There is such an emphasis on youth and our twenties being the best time of our lives. Our twenties are meant to be filled with friends, dating, freedom from responsibility, partying and travelling. Even if this were true and that’s actually what happens it’s such a depressing thought having such a short period of our lives being dedicated to being the “best”. Then what happens after that, is it all just downhill from there? The concept feels so limiting and boring. In my reality my twenties have been a pretty rough time and generally underwhelming. I don’t think I’m alone in this experience. I remember watching a guy on YouTube who posted about what our twenties are really about. He mentions how lots of us are trying to figure out what we even want to do with our lives and recovering from childhood traumas.
I got lucky with knowing what I wanted to do as a career and how to pursue it but I recognise that not everyone is so lucky; in fact most people don’t have it that easy in knowing what they want or how to purse it. As I near the end of my twenties I look over the past decade and realise how it has been filled with trying to get my foot in the door and establish myself in my career and predominantly healing from past traumas. My late teen years were filled with going out, dating and partying however that did die down pretty quickly. Reality kicked in where it was clear I needed to get moving on studying and creating my own career path. I also had to invest so much in mental health and wellness.
The dating space was awkward and well below par. I feel as though when a lot of us are introduced to dating and relationships were are not sure what we want and the whole thing is such an odd experience, that many of us end up navigating a bit blindly. Throughout this time often we figure out a lot more about what we want, don’t want and what we won’t put up with.
If my twenties was meant to be this liberating and enjoyable time then it has been a real disappointment. I’m in a position now where I live out of the family home, I’m settling in full time work and I’ve made some meaningful, close friendships. I have clear goals for the future, I know more about what type of people to surround myself with and I’m excited for the prospects of meaningful travel with where humanitarian work will take me.
The possibilities for people having children, joy and fulfillment within a career or even travelling and celebrating when we are older, does this all become somehow unexciting and not as enjoyable? The pressure to enjoy our twenties as if it’s the only good time in our lives is limiting and wrong. There is joy and pain in every period of our lives and I think we should always be excited by that.