Put your hand up if you are in your 20s and you feel absolutely lost and scared. You’re always feeling like you’re behind. Yes, you’re not supposed to have it ALL figured out but at least you should know what you want, right?
Feeling young or old is subjective
I just turned 25 in August and trust me I know I’m still very young. But I’m sure no one in their 20 feels young. I’m sure those people complaining they are old are usually in their 20s. This is not because they are whiny millennials but it’s because we don’t feel like we have figured life out yet. Or at least at the rate, we thought we were supposed to.
I feel like people in their 30s or older don’t even complain they are old because they don’t feel uncomfortable at where they are at anymore. They feel more secure and more understanding of what they are and they have no complaints.
Unlike us, in our 20s. We’re in a rush, we’re in a discovery phase of making things work. That’s why we feel old and slow. Things just don’t seem to be happening for us. We feel left behind, they feel lost and they feel like time is running out.
You can argue this is not a problem for only the twenty-something but it goes beyond your 20s or even started before in your teens. Back when we were clueless high school students expected to know what you want to do for the rest of your life. I’d say it feels more pressure when you’re in your 20s. You’re old enough to enter the real world but too young to know what the hell you’re doing.
So, I’m 25 and I’m feeling lost. I thought I know what it’s like to feel lost before coming out of college at 21. Turns out you can be more lost. I quitted my first job that was going really well for an expensive Master’s degree that turns out I do not really need and now I’m back to square one.
Not to mention, I can’t really say I’m in my early 20s so I still have time to figure it out anymore. When you’re 25, you’re not in your early 20s anymore but you’re in your mid-20s. After this? Well, you’re in you’re officially in your late 20s. That’s a good wakeup call to ask that since you’re at your mid-point now, how’s the discovery going?
I can’t say I’m getting better at being uncomfortable or getting better at embracing uncertainties. On the other hand, I definitely think I gained a lot more perspective and starting to talk a little bit less. I mean I still talk a lot (obviously) but I am learning to listen more. I’m learning to take my time to feel a bit before calling my best friend on the phone.
I also happened to learn not to show EVERYTHING on social media (even on your private account only you and your besties share). It might look very insignificant but thinking for just a split second before doing something actually shows the wisdom I have somewhat I have accumulated.
It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop
Damn, this quote resonated so much. It’s becoming my favourite. I remember seeing this quote for the first time because it was Tumblr’s default quote for every new user. But as I grow up and I walk through life, I guess it makes more and more sense. Feeling lost while you walk is okay. Yes, it will definitely affect your speed but as long as you do not stop.. even if you don’t end up where you’re going, the truth is maybe you’ll end going to the place you are actually supposed to be. You know?
Feeling like I wasted my time..
I have no idea where that is but I think instead of regretting paying tens and thousands of dollars for an expensive degree and focusing on the 2 years of time I have “wasted”. I should see it as a very expensive lesson learnt. Something I need to do to know. Something that I need to get it over with and get out of my system to stop myself wondering “what if?“.
What if Australia was actually great? What if you LOVED Australia? Who knows what if you feel absolutely right at home in Australia? What if, what if, what if?
But since you went there you know it didn’t work out and it’s okay. Because you tried, you really did. I could have given up my first semester when I failed that stupid Economics class but I didn’t. I persevered through my tears and my enormous weight gain from stress-eating to come out at the end with a degree and the weight off.
Fuck, I even graduated with H2A which is only second to H1 for the University of Melbourne. I mean barely made H2A but for someone who failed her first class, I think I did well to have graduated at all.
There seem to be so many labels for everything these days and feeling lost at 25 has its name too. It’s called a quarter-life crisis since mid-life cannot come fast enough. Some also call it postgraduate depression. It’s that feeling when you feel stuck in the middle after an expensive degree. Too old and too overqualified to apply for entry-level jobs yet too young and underqualified to be applying for senior-level jobs.
So knowing me, I have watched some videos. And the main takeaways I got that are helpful in making me feel better are:
- Two words that can give you so much peace: It’s Okay
- It’s okay to be lost and confused in your 20s especially with social media showing everyone’s highlights
- Stop living our lives with a foot on the gas — meaning don’t rush through life hitting the gas trying to get to the next destination and the next destination and then realizing when you’re old that you just flew by your life
- You’re still young, but you’re not as young as you are used to be. At least at 25, you should know what you’re good at and what you’re bad at. What you like (writing, thinking, designing, analyzing, talking) and what you don’t like (Maths).
- Meet the universe halfway because no one is going to give you the life you want. You have to go out and get it but the twist is you are most certainly not going to end up where you are supposed to be. But along the way, you gained skills that created opportunities that would not have existed if you didn’t move along the way.
- Millennials are the most stressed generation, despite being known for entitlement, we do not think highly of ourselves. We want more than work-life balance, we want work-life integration that is more sustainable and has a purpose.
- The odds are against us despite being born into a digital age of convenience. We make 30% less than Baby Boomer at our age.
- Social media creates a perfectionist culture of success where people only show their highlight reals
- We then compare our REAL self to other people’s IDEAl selves
- The one thing that keeps you from getting what you want is self-doubt. It is why we get a crappy job and stay in a crappy relationship much longer than we know we should. Self-doubt is why we never change and that’s why we don’t take action. It is the story we tell ourselves that we can’t do something that is not possible. How we will get rejected and failed. This is why, oftentimes, smart people often fail. Because when you are really smart, you are really good at predicting all the negative outcomes and that’s why you never take action.
- Boldness is a stronger indicator of success than intelligence.
What these videos have in common is how social media creates a perfectionist culture of success. I want to write this to remind myself whenever I’m feeling lost that IT’S OKAY. Even though you don’t feel truly convinced.. it really is going to be okay. And maybe you should really cut yourself some slack and get off social media sometimes. Maybe it will help?
Goodbye for now.