20something

Your 20’s are your selfish years. Old enough to make the right decisions and young enough to make the wrong ones. Be selfish with your time - travel, explore, fall in and out of love, be ridiculous and silly, stupid and wild.
Be 20something.
—  Unknown
on desperation

We can do better than this. 

I.  I can do so much better than this.

This morning, 27 years old, I drank the coffee I’d left on the kitchen table the night before.  I carried my bike down the stairs and surveyed the driveway for black ice.  Even at 10 am, it was too cold for pedestrians.  The streets were empty, and the cold burned my eyes at stop signs.  I pedaled through town to the canyon path and climbed.  It was time to acknowledge my fears.

I am afraid of failure.  I am not terribly unique. 

I am afraid of failure, of looking stupid, foolish, and desperate.  I am afraid of people knowing that I am.  I am clawing at the walls, falling to my knees, slamming my fists on the floor demanding more out of life.  And I fell prey to the belief that this sort of desperation was unattractive.  I swam in the pool of laissez-faire, thinking that not giving a fuck made someone fuckable, loveable. But I am beginning to believe that is wrong.  I am beginning to believe that desperation is the burning, the furrowed brow.  It is the speakers at full blast and the rain soaking through your clothes.  I am tired of not showing my desperation because I am tired of pills that slow my heart rate, of conversations that glaze over issues, of polite laughs and don’t worry it’s cool, ‘cause it’s not cool – it’s bullshit and I am learning to say so without the disclaimer, without the “cool girl” cover. 

I am afraid of failure, but I am redefining it.  Failure is not rejection.  Failure is not unrequited love.  Failure is not second, third, or last place.  Failure is silence.  I made a misguided promise to myself when I was 22 that if I didn’t “make it” by the time I turned 25, I would stop trying.  I wanted my failure to fit in a box of my own deciding, tucked away on the shelf of things I could say I never really wanted anyway. 

I want to burn that shelf.  I want to shred it into slivers and swallow them into nothing. 

I used to think that 27 sounded old, but the older I get, the younger I feel.  We are crushed by our own inadequacies, by headlines like “30 Under 30.”  There are 30 fucking people on that list and millions of people in that age demographic – am I really supposed to be upset I’m not on it?  Am I really supposed to read that article on my iPad in my one bedroom apartment, well fed and well dressed and think I’m a failure?  Fuck you.  

I got better this year.  I got better at communicating, cycling, climbing, and all sorts of other ‘c’ words, but I limited myself by believing that opportunity came with youth.  Youth is a spotlight on success, but you poison yourself believing that you need to have your named carved in stone by the age of 23 to reach glory.  That’s not glory, that’s a tombstone. 

Look in the mirror and feel lost. Feel useless and confused and without direction.  But feel it deeply.  Ask how you got here so many times that the only answer you have left is you.  Feel this desolation to the point of desperation and get better.  I don’t care if New Years resolutions are corny.  I’m corny.  I am ensemble-romantic-comedy corny.  I’m a dreamer, a star-gazing, love-declaring desperado.  I’m a bad Jennifer Lopez movie, a Demi Lovato pop song, champagne in the park, and a proposal on the ballgame big screen. I am a hip switching, heel clicking, hair flipping movie montage and I am tired of acting like that’s a bad thing. I am foolish and foolhardy, stupid and proud, cinematic and desperate to live the life I envisioned for myself.  And I’m going to get exactly what I want because of it.  

Yeah, there are rules of etiquette we’re gonna follow.  There are tried and true pieces of advice we should all listen to, but what star of history ever said placate your fire, squelch your dreams?  What adventurer, what explorer, what dreammaker ever said “23 is past your prime.”  We’re so drugged up, we’re so in line, we’re so yes sir yes ma’am, and we fade to the pale gray of the background assuming that if success does not come young, it does not come at all.  You want a happier life?  You want a colored sky?  You want a real New Years Resolution?

Get better at shit.  And be desperate to do so.  Because life is a long, long time to complain about being past your prime.  

Positive, healthy, loving relationships in your twenties… I don’t know if anyone would disagree with it: I think they’re the exception, not the norm. People are either playing house really aggressively because they’re scared of what an uncertain time it is, or they’re avoiding commitment altogether.
—  Lena Dunham
2

I met the most clueless straight cisdudebro at work tonight.

Also propably the worst Where’s Waldo-player in the history of humankind.

20 Things No One Tells You About Your 20s

The struggle is real. You graduated, but you’re not actually an adult. You’ve entered the work force, but you’re entirely unprepared. You’re in your 20s, but it’s not at all as seen on TV. Here’s what no one tells you about life after graduation.

  1. The quarter life crisis is real.
  2. There are no birthdays to look forward to after 21. Yeah, you can rent a car at 25, but have you ever spent time at an Enterprise? That place makes a quarter life crisis seem fun.
  3. Unlike college, there’s not free food everywhere you turn, and you have to grocery shop constantly if you’re not into a starvation diet.
  4. You eat fast food alone on your lunch break out of necessity, not after long nights out with friends when you’re too drunk to count calories.
  5. All of your college friends used to be in one place, and now everyone’s spread out (until the next wedding, at least).

Keep reading

27 Things All 27 Year Olds Should Know

1: You’re not 30 yet, but don’t be afraid to act like it every now and then.

2: You’re not 30 yet, so don’t be afraid to act 22 every now and then.

3: *NSYNC is good for the soul, BSB is a close third. There is no second.

4: Don’t save as much money as you feel like you need to. Spend a little so you can look back when your 65 and say “Sure I retired 3 years later than most of my friends, but I did some amazing things in my 20s that they will never be able to do in their 60s.”

5: Leave your comfort zone.

6: Move. At the very least move away from your hometown or home state. The USA is huge, the world is even huge-er.

7: Experiment with some things you were told never to experiment with.

8: Do Yoga - if you can’t touch your toes now, guess what you won’t be able to touch in 10 years.

9: Learn something new today.

10: Learn something new this year.

11: Don’t watch the news.

12: Put some money in a brokerage account and try your luck at the stock market. You may win, you may lose, but you will certainly gain a better understanding of it. (Hint: sometimes you have to trust your gut)

13: Do something you hated as a kid, but wish you wouldn’t have quit. (Hint: for most of you this is probably piano)

14: Duolingo.com (you are welcome).

15: Apply for jobs, shows, contests, and other stuff you don’t even think you have a shot at. That needle is somewhere in the haystack, why not try to find it.

16: Don’t be afraid to love someone, because they love you.

17: Stop thinking about that one thing you want to do and….DO IT. You are only as stuck as you think you are.

18: Pick an airline and be loyal. When you reach status, you’ll get it.

19: Make good friends, but more importantly be a good friend. Call them, catch up with them, keep up with them, and make a point to see them. You will never be given another pool of “friend candidates” like you were given in college, so treasure the ones you made there.

20: Think about all the societal norms you subscribe to and break the mold a little. It’s fun to be different.

21: Born-School-Job-Retirement-Die, doesn’t have to be your path.

22: The grass IS always greener if you allow it to still be green when you get to the other side.

23: Do something “dangerous” (sky dive, cliff jump, rock climb, etc.) It is probably less dangerous than other stuff you do everyday, like driving to work.

24: Do everything you can to make your credit score go up and up and up.

25: Go to Oktoberfest in Munich

26: Chase something - a dream, a butterfly, a job - you might catch it.

27: Write a cliche list of ## of things ______ should do/know (before)…

28: Then write one more thing, so the title of your list doesn’t make any sense.