"Your 20s are ’selfish’ years. It’s a decade to immerse yourself in every single thing possible. Be selfish with your time, and all the aspects of you. Tinker with shit, travel, explore, love a lot, love a little, and never touch the ground.” - Kyoko Escamilla
Hands up, who else is struggling to navigate through this thing we call adulthood? Well, welcome to the club my friends! I’ve been feeling out of sorts lately, waking up every morning and telling myself “today is the day I get my shit together”, after spending one too many Sundays in church unwillingly sobbing through praise & worship because “life is just so hard!”.
I look at the older generations in my family and can’t help feeling weak in comparison. I’ll be turning 27 this year and by that age, my mother was married with two children, a husband and a two storey house to look after. My elder sister was married with one child, a husband, a house and three thriving careers to nurture. I struggled to just get showered today!
And it’s not just me. This year alone, I’ve met so many ladies in their 20s battling anxiety because they expressed feeling similarly. As teenagers, we so innocently believed that by this age, we’d have everything figured out. Hell, I thought I’d be speeding round town in my Audi TT but really I haven’t even passed my driving test yet! It turns out the world is a more confusing and scary landscape than we had ever realised. Shit!
After speaking to anyone and everyone that would listen to my first-world woes, a friend gratefully challenged my perspective on the matter by reminding me that the world now is a totally different social environment than what previous generations grew up in.
People are living longer, having children later and residing at home till an age that most would be embarrassed to admit.
So while we may have boarded the “Adult Train”, we are actually just better dressed, modern day teenagers - 21st Century babies with bank accounts.
A little more research, and I found out that this is actually a scientific theory! In fact, we millennials (those in Western cultures/with said first-world probs) are currently experiencing a crisis in identity because we are living in an "in-between” stage, somewhere in the middle of adolescent and adult. In layman’s term, quarter life crisis is real people!
Plus, our technology is so invasive, creating a generation of FOMO monsters. We spend so much time online witnessing everyone else’s amazing lives filtered through a screen, which unfortunately just boosts that anxiety level to past boiling because we haven’t accomplished what society decrees we should have by now! It might all seem silly but genuinely these problems are real, very challenging and affecting this generation’s mental health.
So the solution? Hey, I’m not yet a psychologist so I got nada. But it sure feels good to know that I’m not the only one weighed down by emerging adulthood. Maybe a little less time online spent comparing and a little more time working out what makes us happy would be helpful. Regardless, if you’re feeling like a mid 20 something year old loser, just remember you’re not alone! Seemingly, it’s just part of the journey we all have to go through - the teething pains of trying to adult in this new-age, tech heavy mess we call our world. So hang in there, kids!