What sinks in when you turn 20? Oh, that would be reality.
A friend sent me this post recently, probably as a result of my new blog theme, which enumerates 20-something ways to know you are a 20-something (although you should be able to tell by taking a gander at your birth certificate).
Most are quite humorous, (such as #15 “You remember a time before the internet”). However, a couple of them really resonated with me.
#18 in the 20-something list says, “Time goes by quicker than ever before, for an unknown reason, and the more you try to slow it down the faster it goes.” I have found this to be increasingly true since I started working full time in May. It’s all I can do to eat dinner and organize myself each evening after work, I have absolutely NO IDEA how parents take care of themselves and their children. Work/life balance is a concept that I am finding difficult to implement in my life, and yet it never seemed to be a problem when I was at school 8 hours a day.
But it was #1 that stood out to me as the most descriptive of what it feels like to be 20-something, “There is a nagging suspicion in your brain that there’s something missing. Not missing as in “Sh*t I lost my cell phone.” But missing as in, you wake up in the morning not really sure of your path in life, if this is really what you want to do, and if this perpetual hangover is really how life is supposed to feel.”
Well, ok, I don’t feel like I have a perpetual hangover, but there is a nagging feeling of uncertainty that I can’t shake. I’m jealous of friends who have started jobs in their chosen careers, or are enrolled for a secondary degree, because I feel like these things show they have chosen a path. I’m tired of having to explain to people why I work in child care when my undergraduate degree is in Politics.
It was in my last year of university that the idea of the looming ‘real world’ started to sink in. And the reality is, life is what you make of it. This was a big realization for me, as up until university my life had mostly been guided by my parents and their expectations. The thought that I would now set my own expectations was pretty scary.
Somehow, we’ve become so rushed and competitive, that for many it is unthinkable to spend time working in a field that I will likely not pursue in the future. I’m not sure what I want to do in the future yet, and I think that’s ok. But then why do I get such confused expressions in response to my ‘christmas party spiel’ about what I’ve been doing since graduation? Why does it need to be this way? And how did we get to this point? Are these just crazy ramblings or do you feel the same?