufficient than I am. I do know how to take care of myself. It’s just moments like that where I realize how different we, as humans all start to venture out on our paths.
I’m a self-proclaimed workaholic and addict of almost everything, who has said multiple times, much to the disappointment of my mother, that I’m just not sure marriage or having kids is in the cards for me. I’m sure I’ll write more on that at a later time. Marriage and whether or not to have children seems to be a huge topic of discussion with millennials; how to balance work and family, in particular for women still trying to break the glass ceiling. The word millennial holds a lot of weight in and of itself, both negative and positive, and I fully intend on finding out why. Just because of technology? Yes, maybe. Are millennials lazier than Gen-Xers? Some people say so. Is all the technology, all the instant gratification laziness or initiative? Maybe? I mean the invention of Postmates was probably born from either not having enough time to get one’s food or simply being too lazy or too busy, to get it. Either way, I think many agree it’s been a useful addition to the twenty-first century.
What I’m saying is this: People in their twenties don’t get enough credit for their mad navigation skills. I’m not talking about how to get through Los Angeles traffic successfully, although I, myself have become a pro at that as well. I’m talking about a much more important subject, and that is navigating through life. Anyone who has reached thirty has made it through their twenties, good for you. Seriously. As far as your twenties go, for those of us still navigating them, it’s kind of like the second coming of the terrible twos.
I think people discount how much your hormones are still raging in your system, and you look old enough so that people expect you to have your business entirely together and yet mentally, a lot of the time still have no freaking clue who you are or what you want. I mean sure, some days you know who you are. Am I right? When you’re walking down the street, and you’ve got the perfect song playing on your iPod? You think to yourself, ‘this is it, this is what living feels like, I’m going to be okay, and I’ve totally made it.’ It’s when you get home that night, and your phone is plugged in, the music isn’t playing anymore, and that new episode of Girls is on, and you find yourself wondering ‘what the eff am I doing with my life? What’s the point?’ And most importantly what is this whole “making it” concept that people talk about and how do I get there? Will I know it when I’ve found it? Do the people that I think have it all feel like they have it all or do they have the same questions as I do? Are we all just people with our inner monologs walking around afraid to write them down because we think they aren’t important enough?
I have to trust that at some point it will somehow all come together. Just like Hannah Horvath and her fellow friends on their final season of Girls are finding out. Eventually, you have to grow up. It doesn’t always matter if you’re ready or if you want to. At some point, all those times people told you that one of the keys to life was just starting, is going to ring true, and you’re going to have to get out of bed or fall out of the nest, or what have you. Perhaps one of the worst parts about growing up, and fighting your way through your twenties is realizing that you aren’t as unique as you thought you were. You are more than likely, a lot more like everyone else than you thought. Our problems are no more or less significant than anyone else’s, in some cases, they are much less than significant if anything. Isn’t that somehow also beautiful though? In our so thought “specialness” with all our quips, our fears, and anxieties we or at least I, often felt so alone. That is probably the best thing about being in my twenties, is that I’ve learned to look at me and notice just how much I have in common with everyone else walking on this planet. Some days are hard. There is no doubt whatsoever about that. Some days I don’t get out of bed. If I think about it though, I can probably be comforted by the thought that there is probably at least one other person out there, stuck in bed, in an adult onesie, eating a pint of ice cream as well. Welcome to the human existence.