Growing up, I always thought that I’d be happy when I reached my twenties. It seemed like such a grown-up number. People in their twenties were young, carefree… They could do whatever they wanted whenever they wanted because they were adults. Parents couldn’t tell them what to do anymore.
Since reaching this oh-so-magical time in my life, I realise that things are a bit more complicated than I initially thought they would be. Even though I really hate using the term “complicated” to describe life, you should all know it’s accurate, nevertheless. The reality is that we can’t just waltz off and do whatever we want. We all have responsibilities – and if we don’t have responsibilities, we need money to get anywhere. This was something I never had to think about as a child. I don’t think I would have been able to understand it, anyway.
So here I am, in my late twenties, wondering if I’m living my life wrong. Deep down I still think that I should be happy simply because I’m supposedly “grown-up” and young. I think this feeling is often reinforced by other members of society – particularly, though not always, an older crowd that has the best of intentions.
I don’t understand where the concept of being carefree in your twenties even comes from. At this point in time, we’re still trying to figure out what we want from life and how to go about getting it. At times, we question the decisions we’ve made – should we have chosen differently?
I think that because we have so much of our lives ahead of us, we tend to stress out and over-analyse our choices. Or, at least I do. Yet, I often feel guilty for experiencing these anxieties and so choose to not discuss them. I think there are a lot of people out there who do the same thing. Silencing ourselves in this way is a mistake. It’s okay to feel lost in your twenties. Repeat: it’s okay to feel lost in your twenties!
We have a lot of choices ahead of us. If this makes a little too anxious to be as carefree as some people think we should be then that’s just too bad… At least we’re taking our futures seriously.
Although, I would like to clarify that if you are happy and stress-free during your twenties – this is perfectly fine too. Let’s just agree to stop judging each other based on what we feel. We can’t help the fact that we have emotions.
Some people forget that happiness is an emotion, not a state of being. We’re never going to be happy all the time; that’s just unrealistic. During the course of our lives we’re going to feel happy, sad, angry, tired, anxious, peaceful… The list goes on. Our emotions are constantly shifting, and I personally think I’d be a bit freaked out if I met someone who was happy all the time. It just wouldn’t seem natural.
So, remember that feeling a little lost or unsure in your twenties is nothing to be ashamed of. Not being happy every moment of every day is completely normal. You just keep on living life as best you can and don’t let anyone tell you how you should be living (and feeling) during your life.
- Are you currently happy in your twenties, or do you get a bit stressed out from time to time?
- Do you have any idea what you’re doing?
- What are some of your worries at the moment?
So, in the name of airing out insecurities – let me be the first to share mine. At the moment, I’m a bit insecure with the whole “future” thing. Now that I’ve finished university, I don’t really know what I want to be doing. I’m still at the same casual job I picked up a few years ago – and yet, I’m not sure what my ideal future even looks like anymore. I see the people who know what they want – to keep studying, to find a job in their chosen field, to travel – and I can’t help but be a bit envious of their drive. I don’t really know what I want to do other than to keep writing in this blog.
I’ve discussed this before, so I won’t get into it all again, but the point I’m trying to make is that though I have insecurities about my life, I’m not going to let them be something I feel the need to hide. The only way we can overcome our insecurities is by acknowledging them and, if we’re brave enough, to share them too.
We’re all muddling through our lives at the same time, and I think it’s nice to know that we’re not alone in feeling like other people are living a life better than ours. If we could just start being honest with one another we’d realise that a “perfect” life doesn’t exist and that success looks different to everyone. Let’s stop being ashamed of the fact that we compare ourselves to others. If we all do it, then there’s nothing to really be ashamed of, is there?
Here’s the thing – sometimes our 20s are just not what they’re cracked up to be. Although many of us aren’t responsible for anything as formidable as raising children, we still have plenty of other worries and responsibilities that keep us busy ‘til the early hours of the morning. I’ve talked about this a lot in previous posts, but I’m going to discuss it some more anyway.
Well, because it’s important!
Our 20s can still feel like a very lonely experience. Some of us don’t know what we want to do with our lives and question if we’re doing the “right” thing. Even though this is a very common experience, we often only choose to share the best parts of our lives – which means that the harder parts are ignored. The consequence of this is that we think other people are doing “better” than we are. We compare ourselves to others – quite unfairly, I might add.
By not sharing the aspects of our lives we think are embarrassing or unworthy of discussion, we end up isolating ourselves even further. We don’t realise how many other people would empathise with what we’re going through because we refuse to talk about it.
Doing this is very unhealthy – it makes us think we’re alone in our experiences when this is not the case at all.
In this day and age, it can seem like you’re supposed to have everything figured out. You look around you and everyone you know is talking about their seemingly perfect lives. It’s easy to feel like a failure because of this – like you just aren’t measuring up. Trust me, I know what it’s like. I’ve been there – in fact, I still am there.
What’s the secret to everyone’s success? How is it that everyone has suddenly become much more “grown up” than me?
There’s no easy answer to this, though I do like to remind myself and anyone who feels this way that people only like to talk about the good things happening in their lives. I mean, think about it… When you go on Facebook or Instagram or whatever else, are you posting about the good stuff or the mediocre?
It’s the good stuff, right?
As we enter adulthood for the first time, how could we possibly be expected to know everything? It just doesn’t make sense. We put ourselves under so much pressure to know it all because everyone else seems to when no one actually does. If we could all be a little more honest about our insecurities we just might accept where we are in our lives.
If we worry too much about the future, we’ll miss all the wonderful things that happen right under our very noses. Know it’s okay to feel lost at this stage in your life. While you might feel uncomfortable living in such uncertainties, you’re going through a natural process.