I read this article on Thought Catalog yesterday, and it has really had me thinking. I know I don’t typically write post about life, other than my weird adventures and happenings, or decorating, or cooking, but this article kind of moved me. It reminded me of a lot of people I know, and a lot of people that I use to know…. I mean I still know them, but now they are a little more…. responsible, or insightful, or grown up, OR lost, because lets be honest some twenty somethings really don’t know what they are doing, where they are going, or even which way is up. I read the article because the title kind of caught my eye in my twitter feed, but what I found is that there is a little bit of knowledge in there for everyone. Nico Lang, the author, blatantly states You Don’t Have To Be A Hot Mess In Your 20s, and shes totally right. You don’t. But so many of us are.
One of the first things I thought of after reading it was a conversation I had with my friend Katy a few months back. We were talking about David and I considering the purchase of our first home, and our upcoming wedding, and she was telling me about some cool event she had been to in Atlanta that weekend and her upcoming promotion with a huge ad firm at work, and we realized how in the mere 18 months we had been separated since our college graduation our live paths had completely diverted. In college, you could pretty much say we were attached at the hip. We did everything together. We were in the same major, had the same circle of friends, did our projects and school work together, partied together, spring break-ed together, struggled over boys together, hated the same people. EVERYTHING. Katy and I are still very close, but one day it just struck a chord that no one we went to college with was really doing the same things anymore. Some of us are getting married, some of us are already married and starting families, some are super career focus, some are socially focused, some are….”seeing the sites”, if you will, and using their twenties as a time of exploration and adventure. But none of us are on the exact same page any more. And what was so bizzare to us was that it literally took NO TIME at all for that to happen.
I also feel like I really connected to Nico, she pointed out that she reads all these things on line about being in your twenties, and how crazy awesome it is, and all the cool things you get to do, and she totally doesn’t connect with that. And I was right there with her…I mean, what do you mean you went site seeing in the Greek Isles for 10 days? Sometimes I can barely pay all my bills. Oh, you’re following a DJ around on tour, cool… GO TO WORK. And I don’t think my reaction to those things it out of jealousy, I am perfectly content with where I am in my life and where things are headed in the coming months, I guess I missed the train to adventure that picked some of us up at graduation and carried us all over the world.
Sometimes, when I look around at my peers I just think “really?” I think we’re all just on completely different playing feilds and I wonder if they use the stereotypical image of a 20-something as an excuse to do weird things, or make ridiculous mistakes, or not do anything productive with their lives, because HEY, thats what your 30s are for, right? WRONG. I honestly don’t think there is anything wrong with getting your crap together when youre twenty. I have had so many people ask me since last August how I could be ready to get married at 23 or 24 and I just think “I don’t know, I just am” Im not interested in the bar scene, I don’t feel restless at all in my personal life, and I feel like I am right where I am suppose to be. I would say that my 15-year old self would be really proud because she was definitely going to be married by age 25 and settled in her life. But, she might be sad to know that along the way she discovered she hated math and science, and a career in medicine was never going to be an option, and everything you thought about being a career oriented, driven 20-something was totally wrong. I definitely have my personal life all figured out my career is a giant blur. Like, on a daily basis I still don’t know what I want to be “when I grow up,” whenever that will be. But I know that the people that are permanent fixtures in my life will support me no matter what. I never dreamed I would be that 20 something year old job hopper but in the past year or so since my college graduation I have held 4 different jobs. I was almost embarrassed about it, but then I remembered to be proud of the fact that when things didn’t work out the way I thought they would, I did what I had to in order to get by, because even though I had “failed” at my first career attempt, I didn’t run back to the safety of the nest or give up, I just kept chugging along and I think thats commendable right?
When I left my job at RV in August, it was probably one of the most terrifying things I have ever thought about doing. It wasn’t really a “heres my two week notice” kind of deals, it was a “Im done, see ya NEVER” kind of things. But, falling flat on my face like that after my first attempt at being a real adult allowed me to see that I wasn’t going to disappoint anyone by making huge life decisions, as long as I kept trying. My parents weren’t going to love me any less or think any less of me, David wasn’t going to leave me because I had to work a retail job for a few months until I found a permanent position, and it gave me the strength to know I could look like in the face and tell it to suck it. The last few weeks before I left my job there my friend Katy and I spent hours trying to find the silver lining in the situation, and it has only been recently that I was able to see it. Looking back, I’m glad I used my twenties to do something like that and now I know a career change, or any major life change isn’t going to ruin you, just challenge you a little.This portion of the post really stuck with me, so I wanted to share it with you, because I think that its really what being in your 20s is really about, failure but for the right reasons, self acceptance, learning the real meaning of perseverance, etc.
“But at some point you have to stop believing the worst about yourself and those around you and stop being your own worst enemy. There’s nothing wrong with your flaws; they are beautiful and a part of you, and you will always be a partially broken, not-quite-formed person. That doesn’t mean you can’t still go out and achieve great things, or that there aren’t parts of your life that are put together.”
So true, life isn’t about becoming some perfect flawless version of yourself. Thats almost impossible. I know some people look like they have it all together, but I have to think that somewhere, in some part of their subconscious mind they are probably loosing it over something. There are parts of my life that I feel like are pretty pulled together right now, and others that aren’t so much, but it is what it is, and I find the less I stress over it, the more I can enjoy it and be present in every moment, and thats really what its all about isn’t it?!
Awesome article, you better read it!!!!!!!!!!