Living life as a twenty-something is confusing and disorienting at times. We’re not even legal until we’re twenty-one. Only three years before that, we were still kids. We were teenagers who were going to school, participating in extracurricular activities, and dreaming about “when I grow up.” Then it was easy. We knew what we wanted, and we had a blueprint of how we were going to do it. Then, we graduated and slowly lost the hope and dreams we had as we learned that adulting is hard, money is limited, and life is short.
When I was twenty-one, I moved out of my childhood home and into the home of my roommate’s parents. The parents moved out and rented their home to their three daughters and me—as well as two other girls who came and went in brief time. Last fall, Adana moved out and got married. In October of this year, Alysa moved out and bought her own home. On November 1st, I moved back into my childhood neighborhood. Before the end of the year, Ana will be moving in with a new roommate. Today, I realized that the directions in which we’ve gone scream, “This is your twenties wrapped up neatly for you to try to understand.”
Our twenties are our years of self-discovery, self-destruction, and self-rediscovery. We go to college, or in my case don’t, and try to figure out how we’re going to make our childhood dreams come true. Then, we learn it’s not as easy as we thought it would be. So, we give up or we look for a new dream. Now, we know adulting is hard and doing what we have to do instead of what we want to do is depressing. So, we continue to do what we have to do, but we also slowly learn how to keep our hopes and dreams alive, because if we don’t, then what’s the point?
Everyone’s on the same, but different path in their twenties. Some people, like Adana, are taking their single player game and making it a multi-player game by getting married and or having kids, while the rest of us are staying in single player mode. Single players like Alysa are moving up the board latterly, players like Ana are moving horizontally, and players like me are taking a few steps back. None of these moves are better or worse than the others. They’re just different. In so being different, sometimes they take us away from the players we played with before and introduce us to new players.
For example, I am 100% single and I have no kids. I don’t own a home and I don’t work a high paying job. I didn’t even go to college. Some of my friends of the same age are newly married, others have kids, and some are still on the same track of life that I’m on. Some have the jobs of their dreams, others have moved across the country, or even across the world, and others have stayed exactly where we’ve been for the past five to ten years. Along the way, I’ve lost some friends as we’ve started different rounds of this game called life, but I’ve also gained new friends who are still on the same round with me.
Living life as a twenty-something is confusing and at times disorienting. Most of the time I don’t know what I’m doing and half the time I don’t even know who I am. I lose and gain friends faster than I ever imaged possible, and life changes at the drop of a dime. Today, I’m reemployed at the job I started in high school, I’ve moved back to my childhood neighborhood, I’m still single at twenty-four, even though I’d really like to have a family, and I’m still trying to figure out how to make my dreams come true. Tomorrow, all of that could change though. I could wake up and go to church to meet a handsome new fellow who will make my dreams of becoming a wife and mother come true. I could wake up to find this blog post has gone viral and I’m suddenly internet famous with the potential to see my dreams of being an author finally come true. Or, like the vivid dream I had a few nights ago, I could wake up to find one of my YouTube videos has gone viral and quickly become signed to be the famous singer the nine-year-old me always thought I would be. All that could happen, or I could wake up to the same life I’m currently living, but go to church and find that my best friend’s life has drastically changed since I saw her at church last week.
I’m in my mid-twenties. In less than one month, I will be twenty-four. Living life as a twenty-something is confusing and at times disorienting, but that’s okay. As unpredictable and uncomfortable as the twenties are; they’re also exciting and potentially more life-changing than any other decade of our lives! Let’s live our twenties to the fullest and embrace them like we never have before. We’re learning and growing more than we ever did as children and teenagers and that’s something to be excited about. It’s something to encourage and inspire us to be the very best versions of ourselves that we can be!
“Don’t let anyone [including yourself] think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.”
1 Timothy 4:12 (NLT)