For the love of God! I don’t think I’ve ever been this depressed before! This has to be the lowest I’ve ever felt in my entire life! I am so unbelievably lost and lonely right now! My brain hurts and my heart perpetually aches! I don’t think it can get any worse than this!
Just when I think my twenties have reached the pinnacle of patheticness, I flip through my diary and am surprised to discover the same sentences, word for word, written every couple of months for the past five years.
What the fuck?
Have I been this whiny for awhile now? Or do I just have a pension for exclamations and dramatic adjectives like most girls my age?
Can someone please explain to me why during the most exciting time in our lives, we are positively convinced that we’re doomed to a lifetime of soul-charring careers and vapid relationships that culminates in a house filled with an array of pets named after our favorite soap stars and a refrigerator covered in pictures of other people’s children? Jason and Melissa’s adopted Taiwanese toddler with a $50 haircut and Iggy Pop t-shirt waves at you every time you go to the fridge to grab another tub of cream cheese and mouths, “Look! You don’t even have an Asian baby with a faux hawk!”
Can anyone please explain why our decisions feel so permanent, our loneliness so detrimental, and why we feel like we’re running out of time? We all know it’s silly to feel this way, that these problems really aren’t that severe, but try telling that to a twenty-five year old who can’t hear anything because her head is so far shoved up her ass.
The Twenty-Something Shit Fest (otherwise known as the “Quarter-Life Crisis”, though will not be referred to here out of copyright and overly-used cliche concerns) doesn’t suddenly show up on your doorstep with a flaming bag of dog shit the day you turn twenty years old. No, typically at twenty, you’re still in college, maybe have a “serious” boyfriend or girlfriend, spend Mom and Dad’s money on entertainment and beer (or on DVDs starring Crispin Glover and dessert wine), and only an iota of the responsibilities and worries you will have in a couple of years. TSSF rears it’s ugly head usually when you’re about twenty-one, newly legal, out of the institutional bubble, and into the real world.
Then the fun really begins.
You jump onto dodgeball field with grit and vigor.
“Ha! This is easy!” you shout as you coolly thwart off any ball that comes your way.
Suddenly, the balls start to drill in faster and harder. Some start to hit you in the face, then the vagina. You assure your friends and family on the sidelines that you’re fine, that you can handle this, but you begin to wonder if there is machine gun of balls being shot at you. A tooth gets knocked out, then a black out. You start mumbling “I’m fine.” over and over, while you try to raise an enthusiastic thumbs up to the crowd. It isn’t until you wake up one morning next to an empty bottle of Stoli and the words “When will this end?!?” written in lipstick on your mirror that you realize that maybe this has been difficult for you.
It’s truly awe-inspiring how dramatically one’s life changes in the short period of time that is your twenties.
In my twentieth year I was a college junior on her way to finishing her degree in film. I had a long-term boyfriend who I figured I was stuck with forever, dreams of becoming a screenwriter in New York City or Toronto (what?), only a cell phone bill to worry about and no freakin’ idea what I was in for the next few years. My twenty-first year found me quitting school, moving to Los Angeles for a personal assistant gig, leaving my boyfriend and family, and diving face first into muck of Hollywood. Ok, this is where it gets good. My twenty-second year found me fooling around with a married producer who treated me like a $40 whore, racking up credit card debt in order to survive, working fifteen hours days, and drinking myself to sleep on Friday nights by 9PM (not before calling all my friends to tell them “I’m sorry” for no reason). My twenty-third year found me going to a psychotherapist to take control of my life, learning to tell myself I’m taking control of my life when I really wasn’t, accumulating a lot of interest on my credit card debt, and still working fifteen thankless hour days. My twenty-fourth year I began doubting everything (Am I pursuing the right career for me? Am I living in the right city for me? Am I drinking the best vodka for me?) and became increasingly unhappy at work. At this point I had a series of failed mini-relationships that made me question whether dating the opposite sex was the smartest choice. My twenty-fifth year found me leaving my career, wandering aimlessly around Los Angeles trying to figure what I wanted to do with my life, deciding to move to another city then changing my mind, working at an anti-war non-profit organization for validation, deciding on moving to another city then changing my mind, deciding to focus on my writing, and ultimately jumping in my car and driving east on route 10 to Austin, Texas to find some answers. Why I thought the meaning of my life would be unearthed in Texas is beyond me.
So what I have I learned in the first half of my twenties? No matter where you go, there you are, writing the same crap in your journal as you did yesteryear. I’ve learned that this life isn’t going to get any easier. I hear good things about your thirties, but that waits to be seen. I’ve also learned that all of us are in the same boat- the U.S.S. Narcissism and that everything I’m writing about it quite simply…normal. Gasp! That’s the last thing my vintage-wearing, fake eye-glass sporting, Woody Allen referencing ass wants to hear!