This Wonderful Thing Called Our Twenties
This article was originally published on The Huffington Post one year ago.
I just dropped off an old friend at the airport and drove home as the sun was setting. It’s San Francisco, so it was perfect weather for my commute home. A song I really liked came on as I pulled away and there it was: my perfect life, right in front of me.
I’m 23, I’m struggling in the job market scene, and I’m constantly living in a state of unfamiliarity.
There’s nobody that can explain to you how life after college really feels. There’s nothing to compare it to. One day you’re with your friends and the weather is perfect and you’re all laughing about something stupid. The next day you’re getting chewed out by a boss or you see your friend getting married and you have an existential crisis.
This is our twenties.
And they’re a rollercoaster.
This section of our lives is the part we were always trying to get to, but most times now we end up wondering why.
Why does the world keep screwing with us so much? Why are we now so uncertain of things we used to be certain of? Why is there somebody shooting up a club? Why don’t we get the same respect that we show to others? Why aren’t things fair?
Then you run into an unforgettable day. You hike a mountain with friends and breathe in new air and sit on the side of a cliff wondering how in the hell you got there. What did you do to deserve a day like this? There’s suddenly nothing wrong.
Then you take a flight back to reality.
There’s a date that’s scheduled on Thursday with someone you really like, but you’re not certain they’re the one. Your parents give you a call and you talk about the usual. Your sister just got engaged. When did she get that old?
Most days are filler to get to those few hours where the universe ignites and you’re there, on the edge of figuring it all out.
It’s so real and so vibrant and so exciting, and then you’re suddenly driving home in the darkness.
We’re alone now.
We’re alone in the decisions that we make, which means we’re also alone when those decisions fall through in the worst way.
What should we do when we’re uncertain and the clock is ticking? Every choice seems so gigantic.
But that’s the power of our twenties. It’s finally up to us. The universe is hurling a lot of things our way, but it’s also poised to bow to our wishes.
Yes, there’s tough days. There’s moments when we snap and we wish that we were home and that we were ten years younger. But there’s also days where we’re sitting on the side of a mountain looking out at the earth, realizing that it’s ours for the taking.
It’s our time to hurt, it’s our time to laugh, but most of all it’s our time to figure it all out. What should it all mean? Does it matter to figure it out right now?
Maybe you should go climb the mountain. Maybe you should call that old friend you’ve been ignoring. Maybe you should stare deeply into that person’s eyes and tell them they’re absolutely beautiful.
There’s no guide map now. There’s nobody to tell us where to go. But every decision that we make shows us who we are more and more until we slowly piece ourselves together into the person that we want to be.
This is our twenties. They’re scary, they’re fun, but sometimes they’re simply wonderful.