Reflections from a 20-something (or someone)

Do you ever experience something seemingly normal only to realize you don’t really recognize yourself anymore? Or at least not as well as you thought you knew yourself? I’ve experienced this somewhat inevitably as a young adult in my first year of a real live big-girl full time job, with paying bills and having loans and what not.

But I’ve also experienced it with setting goals and following through on promises to myself, and pursuing dreams I’ve neglected, like some pile of laundry that may or may not literally exist in a corner of my room. I’ve also experienced this phenomenon in its other more alarming form: when I’ve noticed myself as moody or cynical or overly critical, and then feel badly and shameful for showing my id’s ugly face, which might in real life resemble the embarrassing Nickelback song from my iTunes library that I’ve kept since 2005.

But this feeling of not knowing who I am or what I’m doing can actually be fun too, and that’s the part that’s new and exciting — because then it’s a catalyst for positive change and challenging my very concept of self. I had a moment skipping around my apartment tonight, trying to increase my Fitbit step count, dancing and skipping erratically to Grouplove’s “Ways to Go” — and as my cat emphatically swatted at my heels with every lap walked around my kitchen, I experienced the same thought about myself that someone else just getting to know me said to her friend at the bar the other day: “who IS this girl?!” And I kind of love that.

Because not knowing who I am reaffirms that I can be whoever I want to be, or no one at all, or some weirdo who makes people laugh with her brazen wit and bold humor as I (hopefully) did in this instance.

And when I’m ready to change into someone else or express a different part of my personality, I can do that too. I hope I do that. I hope in five years from now I meet a new aspect of my personality I haven’t developed as my own yet. And may they welcome the 10-year self with open arms.

TL;DR: Growing up in my 20s is scary and weird but sometimes it’s exciting, and I can always regenerate different parts of myself like a lizard tail or something if I want.