Being a 20-Something Is… Challenging

Recently, I’ve caught myself in a lot of thoughts that can be basically boiled down to thinking that I struggle uniquely or more intensely than others. But the truth is… I don’t. Do I struggle? Yes. But my struggles are often total cliches, especially when I think that I am alone in my woes. I was spending some time on the metro this morning expressing gratitude (YEP totally started doing it every day… it’s awesome) and I realized just how easy I have it. Then I read this article on Thought Catalog entitled “15 Guaranteed Things That Will Happen To You in Your 20s” and it hit the nail right on the head for me… it’s ALL NORMAL. I’m only 24 (I’ll be 25 in a month though so you know… halfway point of the 20s) and every single thing on this list has already happened to me… (NOTE: I took this text directly from Thought Catalog’s website and it is their original content)

1. Your social circle will narrow. In college, you’ll have lots of acquaintances and party friends but that will dissipate over time. Eventually, you’ll find yourself unable to spark up new friendships simply because you don’t have the time or desire. Now you’ll only make a new friend and let them into your life if you’re absolutely obsessed with them. Originally this made me sad… but now I realize that my friendships are SO MUCH stronger than they used to be. I’m a better friend and my friends are better to me (I had a bad habit of being in really toxic friendships in my younger years). I also really really like all my new friends… I guess you could say I’m obsessed with them.

2. You’ll seriously consider going to grad school. You’ll call your mom up in a panic one day and explain that you’ve always enjoyed something like psychology and, well, maybe it’s time to start entertaining the idea of, um, being a therapist. Mom? Stop sighing! Le sigh… been there. 

3. You will hate your job at some point, even if it’s better than 99% of your other friends’ jobs. You will be overworked and underpaid presumably until you’re 40. Then, you’ll suddenly be overpaid and not do much of anything. Right? That’s how it works? WORD.

4. Someone will betray your trust — a friend or a lover — and it will change the way you view people forever. The hurt is still there but I’ve made my peace with it. I don’t know if it changed the way I view people, but it has certainly affected how I choose friends.

5. You will do things that hurt you just because you’re not ready to feel good yet. The list of things I’ve done to myself is too long to even begin. For the first time in my entire life (and in my entire 20s) I’m in a place where I am ready to feel good and think that I deserve to feel good.

7. After learning your age, someone will say to you, “Wow, you’re so young!” and occasionally you’ll believe them. Yup.

8. You’ll miss certain days before they even end. This line struck me as so poetic and so true. What has surprised me most is that these days aren’t big events. They’re quiet simple days where I snuggle with my cats, drink a great cup of coffee, have an amazing workout, or spend quality time drinking wine and laughing hysterically with my best friend. The day where Mike first told me he loved me is a day I could live over and over and over again.

9. You’ll spend an entire day hungover in bed and nothing will make you feel more like a fucking idiot. Not even taxes or putting the fitted sheet on your bed. Truer words have never been spoken. This has definitely also happened to me way more than once in my 20s.

10. You’ll read a book that will change your life. People say that all the time, especially your grandma and your mom and your professors in college, and it always made you roll your eyes but now you get it. Life is changed. You are this book’s bitch. You fell in love with it in the same way you fell in love with someone in high school: blindly and all-consuming. I’m talking about the book that became the lens from which you chose to see the world. You were just waiting for something to come along and explain to you how the world works, to make it all easier for you. and it came. You will remember this  book more vividly than some of the people you dated for three months in college. I think I’m currently reading that book. I have always been a book lover, but no book has ever inspired such instantaneous changes in my life.

11. You’ll meet people who are vultures, who were literally sent to this world just to annoy you, to work half as hard and somehow become more successful. They’re networking leeches. Don’t take their business card! Save yourself! lol… but yes I know these people.

12. Some days you will wake up and be astounded by how ugly you are. People are always saying things like, “OMG, I look like shit right now!” but they don’t. You’re the one who looks like shit (truly!) so shut up everyone else! My struggles on this one aren’t a secret to… anyone 🙂

13. That being said, there’ll be some days when you look in the mirror and think to yourself, “Okay, I’d fuck me.” That’s good. It’s healthy to want to fuck yourself. I found this particular statement too graphic for my taste, but I appreciate the sentiment. I’m trying to have more days like #13 and less like #12

14. The Internet will hurt your feelings. You will find out information you wish you never knew and maybe you’ll go so far as to even cry! Imagine that: a machine you spent over a grand on is making you weep. Screw the Internet. Facebook can be an evil evil thing.

15. You will understand that the biggest battle you fight in your twenties is the one you’re in with yourself. The most important thing you can learn in this decade is how to love yourself. Without that knowledge, your life will always be a little bit terrible. You will always be dating someone who’s a little bit rotten and you’ll always be working a job that sucks. It affects everything so be sure to make yourself a priority.  Work on liking yourself before working on getting someone else to like you. This pretty much sums up everything I’m trying to work on in my life. Interestingly enough… Mike often thinks he’s “bad with words” or “doesn’t know what to say” when I’m sad. But he said something to me once that was my struggle summed up into one perfect sentence. He said “I wish you loved you as much as I love you”… I bagged a good one 🙂

I don’t really know what the point of this post… this article just struck me in a way that made me want to share it! Back to regularly scheduled stuff now 🙂 Also… the Grammy nominees came out and they’re pretty awesome.

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6 responses

  1. Okay, I am officially crying after reading that post. Thank you so so so much for posting that. The truth of that list and your honesty in responding to it is amazing!

    1. Thanks Hales! I couldn’t believe how accurate the list was 🙂

  2. The Beibs wasn’t too happy about the Grammy nominations!

    1. I know! Clearly I learned of Beiber’s snubbing as well as that of One Direction on my major news network this morning. One Direction is good enough for Barbara Walters soooo I dunno man…

  3. Paulette Zimmerman | Reply

    This is one of your best posts ever! Despite some of the graphic language, the concepts are spot on!! Better yet – your reflective insights just reinforce what I have always known – you are awesome! Just remember, the best is yet to come.

    1. I thought you wouldn’t like the language 🙂 but I still like the overall sentiment of the list too much not to include it! Thanks Mom!! ❤

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