I tend to over think a lot of aspects of my life which to be perfectly honest is very frustrating. I don’t know if other people are like this and if they are they certainly don’t show it. It’s not that I find life particularly hard – especially when I watch the world news, it’s just that I don’t feel as though I’m in the place I thought I’d be as I slowly approach my 27th birthday.
The reaction to this, especially by those older than me, is that this is supposed to be the time of my life. My mid-20s are something to be grabbed held of and celebrated. It’s the “perfect age” as Patti exclaimed tonight on Millionaire Matchmaker. I think in Patti’s case she views women in their mid-20s (heck any woman in her 20s) as being gold. Perhaps this is because she’s approaching 50 and is reflecting on her life – or rather love life. She wants to implant all her relationship knowledge into a younger woman so they can find it easier to navigate relationships. And man do I want to be her guinea pig.
So I wonder if this is supposed to be the “time of my life” why doesn’t it feel like it? Don’t get me wrong I’m proud of the life I’ve created for myself – living on my own has given me the ability to self soothe and it has made me incredibly resilient. I don’t think I truly grew up until I left home and had to rely on myself to pay the bills or even cook myself dinner for that matter. I hate the idea of relying on someone else. Perhaps it’s because I don’t like the feeling of being disappointed. If I disappoint myself I can work through it – I have disappointed myself a lot in the last 12 months but to be hurt by someone else? No thank you.
I don’t really think I’m special at all – I think everyone goes through this but no one really speaks up about it. I’m a typical 20-something stuck in what feels like a mid-life (quarter-life?) crisis. Now before I go out and buy myself a motorbike it might be helpful to take a few steps back and reevaluate. There is a lot of pressure on young people, primarily from themselves to succeed. Not just financially but personally as well. When I was a teenager or even up until before my 26th birthday I felt like I had all the time in the world. I was focused on finishing my degree in journalism because I wanted to be a writer. I still want to be a writer but being a writer doesn’t pay the bills so I work my ass off at my day job during the week. Do I feel like a sell out? Sort of. It’s not that I don’t love writing – it’s my passion and has been my dream since I was a little girl but I just wish I had a more “realistic” dream. But then I think who’s dream is realistic? Is a doctor’s dream to cure cancer realistic? Not at all.
On a personal note I thought I would have met the person I was going to marry by now. For a long time I thought I did but it didn’t work out the way I thought it would. I’m terribly sad about that but more than anything I haven’t taken anything negative out of the experience. I’ve learnt a lot about myself through my relationships. I’ve realised a lot of ugly truths about who I am and who I want to be. I’m not proud of a lot of the mistakes I have made but what I am proud of is being much more self aware as I get older. I’m not perfect, very far from it in fact, but I don’t pretend to be. What I do know is I don’t want to take that same person into my next relationship.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt being a ’20 something’ is that you don’t receive anything that you don’t give to someone else. If you want more romance in your relationship then you need to start being more romantic first, you can’t sit at home wishing your partner would buy you flowers or take you out someplace nice – if you do those things first you get back what you give. Tenfold. It’s easy to reflect on past mistakes and want your time over again, but you can’t live in the past – onwards and upwards makes you stronger. It’s made me strong again.
I think if I open myself up to letting go of the 20-something angst and embrace these years I might find what I’m looking for. I need to let go of over thinking every situation, or at least think less. If I stop making myself feel bad for not having “that” job or “that” relationship I might be happier with all the wonderful things I do have. It’s easy to sweat the stuff we don’t have and believe me I do it often enough. I wonder why some people meet “the one” at such a young age – I always think they’re so lucky to find a companion so early on. But then I think I’m glad I have these years on my own so I’m my own person outside of my relationship and I know if it doesn’t work out, I won’t crash and burn. That’s either incredibly realistic or the romantic inside of me has just died.
Do you find it tough being 20-something? Is it (was it) the “time of your life”? Are you where you pictured you’d be at your age?
Rose Russo has written 56 posts.
Rose is a freelance writer, blogger and self confessed chocoholic who could quite easily live on a diet of turkish delight and English breakfast tea. She loves the fast paced nature of online media but sometimes feels like she’s the only member of Gen Y who still gets excited to pick up the newspaper on weekend mornings. If anyone has a Sportsgirl addiction cure please let her know [I may be on a first-name basis at my local store] She also writes a weekly column focusing on relationships, friendship and life stuff on her blog at The Budding Rose
Follow on twitter: @thebuddingrose