Seriously. Nobody warned me about my early twenties. “It will be fun. It will be the time of your life! You’ll get to drink alcohol!!!”
Yes. But there is so much more to this time of my life. It is confusing, it shakes my self-esteem, and it really, really confuses me. Enough to list that twice.
I have never been decisive and now is when I’m really suffering for it. (Or is this just beginning? I’d love to know if my thirties are going to be just as turbulent.) My career plans are horribly unstable. I find myself thinking (a bit too often) ‘if you had just tried to take a science class, maybe you’d be in medical school by now‘ or ‘how do you ever expect to be a writer if you can’t make time to practice every day?‘ or, worst of all ‘remember when you were a little girl and you wanted to be an actor? Jennifer Lawrence is kicking your ass‘. I keep wishing I’d majored in something else. Film? Creative writing? Genetics? I should have worried less about my GPA and more about learning what I wanted to learn. Like Japanese. Or science. Or art. Take my advice, young ones: you’ll never know unless you try. My grades don’t excuse my ignorance. I’ll never know what I could have done.
Ah, but that’s not all! I’m reaching the age that troubles with the boyfriend aren’t “he plays too much Xbox” but rather “the careers we (think we) want are focused in specific areas of the country not at all close to each other”. After years of being together we’ve found a new obstacle to overcome. In my mind, I keep hearing a voice pleading for me to not give up my dreams for a man, but I fear I might be the first girl in history to make the mistake the other way around. Unless, of course, he can make enough money for me to be a housewife. That’s a good career dream, too.
Another fun fact: I think my metabolism thinks I’m older than I really am. I mean, my hormones have already thought I was going through menopause, but now my fat is pretty sure I want it hanging around. I was dieting decently until ‘that time of the month’ perfectly lined up with midterms. My lunch today was ice cream, potato chips, and a zero calorie energy drink. In my defense… …. …I have no defense.
But, if my twenties were all bad, I wouldn’t call them tempestuous. I’d keep the alliteration, but I’d just call them terrible. But really, they aren’t! Despite having a dog (or dogs, at this point in time), I have more freedom than ever, and I LOVE it! I live alone, and because I’ve held steady jobs since I was 18, I have the money to do what I want. Not everything I want, but enough of it. (By the way, I recommend getting a part time job in college, even if your parents are kind enough to pay for you. It’s good for your resume and the money helps a ton, even if you only work a few hours a week like I do now.)
Even though I moved from a bigger city to a smaller one for college, I’ve still had some awesome opportunities I wouldn’t have had any other way. The friends I’ve met (who put me through further confusion by getting married, owning houses, and having babies), the things I’ve accomplished, and the once in a lifetime (maybe?) chances I’ve grown daring enough to take. (Another tip: grow a pair and try something new! I’ve never been confident, but most of the time I try something totally “unlike me”, I am grateful for it!)
My twenties are an adventure very different from my teens. So much better, but I feel like more is at stake as well. I guess my only option is to keep looking forward.
Keep your face always toward the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you.