said that the twenties were the best years of our lives was
either seriously deluded or playing a cruel joke on mankind.
Whether or not it is "all downhill from here" or not,
the fact is that as mere babes in the world of adults, people
in their twenties are not mentally or emotionally prepared for
life's many trials and tribulations. We are, in actuality, coming
to the harsh realisation that life does not always work out
the way we planned. Change, that demon, becomes inevitable and
We are stuck
in our first great rut, better known as the "quarter-life
crisis" -- the time where we have to unlearn and relearn
everything. Nothing seems stable or secure -- quite the opposite
in fact -- things are precarious and liable to fall apart at
any time. People that we grew up with seem to have nothing in
common with us anymore. The career path that we chose and wanted
may suddenly not be working out the way we wanted. We start
analysing ourselves -- our wants, our needs, our boundaries,
our limits. Everything takes on a different perspective. We
actually have adult problems: loans, bills, bank balances, society
and its do's and don'ts. We are accountable for our actions
-- and we are forced to be responsible, sometimes not only for
ourselves, but for people around us. We are pressured by the
constructs of society and cannot afford to "not care what
people think" anymore.
and "free-spirited" become mouldy, neglected words
and scary, hard-to-spell words take their place -- priorities,
obligations, sensible, practical. And although that little kid
in us is still always fighting to come out -- sometimes even
managing to surface on rare occasions, it is hard for us to
really let it get comfortable. Because it really doesn't belong
anywhere anymore, except inside of us. No one else is interested.
the time when we shut the door to our childhood, and say hello
to our adult selves. And there is no going back.
It is true
that all this can happen to anyone at any given point in their
lives, but for us twenty-something's, these so-called "growing
pains" are new and foreign concepts -- I suppose we will
eventually get used to them.
say that this is a good thing -- we are finally being treated
like adults, which is what most of us have wanted since we were
sixteen. However, the flip side of the coin is that we are still
seen as the children of the adult population -- be it at work,
at home or in the social scene. Even though we are saddled with
responsibilities, we are still not taken seriously -- the bottom
of the food chain, so to speak.
being the lowest of the lows in the adult race, being in our
twenties also means being exposed to a world of different possibilities,
opportunities and adventures -- ones that we only dreamt about
in college and high school. The life of a twenty-something-year-old
is full of finding new paths, redirecting our lives and starting
over. We go through our days knowing that our dreams and aspirations
are out there and within our reach. (It is just a matter of
figuring out what we want, and whether it is good for us --
yes, that actually matters now). We are old enough to learn
from our mistakes, but young enough to move on without dealing
with too many repercussions. We are the cusp between adulthood
and childhood -- the middle child who sometimes ends up getting
the raw deal.
It is also
said that right after one gets over the simultaneously traumatic
and exciting effects of the quarter-life blues, they will fall
clumsily into yet another life crisis -- the mid-life, or middle
aged one. Now that's definitely something to look forward to!