Wednesday, April 3, 2013
When being 20 isn't living up to its perks
When I was younger, I had some grand master plan for my twenties, or what I fondly use to called being 'grown up.' I don't know when or how I began my diabolical plotting (I might just blame all those romance novels I would submit myself to) but somehow I had mapped out my entire future. You see, for my 16 year old self, turning 20 was a lifetime away, so far into the future that it was only natural for me to achieve so many awesome and life-changing things in that time. I knew I wanted to study, graduate with some fabulous degree, move out of home, travel all over the world, land some high profile job. I knew what age that I wanted to meet the perfect guy, how long we would be together before we would marry, and what age I would be when I had my first child.
I remember one day at lunch when I was in high school telling my friends that if I hadn't achieved most of that by 25 that I would adopt. Let me emphasise that again, by 25 years old I would adopt a child. I am now realizing what utter ridiculousness that was. I may only be 20 now but my GOD I will not achieve all of that in the next 4 years. I like to think it was because I was horribly naive or that I was some over achiever, but is being in your 20s really not what it is cranked up to be? I clearly thought that if I hadn't sorted out my shit by the time I was 25, obviously I was a failure.
I believe if my 16 year old self were around, they would be royally disappointed with what I have (or haven't) achieved. But should my present self be disappointed? I think most of my goal planning was based off my mother who by 22 was married, had her first child and owned her first home. But I don't I should be ashamed right? I mean I'm still here, I'm still kicking and while achieving things little by little, at least it's something right? RIGHT?
But being 20 just seems less adult-y then it did when I was 16. When I was a teenager, my perception of being 20 was much more different that what it really is shaping out to be. My 16 year old self saw me making money, and lots of it, with plenty of friends who were like family dining in chic little cafes in the city, that I would meet someone at university and we would fall in love instantly. My 16 year old self saw being 20 something as being old, and obviously old enough to lead an established life.
My now 20 year old still lives at home, working the same stupid part-time job that I had when I was 14. There is no such thing as dining at cute little cafes as there is splurging on the loose change menu at Maccas, and there is no intense love life happening at all, zero zilch nada nothing. The only thing in common is that I do feel old (minus the established life). When I think about it, in the few years between being 16 and 20 nothing has really changed for me at all and that's kinda sad.
But apparently I am not alone in my horrible dilemma. Blogger Emma Koenig, 24, has become an internet sensation from her musings about the lack luster life of a twenty something. She runs a blog
fuckiminmy20s.tumblr.com that chronicles her dating dramas, job dramas and friendship dramas. Go on, take a peek and have a good laugh, it makes you feel slightly better about being twentysomething and seeing someone else go through the same things.
However, I do need to keep in mind I did recently turn 20, but in all honesty the way things are heading, the next 5 years or so will pretty much the same shit go. Hopefully it's not and I don't need to adopt by 25 (heavens forbid). My 16 year old self obviously had high expectations of me and being that fabulous twentysomething. Here's to the next 10 years!
If you're in your twenties, is it living up to what you thought it would be? Or are you the (rare) exception that has made the the rest of us look horribly mundane? Comment below!
Photo sourced from here