Lately, I find that life has been a lot harsher than usual. And normally, in my life anyway, when things are low, it’s time to start preparing for them to get worse, dramatically worse. (Checking account overdrawn worse.) The worst part of having these struggles is my age. Many people wish they could reverse the hands of time and go back to life in their 20’s. To those people, I say, be careful what you wish for, because there is nothing more unstable in life than being in your twenty’s.
Apparently, I am not the only person who feels this way. J. N. Salters, a contributor to HuffingtonPost.com, wrote an article describing the very woes that come along with enduring this decade of life. In the article titled, “My 20’s Weren’t Supposed to be Like This: Getting Through the Quarter-Life Crisis”, she explains not having achieved the many goals she once scribbled down on a piece of paper that she expected to achieve by the time she was 21. Now, we all have those lists! I have one in my wallet that I take with me everywhere! The problem with these lists, one might ask? They set ridiculously high expectations and are unbelievably unrealistic, given the time frame we plan to accomplish these goals. For example, one of the goals on my list is to win an Oscar and have three kids by the time I’m 34. Now this may not be impossible, but I can admit I may be setting myself up for failure here.
What I loved about her piece is that Salters relates to the many things that twenty-something year olds’ struggle with on a daily basis; job hunting, rent, meeting your parents’ expectations as well as your own, and feeling as if you’ve failed when you haven’t accomplished any of those expectations. One thing I can definitely relate to is not feeling prepared upon entering my twenty’s, mainly because we are all so excited to get there that we’re not sure what to expect once we do. And now that we’re here, we’re unsure of where to go from here. Uncertainty and self-doubt are like a storm cloud following our every move.
The silver lining to this cloud is that we will inevitably get older and wiser and learn to make better decisions for ourselves. The advice that I try to give myself as well as my friends is to stay positive. No matter how bad things can get, we have years of recovering ahead of us. Eventually our dream careers, the weddings, and the children will all come. We just have to slow down and enjoy the ride and know that one day, we will finally get off the roller coaster that is our twenty’s.