This morning I wake to a Facebook timeline full of kids starting school and friends graduating university. And where am I when the whole world seemes to be reaching their various individual milestones? Rolling over in bed at 11:52 having pressed ‘snooze’ for the umpteenth time because I’ve absolutely nothing to do, and all day to do it. The other day my three year old nephew started playschool. Playschool. He’s going to be driving and banking before I know it. So here I am surrounded by different people at very distinct stages in life, feeling like I’m in somewhat of a limbo. Thankfully I’ve long passed the sniffling – yoghurt down the front of my uniform- school days (yes I was that kid), but with a year left of college I have yet to reach the pinnacle of ‘Adulthood’
So where exactly does that leave me? A 22 year old broke student fearing the impending future and still depending on the B.O.D (Bank of Daddy). It’s weird, you grow up with this picture perfect ideal of your 20’s. You think you’ll have your life together. You imagine yourself with a degree, a successful career, a long term relationship, a couple of pets ( a fish, a cat whatever your responsibility level can handle), and a nice apartment. Yet here I am, with none of those things, no idea where I’m going and still dribbling toothpaste down myself in the
mornings, afternoons. (Some things never change).
Why are we led to believe that our 20’s are the ‘successful together’ years of our lives? Why aren’t we shown how it really is? Like budgeting in terms of the cheapest bottle of wine? (I know that’s not just me!) or binge watching entire TV series just to live vicariously through the Carrie Bradshaws and Harvey Spectors of the world.
There are so many soul crushing truths that no one tells you about being in your 20’s. Like for instance how you’re just not able to drink like your former 16 year old self. Those glory days are over my friend. You can’t drink that paint stripper wine anymore, but you can’t quite afford the good stuff yet.
You’re technically an adult, but more “adult adults” (i.e adults who are better at adulting than you) for instance snobby receptionists and land lords, don’t take you seriously, resulting in you still having to get your parents involved. Who knew making a dental appointment could be such an ordeal..
Then you have all the questions surrounding your future. Just this evening my uncle asked me “so what will ya be now when ya graduate? A journalist?” Resisting the urge to scream “I don’t fucking know okay?!” I sallowed my fear along with my spuds and decided it was just easier to smile and nod the appropriate response. Why isn’t “I’m not sure?” an appropriate answer though? Why does there have to be so much residual panic around it? It’s like if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing or where you’re going you can’t help but feel like a waste of space. Earlier my friend tweeted this and it is the most accurate thing I’ve seen all day:
Mine is yellow for the record. But seriously, at five years old when they asked what I wanted to be when I grew up I had no idea. Now that I am grown up I still have no fucking idea. But I’m slowly becoming more content with that fact. It’s such an awkward transitionary stage that no one prepares you for. But I suppose that’s the key word. Transitionary. I’m still learning to accept that it’s okay for me not to have my shit together. It’s okay for me to rock up to a family wedding dateless and drink two-too many shots. It’s okay for me to experience crippling panic whenever anyone asks me “so what are you doing with your life?”
This is probably the only time in my life I’ll get to share a house with 6 other girls. The only time it’ll be acceptable for me to sleep until noon. The only time I can just go and live in Barcelona for the summer because I’ve no other obligations.
So to all my fellow 20-something’s I would encourage you to drink too much, buy the lipstick, travel when you can, make your mistakes and laugh at every little bump along the way. Because heavens knows your 30s are more than likely going to be filled with bills, loans, dirty nappies and sleepless nights (and not the kind you’re currently used to!)