Career by 25. Married by 26. Kids by 27. Range Rover by 28 (Black on Black sport, my personal favorite)— my 16 year old self thought that this “adulting” shit was finna be a breeze.
Now here I am, one decade later and 2 degrees wiser, with more questions than answers. Who tf was I kidding? No one prepared me for the shitshow that is my twenties. Career by 25? *Pfft*, more like a grad school glorified intern. Marriage by 26?! YIKES. My love life (until currently) could be summed up with a “return to sender” stamp. Kids by twenty sev-, listen, I can barely make sure I eat three times a day.
Truth is, I’m an organized mess; I honestly have no idea what’s going on.
I’m pounding away at my keyboard into google for some clarity like I’m searching symptoms of a sickness, and I stumbled upon this GEM in the Business Insider that put my mind at ease. Here’s what I learned from the article 3 lies 20-somethings need to stop believing :
We’re ALL struggling
Many millenial 20-somethings quietly share the same sentiment: there has got to be more to life. Notice, I said quietly…let’s get into that for a second. Most days, we wake up, log into our respective social media, shoot the shit, and present our seemingly best selves; let our posts tell it, we’re all living happily, lavishly, and unapologetically.
In our moments of uncertainty, however, we tend to harshly criticize ourselves based on our perception of others. When you start comparing your private self to someone’s public representative, it is a losing battle; we are damaging our sanity trying to achieve a false sense of perfection.
So, that being said, whether you are that college grad who had to move back home, the person staring at an overdraft bank account, or working that part time job because the bills won’t pay themselves: we see you. We hear you. We’re right there with you. You are not alone.
There’s no blueprint for success
When we encounter someone that is our definition of successful, it is natural to want to learn more about the backstory. We watch the interviews, buy the books, and read the 30 under 30 lists, holding onto every tidbit of advice in hopes of having our own breakthrough. Getting the recipe won’t give you the same sauce; we can follow someone’s every move to a T, but that still does not necessarily guarantee success.
We have to find our own way — figure out our OWN strengths/weaknesses, build our OWN relationships, and cultivate our OWN path. That doesn’t mean we can’t ask for help or receive guidance, but we should just borrow guiding principles and apply them to our lives, instead of following someone else’s contextless blueprint.
You Can Fail…But Do it Strategically
Countless authors affirm that “great writing is rewriting”, and I like to apply this concept to living life in my 20s. I believe that we learn most about ourselves through times of discomfort, and especially through failure; it gives us a better understanding the roles we play in life, and how to best fulfill them.
Fail. Regroup. Repeat: Our 20s are about planting the fruits of our labor to enjoy LATER. Failing does not mean that you are a failure, it actually makes your story more exciting. We have to learn from our mistakes so that we don’t make them in vain. It won’t always be perfect, but, man, will it be eventful.
Many of you have probably heard some variation of this advice, some of you may have not; the point is, we just want you to understand it. We are not here to tell you what to do with your life, nor let you struggle in obscurity. Our hope is that you have support and resources to get the most out of your journey to fulfillment.