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The Trials and Tribulations of Your 20s

a quote by someone on the interweb

"I want to be a veterinarian when I grow up!"

Cat dies at age 7, at which point you realize you cannot emotionally handle losing animals.

"I want to be a police officer!"

The tragedy of 9/11 occurs at age 11, reconsiders the safety in this career path.

"I want to talk to children in court as a profession!"

Feels so much internal turmoil due to home life at age 19, can't imagine not bringing that emotion home from the job.

"Wow, ultrasound is so incredible, I want to work in the medical field- those jobs will never run out."

Wakes up at 27, what am I doing with my life? 

As I child (and teen), I don't remember wanting to grow up because I wanted my own money, or my own home, or even my own car. I wanted to grow up so I could explore things on my own regard, feel responsible for the decisions that were being made in my life, and live in a peaceful loving environment. 

I can recall people preaching about the teen years being a doozy and high school being rough—just wait 'til you get to college! 

  •     Teen years being a doozy—accurate.
  •     High school being rough—understatement.
  •     Wait 'til I get to college?—was that supposed to be a positive thing? 

Insert laughter here.

What I wish someone would've told me is, wait.

Wait to chase your career.

Wait to spend 10s of thousands of dollars on an education.

Wait to move in with a guy.

Wait to fall in love with someone else, fall in love with yourself first.

Looking back on youth, from the stand point of your 20s, is a challenge. There are a dozen different people and situations that you could, easily, blame you current situation on—but come on, you have minimal to no control over a lot of your upbringing until you get to, just about, your 20s... and at that point, you've already got one foot in the black hole!

I've got $80,000 worth of education under my belt. 5 days a week I wake up dreading the fact that I'm going to go to my job, pour an abundance of beer to patrons, and hear (for the 100th time) how the only thing else they need is "1 million dollars."

Insert laughter here. 

In the rush to grow up and have the independence, there is a picture painted by society that you must go to college immediately, get that dream job, AND THEN!!!! Your life will be set! Yeah, but what about the fact that at 20, you haven't even really been introduced to the world, you literally have no idea what your passions will be and how they will change. (See accrued student loan debt above.)

How about those relationships, eh? They are fun! Oh, we've been dating 2 months and you need a place to stay? OMG! You should totally move in. (Side note—why did no one tell me that was an awful idea?) Or was I just so stubborn because he was not in his 20s... so he OBVIOUSLY had his shit together. Tee hee hee... jokes on me. Hey, let's skip to the next relationship—he's closer to your age and is just as lost as you, this has to go better. 

Insert laughter here.

I know I'm not the only one, the only nearly 30 year old who goes through every day saying, there must be more. There is more. Should I have just gotten married, popped out some kids? Then would my life be filled with more purpose? Uh, yeah? Obviously. I'd have my offspring needing me every moment, of every day.

For now I'll opt for the less than amusing bar patrons. 

My 20s are coming to a close shortly, I'm approaching my 28th birthday in 10 days. Where did time go? Where did my 20s go? As the planner that I am, I definitely had different expectations of myself at 28. Ah, expectations. There it is. The root of problem, the source of this confusion, the fucking core of this black hole. 

At the start of this year I felt the shift, I'd been graduated for 2.5 years. I had been pursuing a job in ultrasound, even heavily considered moving to ALASKA for a job opportunity. Then it hit me. I wasn't passionate about this. I couldn't consciously spend the next 30+ years doing a job that didn't excite me EVERY day. I'd spent the last 7 years (all of my 20s) setting these expectations of myself. 

  • Finish school
  • Find life partner
  • Find great paying job
  • Do all of this by 30 AT THE LATEST.

Insert laughter here.

My advice to you, if you are approaching your 20s, in the middle of your 20s, or (like me) seeing your 20s shortly coming to a close. Is pay attention to you. Focus on what makes you happy, focus on what makes you sad. Find the parts that fill your heart with bliss. Most importantly, make sure when you look in the mirror you abundantly love yourself. These things don't really happen overnight, they take time and energy. It takes the mindset of not settling for some shitty job, and not settling on a boyfriend that you can sort of have fun with—sometimes, and not settling for only being happy sometimes. Don't get twisted, it's a constant growth, and I certainly don't have it all figured out yet.  In fact, I woke up this morning not knowing exactly what 28 is going to look like. All I really know about 28 is I can no longer have expectations. I can only set my intentions and wait to follow a path when it feels right, not because there is a time limit. 

What I wish someone would've told me is, do.

Do what makes you happy.

Do what feels right in the moment. 

Do the things you've been putting off.

Do you.

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