You’re twenty-years-old, and you want to take the year off of college, but people will go on without you. You feel left behind.
You’re twenty-one, and you see people moving into apartments, but you’re still at home. You feel like you’re not growing.
You’re twenty-two, and people are graduating from college, but you still don’t know what to do with your life. You feel like you’re lagging.
You feel lost. Confused. Stressed. Conflicted.
You feel like you’re not enough. Like you’re not doing enough.
You feel like you won’t figure this out. Like everyone will move on without you.
You’re not alone. All twenty-somethings feel this way. We just don’t talk about it. And maybe someone needs to start that conversation.
We’re all pretending to be okay
Perhaps it’s time for everyone to admit that they don’t know what the fuck they’re doing, or where their life is headed.
We all pretend we’re okay. We convince ourselves that we’re not losing the grasp on who we are. We silently tell ourselves we’re okay with all the changes going on in our lives.
We act unfazed by obstacles and hardship.
We manipulate our own minds into believing that we still want to do what we set out to do after high school. That we haven’t lost that passion or changed our minds.
Some of us cry every night because we don’t know what to do, but we upload a picture of us smiling on Instagram the next day.
Our cries for guidance come in the form of witty tweets everyone takes as jokes. We upload Snapchats and stories of ourselves at parties and with friends, looking as though we’re stress-free when we only went to the party to escape that stress.
You’re not alone
But, there’s excellent news. Every twenty-something feels and acts this way. All of us. We’re all stressed, but we only share the good news, the best moments, the success, the wins.
How many times have you thought or said something along the lines of, “Seeing everyone on social media with their shit together makes me feel pressured to succeed,” or “All of my friends on social media are having fun and doing what they love, and I’m still confused about life,”?
Believe it or not, at some point, someone uttered that sentence, and they were talking about you.
You’re reading this article because you want to know that you’re not alone in feeling confused and being lost in life, and yet, others probably believe you have your shit together.
You’re a part of the problem. I’m a part of the problem.
We’re sharing our successes, our wins, and all the good shit, too. We make all the other twenty-somethings feel like they’re already fucking up life.
We’re all stressing the hell out about life, and yet, we all feel alone. We all think we’re the only ones who don’t have our crap together. Isn’t that insane?
Why do we act like we’re okay when we’re not? Why do we pretend for people who are also pretending?
Why haven’t we admitted that we feel lost? Why haven’t confessed that we’re confused? Why don’t we just fucking own it?
Why don’t we encourage each other? Why don’t we laugh about it? Why don’t we remind each other we’ll figure it out? Why don’t we just stress out together?
Why don’t we talk about it?
I’m okay with where I am
I’m twenty-one, and I still live with my parents. And honestly? I don’t want to move out yet. I want to wait a couple more years.
Apparently, I have to start building my credit, but I barely know what that is. Every now and then I wonder if I should’ve gone to college.
A couple of times a month, I get so stressed about life that I lose myself in T.V. shows. Sometimes I feel like my friends will succeed and move on without me.
Some nights, I’m scared of what the future will bring.
That’s my truth. Some days I feel like I’m on top of the world, and other days I feel like it’s resting on my shoulders. But that’s just what your twenties are. And everyone feels like that.
Fuck pretending. I’m done with it.
Previously published by Thought Catalog at https://thoughtcatalog.com. on May 14, 2019.