Twenty is a weird time. The people you graduated with are in one of like 8 situations:
- In college and having a blast;
- In college and regretting everything, and questioning everything that they’ve ever thought;
- Married with kid(s);
- Living with their parents working hard(ish);
- Living with their parents and just doing nothing with their lives;
- Successfully living and functioning as an adult in society;
- On lots of drugs, or;
- Traveling the world, ignoring real life and responsibilities.
On top of the people around you being in an array of different situations, sometimes in multiple at one time, you’re also trying to balance being new enough at adulthood that you still mess up, but far enough away from high school that people think you shouldn’t mess up anymore. You’re tired, you want a drink but you can’t have one, and you just want to do your life.
Being twenty is probably one of the most judgmental times in your life. You aren’t in college? Hmm. You went to that college? Hmm. You’re studying that? Hmm. You’re working to make money? Hmm. You don’t have a job right now? Hmm. Add to that all of the stress of becoming an adult in 2017 where you honestly physically cannot get ahead unless all of the stars align, but it’s always cloudy for you.
(Am I saying baby boomers messed it all up? No, but I am saying that it wasn’t millennials or Gen Z, considering the economy was in the toilet waaaaay before I could even drive. So, you do the math.)
When you’re little, you’re filled with all of these expectations of what your twenties will be like. You’ll be successful, and happy, and your skin will finally be clear and under control. You’ll go to college and eat cool foods and take road trips with your friends and take amazing pictures in amazing clothes that you bought on sale. Your life is finally fun and exciting, and it’s all yours to decide what to do with.
But then you get to 20 and realize it’s none of the above. Success is relative, your happiness comes in between rounds of stress and exhaustion, and you develop rosacea (lol @ my luck) that gets worse when you’re stressed or when you eat bad. College is fun but it also puts you tens of thousands of dollars in debt, without the guarantee of a job after graduation. The cool foods you want to eat are either too expensive or have dairy in them, and since your luck is what it is, you also developed a lactose intolerance, so you eat cheap trash that makes your skin worse. Road trips would be fun, if you had the money or time to travel across just the state, let alone the country. The cute clothes you bought, you guessed it, don’t fit because what even are clothing sizes?????
This is a pessimistic post up to now, but that’s life at this current moment. Maybe it gets better the higher up in your twenties you get, and I will continue to be that hopeful, but the realistic part of me says that isn’t exactly how it works. Maybe for me, 20 isn’t my year, no matter how hard I try. Maybe it’ll be 21 or 22.
Until then, it’s time to focus on what makes 20 good. The people who don’t completely suck, the activities that I look forward to, and the beauty in the everyday average happenings. There’s so much that we look past in our daily lives because we’re worried about the bills or the weather or politics, so what can we do to change that?
We can do nothing about the outside happenings- things that go on outside of our sphere of influence. We can do something about how we react to them. We can change how much energy we put into the things that won’t change no matter what- if we take that energy and put it into creating a better life, how much greater would our day be?
If you’ve made it to this point in my string of consciousness, I’m sorry. I know that this is probably my saddest, but most real blog post I’ve ever had. I promise I’m ok, and that I’ve been through worse things in my life. I also am sorry that you literally read through how my mind works because tbh, its too confusing to be publishing without feeling bad.
Anyway, the takeaway from this one is to be happy in the face of the possibly crappiest times of your life thus far, and to smile because what the hell else can you do?