The 20’s can be a confusing and very difficult time for anyone. You have the energy and urge to cruise round the world but not enough money. Trying to be the best version of yourself but for some unknown reason, the men nature sends your way at that time act like they are making a Walmart run and you, well, you are just one stop they’re making on their way there.
You are working so hard at college but you are no longer sure if the course you’re pursuing is what you actually want to do for the rest of your life. Most of the time, you’re just hanging in there waiting to see what tomorrow holds.
My twenties have been an interesting time of my life. Let me not exaggerate, my life is as ordinary as the next. I graduated from campus last year and joined a master’s program earlier this year. Relationship wise, I could say I am at a comfortable place. Financially, there is a roof on top of my head and my stomach is not making any funny noises. Occasionally, I can get myself a good handbag from the mall and even some pretty shoes when my purse smiles at me. It may not be as often as I desire but such are definitely the best days of my life because, what is life without pretty shoes and classy handbags?
Looking at my life through the eyes of an outsider, it might look like I have everything managed. But that there is the thing. I never feel like I have everything managed. Not with the uncertainty that comes with these years of my life. The fact that I have all the control on my schedule with no one watching over my shoulder to see if I’m doing the right thing.
My parents, unlike before, are no longer hovering. If anything, they seem to become easier to talk to by day. They no longer scold me when I get rejected by a job or when my relationship fails. Maybe because they understand that the twenties are a fairly new territory for me and my slightly shaky feet are trying to hold ground there. Truthfully, sometimes I miss their former stricter selves because when you have someone making decisions for you, you can at least pin the blame on them if the outcome is not as pleasant as you might have expected.
Lately, I’m at this point in my life where I spend a lot of time questioning every step I take, wondering if I am doing the right thing. If I am working as hard as I ought to. Severally, I question dreams that I’ve held for a long, long time. I find myself wanting to answer the ‘why’ behind everything I do. And when I cannot, I get so frustrated. I badly want to do what is right for me that sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in the pressure of it all. Nowadays, I feel like I’m running out of time and the thought of spending these invaluable years of my life doing things that do not give me joy terrifies me beyond explanation.
It does not end there. With the uncertainty has come fear. The fear that if I do not get it right in this decade of my life, I may never get it right at all. Fear of rejection, failure and several others. I guess after a few rejection letters from job applications, I cannot say that I always look forward to hearing back from potential employers once I send my applications in. Not because I’m not good enough but mostly because on some days I am just unsure of myself and hanging on the thinnest of threads that just one more rejection might send me spiraling so fast down the dark alley of self-doubt.
I must say that I’m surprised that as I grow old, my fears do not lessen. If anything, they are bolder. And bigger. I see them in my dreams every night and wake up to face them every morning. The only difference is that as years go by I feel better equipped to deal with them. Or at least that is what I want to believe.
As I leave, let me say this. To any twenty-year-old out there feeling like crossroads at every single step of their day, always having to make tough decisions, always wanting to do more but feeling exhausted with all the ‘adulting’ there is to do, I want you to know that you are not alone. I want you to know that as long as you keep moving, you are going to be fine. But most importantly, remember to trust your journey. I know that you are doing the best you can within your given circumstances, even when it does not look like it. So, have a little more faith in yourself and don’t give up on the person you’re becoming.
This article was first submitted to Harness magazine at: https://www.harnessmagazine.com/twenties-toughest-decade-life/ and they are still accepting article submissions from female writers. Check out their site and submit your article as well. Remember to love a little harder this week and to let go of whatever is holding you back! Love