I am your typical non-committal and nonplussed twenty-something they’ve been devoting so much attention to in the press lately.
The Millennials who just can’t get their shit together.
The person with debt. The person who rents. The person who has short-lasting relationships. The person who woke up one morning and realized that the career she is in, the career she went to college for, the field she is supposed to love and stick with for the rest of her life, just doesn’t mean anything to her anymore. The person who dreams big but paralyzed about the amount of options. The person who is afraid to commit to a person or a job out of fear of what else she is missing. The person who lives a lifestyle where she can pack up and go at any minute if she’s feeling too constricted.
But constricted by what?
Having so much press devoted to our generation helps us to realize we are not alone in our constant state of wonder and confusion. However, how disappointing is it to read that our generation- who has been given so much– just can’t deal with…life?
I wonder what my Grandmother thinks when I call her crying about how bored I am- again- with my new job? Or contemplating just packing up and leaving and going to who knows where because I’m feeling that my life is too stagnant? Or talking her ear off for a days about what went wrong in a three month relationship?
I wait for her rebuttal with the facts that she and her generation stayed home, married young, raised families, looked after their parents, had full-time jobs. I’m all set to defend myself with, “But you don’t understand! We have been given too many choices and we don’t know where to start!” However, she doesn’t say a word and I’m left with the silence of judging myself.
The earlier days of my writing were full of talk about twenty-something lament. In the beginning of my 20’s, I felt like a ship searching for a dock, drifting aimlessly out to sea, sailing up to other ships asking them how I could find my way home. Frustrated and lost, I eventually realized it was me and me alone who had to make a change. The change I made proved to bring me the stability and comfort that I was searching for, but by no means am I quite there yet. I’ve only found a safe- but temporary- waterfront to dock myself to.
I am now 27. Transcending upon the home stretch to 30 has got me thinking about the seemingly endless journey that got me to where I am now.
It is utterly fascinating how you live a lifetime in each year of your 20’s. You metamorphose into a new person after every 365 days. For me, sometimes it was someone I knew and loved, and sometimes a person I no longer recognized:
-20 years old– Offered a job in Los Angeles. Left family and friends to go out into the world. Full of wonder and excitement and eagerness.
-21 years old– Became acquainted with the realities of the world. That people will disappoint you. That devoting yourself to a job doesn’t necessarily make you happy. That these facts will cause you to become frustrated and irritable.
-22 years old– Realized that people you love- people you reserve and share a specific part of yourself with- may not feel the same way. That people will use you for their own purposes.
-23 years old– Coped with all of the aforementioned by drinking.
-24 years old– Questioned the career field you worked in and dreamed about being in since a little girl.
-25 years old– Decided to make a change. Took a gamble by moving to a completely new place where you knew no one nor had a job.
-26 years old– Found freedom in making that change.
-27 years old– Feeling confident about what the future holds. For the first time realizing that having a family and children may not be a death sentence.
I can only imagine what the next couple of years will be like. Hopefully at that point I’ll be able to stop shaking my head in agreement while reading about the plight of the Millennials.
What are/were your 20’s like?