The Anti-Twenty-Something, Twenty-Something Post

Every week, I find myself reading another post about being in my twenties.

5 Mistakes Every 20-Something Should Make Questions for 20-Somethings, Why being In Your Twenties Sucks, Why 20-Somethings Need To Start Dressing Better, 25 Things I’ve Learned In My Twenties.

These vacillate wildly between Cloud-9 positivity, and deep depression. One moment, you’re “so lucky to have everything you have!” and the other, you feel as if every day is “such a disappointment.”

Frankly, I’m effing confused about how I’m supposed to feel about my twenties now. I don’t think I entered my twenties as a “fashion disaster” (in fact, my twenty year old sister is the most fashionable person I know, so I’m certain this isn’t true), I know where my life is headed, I’ve never had (and will never want to have) a one night stand, I am quite sure I’ve known a jerk from a non-jerk since I got over my first crush at 13. Yes, ugh, I’m well aware my metabolism has slowed down and I’ll need a three-month heads-up before ever putting on a bathing suit (even in the privacy of my own dark bedroom). And lastly, I most certainly wake up feeling terrible if I overindulge in alcoholic beverages. I am no longer 19.

But other than those few things, there’s only one thing has really changed from my teen years. One thing that I wake up every day feeling, and I know, without a doubt, every other twenty-something out there feels as well. And that’s instability.

Now I’m not going to sit here and specify what sort of instability everyone feels. In that way, we’re all different (thus why these twenty-something pieces irritate me).

On my way to Pitchfork Music Festival – 20 years old (my parents drove us)

Mom on her wedding day – 20 years old

Some of us will feel financial instability. We’ll splurge on that $800 bag and then eat Ramen for the next week. We don’t know whether to prioritize groceries, a gym membership, or $40 for a mani/pedi. We cringe when we have to pay the rent, pay the cable bill, or split down the middle at a girls night dinner where we purposefully ordered cheap.

Others will feel emotional instability – our relationships are charged. We’re no longer young and carefree and we naturally have expectations for the future. How our relationships will evolve, who we’ll spend the rest of our lives with, what it’ll be like when we travel the world together. And we live by those expectations, navigating through our lives in a way that ensures all of our lovesick dreams will come to fruition. But at the end of the day, they’re just intangible ideals.  And it’s so easy to feel uncertain about the future. Some may take a while to reach this stage, but hold tight, it’s coming. And the scariest, scariest part of it all, is you never know. We’re in our twenties, after all. And instability is the biggest foe of relationships.

Many of us will feel instability in our friendships. What is it about maintaining friendships in your twenties?! Given, you all just spent 3-4 years together in college, and now you’re scattered all over the place, but why the insecurity? Why the fight? Why the sadness? Can’t we just all virtually hold hands over Google Hangout and agree that we will inevitably disagree? That all of our lives our different? That maybe one friend literally doesn’t have time for a 30-minute catch-up, even on the weekends? That the other is married now and prioritizes her husband over her friends? That one of our girlfriends is going to have a baby soon!? Shit is changing. But that doesn’t mean we don’t still care. We just need to buckle up, huddle together, and protect each other from the shit storm. We need to hold on to the good times, make the best of our annual visits, and remember that when it comes down to it, if we really, truly, need each other, all will be dropped. Plane tickets will be purchased. And we’ll be together, again.

So next time you read another damn twenty-something post, keep in mind that we’re all different. You don’t need to have sex all the time, or do drugs, or spend money you don’t have. It’s okay to be a responsible twenty-something. That doesn’t mean you aren’t living (despite what others may tell you). Do YOUR thing while you’re young, before you have dem babies, before you add another entire family to your life.  Who the hell knows what they’ll say about you when you’re thirty.




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