Saturday, September 26, 2009

Oh, the agony of being a 20-something...

Several friends (usually over facebook chat) have recently expressed their frustration with life in general. These frustrations have typically been brought upon by the usual social pressures that bear down on the post-grad (e.g. deciding 'what you want to do with your life' and convincing the parents that you're on the right track to actually doing it). These are thoughts I tossed around myself recently, especially after losing my job in July. The weight of the world seemed to be bearing down on me like I'd never before experienced, but what these conversations with my friends showed me was that I was not alone. Not by a long-shot.

A buddy from UCSD/acting class and I just had a long conversation about about his feeling completely lost. I told him what I now tell everyone with whom I have similar talks. Feeling "lost" is what being in your 20's is all about. We are under no obligation whatsoever to know exactly what we want to do for the rest of our lives right now, despite what parents may say. This is our time to explore every possible avenue that we've even considered perusing. That's what I'm doing right now with TV hosting and Filter Magazine. You take a good look at everything you're passionate about and give it a shot. From there you decide what's really meshes with your M.O. and what doesn't.

However, because they're around that 'college grad' age or are even nearing their mid/late 20s, they feel like they need to decide their future NOW. I've discovered that this is total nonsense and is usually a byproduct of incessant parental nagging. Well, the parents need to be told to chill. We've got a lot of living to do beyond our 20s and we've got to figure out what's really going to make us happy occupying our time for decades to come, and that takes TIME. None of us wants to end up in our 50s doing something that makes us miserable.

The number of friends with whom I went to school that actually have careers and real a sense of stability in their lives I can probably count on my fingers, and I likely don't even need both hands. That's just it. Our 20s are ABOUT INSTABILITY. It is the "figure shit out" years, if you will, and sometimes it takes the entire decade to do it. I don't think there's any shame in that. The 20-something years will likely be the loneliest, most confusing, most frustrating period of our entire lives, but they will likely also be the most exciting. Having your life figured out can get boring after a while, I imagine. So I've decided to savor every second of not having a damn clue of what lies ahead.

I think my friends should too.


  1. Whenever I am in Paris, visiting touristy spots, I am hyper-aware of Americans. English-speakers in general, but Americans especially. This has made me realize something. The majority of Americans I encounter are relatively old. Often times huffing and puffing their fat selves up and down stairs, canes in tow, orthopedic shoes squeaking on the marble steps.
    Why have they waited until now to come see these places they have mostly likely dreamt of for years?
    Because. When you're young and have the energy and health to really enjoy it, you are expected to expend that energy studying to get a good job, so you can work in that good job, and make lots of money to save. Save for what? For trips to Paris in your seventies?

    Enjoy your road trip. That's what life is really about.