I’ve been doing a lot of reading by people in their 20s lately – and I’ve come to the realization that I am not the only person who is simultaneously happy, sad, excited, stressed out, intrigued and determined. Apparently I’m just 25.
It’s an interesting (and bipolar) time in life – I’ve been told it’s “quarter life crisis” time, but I think it’s more of “quarter life awakening” time. You realize what you want out of life – at least, you begin to figure it out. You start to see the natural separation between what truly makes you happy and what you thought would make you happy. And it becomes clear that you may not like yourself as much as you thought you did – but it’s OK because now is the time to fix it.
In college, you completely let yourself go – you drink too much, you eat poorly, you don’t get enough sleep, you make bad decisions; and if you didn’t do these things, well you probably wish you did.
And there comes a point after you’ve gotten a job, and maybe a place, in your 20s, after graduating, when you realize that you actually care about a lot of different aspects of your life, and in order to set yourself up for success in the future you have to start preparing and being proactive now. It’s why us ladies start buying eye cream, it’s why we all start going to the gym regularly, trying to eat better, trying not to drink as much (plus for some reason when you leave college your tolerance is cut in half, which you find out one embarrassing night out with coworkers) and maybe even trying to improve our *ahem* morals.
You realize that you either love your job and see your future career path being laid out in front of you; or that you hate your job and you need to go back to school. You realize you may be more mature than your parents, which is both disheartening and empowering.
You actually start dating (because that wasn’t REALLY dating in college now was it?!) – and a lot. You’ll meet (and kiss) lots of people who aren’t good for you. You’ll fall in love with someone who doesn’t love you back. You’ll have someone fall in love with you and you’ll feel bad that you just don’t love them back. You’ll have a couple close calls that you thought could have been “the one” – and you’ll think about what went wrong every time you are lonely.
You’ll also realize there’s a big difference between being alone and being lonely – and you’ll start to cherish your alone time. And after all the dating and kissing (and maybe other stuff) you’ll start to realize what you really want in a partner – what you really need in someone who you may spend the rest of your life with. And you’ll get over some of your past loves when you realize it could of never worked, though you may have trouble getting over that one certain someone who you feel was “the one who got away.”
And at the same time you’ll begin to discover what makes you happy. Music, playing or seeing it. Work (for some). Travel. Friendships (because they start to become few and far between). Family. Exercise. Reading books. Experiences.
You realize that you are passionate – and you need to make time for those passions. You’ll actually start listening to the stories your grandpa or uncle tells you – in fact you’ll beg to hear them – because you begin to figure out that they won’t be around forever.
The pieces of who you are – and who you are meant to be – start to float together. And at times, it seems like they are scattered around and a complete mess. And sometimes you are a complete mess. But then there are those times when you are so happy you can fly – you laugh so hard your face hurts. You love so deeply your heart aches. And you work so hard your head spins.
It’s insanity. But it is so absolutely amazing – actually realizing that you are in the moment of trying to figure out who you are and who you want to be.
And that’s all I know up to this point. I’m excited for life’s next surprise – and I’m starting realize that everything up until now has had a purpose.
So instead of trying to “make it through” your twenties, or waste them all away – just be 25. Or 24, or 26 or however old you are. Live for experiences – not things. Stop saying you don’t have time to do everything you want to do and MAKE TIME.
And laugh at yourself – because yea, you are a complete mess. But I’ve been told in these next few years, we all start to make a little more sense.