“I feel old”
“I feel like I should have accomplished so much more”
“I have no idea what I’m doing”
Now there’s what we know as teenage angst, and then there is that on steroids, which you may know as The Quarter Life Crisis. It is real – I mean that it both exists and it is that deep. I sometimes feel like we’re in one of those flickering, black and white films of unregulated brain experiments with the guy in the white coat holding the really long syringe … or is it a saw? Basically, that Jim Carrey movie where his life isn’t actually his life, and he’s just being watched the entire time.
This year ’93 babies, like myself, will be embarking on their 25th year of living. I thought that at this point I would have a job, a place of my own, a semi-functional romantic situation that wasn’t getting in the way of my career ambitions and $$. You get me, I thought I would be the beez-neez (but like a conscious, about her business kind…not the paint the town red kind ‘cause that would be haram).
Instead I am an unemployed Master’s graduate, who’s moved back home although for all intents and purposes, I’m kickass at everything I do (if I do say so myself). This overachieving first born African daughter did not come to disappoint, let’s get that clear. However, we do live in an incredibly different time to our parents. We’ve seen the stats – millennials are gonna have the hardest time ever when it comes to jobs, owning a home, the average age of starting a family is a lot later than previous generations etc etc, essentially we’ve been told that we are screwed.
Here’s what’s interesting, I keep seeing this quote around social media that basically explains how your early 20s feel like you’re in constant competition and that you need to have things figured out by the time you’re 25. So you’re telling me, that in the 2-4 years since finishing uni/college we’re supposed to know the next 60 years of our lives? I don’t know about you but I’m still crying for my mum when I’m at the doctors, which of course is an incredibly great sign for my level of independence and having anything figured out. It amazes me that people from as young as 21 have set these assumptions on themselves. WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS? — live a little (this coming from me – a perfectionist – is really saying something).
I was having a conversation with my friend the other day about you not having to have things figured out at 25. You’re on a journey to figure out how you fit into this world and how you want to navigate it. I’m not saying don’t focus on your career, dreams and ambitions but I am definitely saying that you are not on this Earth for a job. Honestly, how much living have we done to know anything? Have we really tried anything out? If you’ve got it figured out, that is incredible and I am all here to cheer you on. However if you haven’t, do not sweat it…more often than not, people are just winging it.
You can spend your 20s stressing over every little decision, which in the grande scheme of things won’t even matter or you can live fully. Let yourself fail, succeed, cry, laugh…fall in love, fall out of love… make plans and then adjust them, crumple up that proposal and start another idea. Change your path if you need to, there are no rules to this. Let yourself be without expectations or an idea of who you think you should be. Be present and be conscious in your story, don’t let it pass you because you were chasing a caricature of yourself.