Growing up, I always thought that I’d be happy when I reached my twenties. It seemed like such a grown-up number. People in their twenties were young, carefree… They could do whatever they wanted whenever they wanted because they were adults. Parents couldn’t tell them what to do anymore. Young me liked this concept very much.
Since reaching this oh-so-magical time in my life, I realise that things are a bit more complicated than I initially thought they would be. Even though I really hate using the term “complicated” to describe life, you should all know it’s accurate, nevertheless.
The reality is that we can’t just waltz off and do whatever we want. We all have responsibilities – and if we don’t have responsibilities we need money to get anywhere. This was something I never had to think about as a child. I don’t think I would have been able to understand it, anyway.
So here I am, in my twenties, wondering if I’m living my life wrong. Deep down I still think that I should be happy simply because I’m supposedly “grown-up” and young. I think this feeling is often reinforced by other members of society – particularly, though not always, an older crowd that has the best of intentions.
Whenever I try to express my anxiety and uncertainties about my life to this group of people, I’m told that I’m young and should just enjoy life. Trying to have a serious conversation about how it feels to still be living at home, or rejected from the jobs I’ve applied for, proves to be very difficult. They just can’t seem to understand why I feel weighed down when I have a whole future ahead of me.
Sometimes my problems are dismissed – that because I’m still young, what I feel isn’t valid or real. I recognise that other people have issues that are way worse than mine, but my own troubles still feel very real to me and, I suspect, to many others in a similar position.
I don’t understand where the concept of being carefree in your twenties even comes from. At this point in time, we’re still trying to figure out what we want from life and how to go about getting it. At times, we question the decisions we’ve made – should we have chosen differently?
I think that because we have so much of our lives ahead of us, we tend to stress out and over-analyse our choices. Or, at least I do. Yet, I often feel guilty for experiencing these anxieties and so choose to not discuss them. I think there are a lot of people out there who do the same thing.
Silencing ourselves in this way is a mistake. It’s okay to not be happy in your twenties. Repeat: it’s okay to not be happy in your twenties!
We have a lot of choices ahead of us. If this makes a little too anxious to be as carefree as some people think we should be then that’s just too bad… At least we’re taking our futures seriously.
Although, I would like to clarify that if you are happy and stress-free during your twenties – this is perfectly fine too. Let’s just agree to stop judging each other based on what we feel. We can’t help the fact that we have emotions.
Some people forget that happiness is an emotion, not a state of being. We’re never going to be happy all the time; that’s just unrealistic. During the course of our lives we’re going to feel happy, sad, angry, tired, anxious, peaceful… The list goes on. Our emotions are constantly shifting, and I personally think I’d be a bit freaked out if I met someone who was happy all the time. It just wouldn’t seem natural.
So, remember that feeling a little lost or unsure in your twenties is nothing to be ashamed of. Not being happy every moment of every day is completely normal. You just keep on living life as best you can and don’t let anyone tell you how you should be living (and feeling) during your life.
- Are you currently happy in your twenties, or do you get a bit stressed out from time to time?
- Do you have any idea what you’re doing?
- What are some of your worries at the moment?
Images sourced from Ivory Mix.