Life can be cruel in your mid-late 20s.
Fresh out of our college years, we’re encouraged to be young and live free. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Reality snaps your Chambong over her knee (if you don’t know what a Chambong is…, you’re welcome) and demands immediate answers:
Why haven’t you started your career?
Why aren’t you married?
Why aren’t you pregnant?
Why don’t you know what you’re going to do with the rest of your life?
I’m just over here like:
That’s pretty overwhelming for someone who just started making their own dentist appointments and thought that preparing dinner, without the help of a microwave, meant that they were walking into life like:
Well, Reality… she’s singing a different tune and it begins and ends with BOOP!
She’s literally saying, “Girl, bye…get your life together.”
So, let’s start with her first question:
1. Why haven’t you started your career?
Remember when you were little and adults used to ask you what you wanted to be when you grew up? With stars in your eyes, you answered with your hopes and dreams: Artist, Singer, Dancer, Top Chef…the list went on. Where did things go wrong? At what moment did our childhood aspirations become pipe dreams with Reality’s little voice in our head whispering:
“Congratulations, you successfully completed a Kindergarten art project, while intoxicated, at a Groupon ‘Paint Nite‘. You’re not Van Gogh – but you’ll be taking VanGO to work if you don’t put down that brush and finish the Excel spreadsheet your boss didn’t feel like doing so he delegated to you.
“News flash – you’re not Britney Spears. And by the way, your ass looks like a melted candle, wrapped in a sausage casing, in those leggings. The closest thing you’ll ever get to a world tour is a complementary Zumba class at World’s Gym.
“No, you’re not Betty Crocker – you’re just basic. Drop the fondant and pick out your favorite shade of gold paper clips from Kate Spade because they’re going to be the only thing keeping you from joining a doomsday cult, in a fall-out shelter, to avoid spending one more day in your center cubicle by the Xerox machine.
Okay, moving on:
2. Why aren’t you married?
3. Why aren’t you pregnant?
These two kind of go hand-in-hand. Again, for most of us, our childhood fantasies (and Disney) have shaped what we look for in a husband/father. He should be tall, handsome, heir to a kingdom and ride a white horse. Which, in 2016, means: the Hemsworth Brothers, Chace Crawford and Channing Tatum have a 30-year-old baby who lives in a mansion in Malibu, is the CEO of a Fortune 500 company and drives a white Mercedes. On top of that – he should be charming, kind and sweep us off of our feet and into his magical kingdom where we never have to work again. We’ll spend our days admiring our 10-carat, D Flawless, Emerald-cut, diamond engagement ring, planning our budget-less, fairy-tale wedding and focusing on what’s really important – what Instagram filter to use.
No problem, right….right?!
Hey Girl, it’s time to take down your Ryan Gosling screen-saver and choose between the nice selection of Dad-bods at your local watering hole – you’re not getting any younger.
While we’re at it, your eggs are drying up faster than your face and that’s saying a lot. Call them “laugh lines” if you want …they’re crow’s feet. It’s time to start saving up for Botox instead of debating which boxed wine you can afford to bring for Bachelor Monday with the girls.
Dammnnnnn, Reality’s back at it again with the white-hot burns.
So, this brings us to our final question:
4. Why don’t you know what you’re going to do with the rest of your life?
As if Reality’s shade wasn’t enough, it’s your parents turn chime in.
Mom and Dad will be sure to remind you of the “full time job they’ve had since they were 16,” chiding you about not making a decision and just “settling down.” Simultaneously, you’ll be forewarned that this job (which should appear out of thin air in the 2016 job market) should be one you love or you’ll be miserable going to work everyday.
Oh, and they’ve been married since they were 18 and demand that you immediately provide them with a grandchild, while lamenting having never “lived” because they were stuck at home raising your sorry, jobless/childless/directionless self.
Thanks, Mom and Dad.
So, what’s a girl to do? Just when we thought our life was starting, we’re made to believe that we’re already failing.
The good news is, you’re not alone.
Whilst ‘researching’ for this article, i.e. desperately texting friends and acquaintances, both new and old, about my quarter-life-crisis, I found a resounding consensus. Even those friends who I was sure “really had it together,” (aka they can afford rent, Netflix and non-boxed wine) assured me that they “still had no idea what they were doing.”
So, fellow almost-30-somethings, FEAR NOT. Either this is a natural life progression for all of us as we head into adulthood, or we’re all just equal parts of a doomed millennial generation.
Either way, you’re doing OKAY…everything is going to be OKAY. And not just Liz Lemon fine.
We’ve ALL BEEN THERE. We’ve all had goals in life that didn’t come to fruition, struggles with body image, feelings of hopelessness about finding a significant other and confusion/indecisiveness about what’s the right path for our life. No one is immune to these feelings, especially in the age of social media. We’re constantly bombarded with what seems like a world filled with successful, beautiful, purpose-driven people – we sometimes forget that it isn’t real life.
Real life is tough. Real life is realizing that you might be too old to shop at Forever 21… it’s breaking up and tears and wondering when or if you’ll ever be okay again, it’s losing friends and family members to disease, it’s figuring out how to put all the pieces together and that sometimes there isn’t always a safety net to catch you.
BUT, real life is also amazing. Real life is discovering a new, sophisticated side of yourself, it’s finding the love of your life in a dive bar, just when you thought you’d never be happy again, it’s bringing new life into the world and realizing how precious every second is, it’s about putting one foot in front of the other and making it work, and perhaps someday – being the safety net for someone else.
Feeling better? Not really?
That’s okay, until we all find that balance and moment of clarity, I’m here to join you at this crossroads.
Welcome to All-in with Allyn, capturing the human condition and figuring it all out – together.