Our twenties are supposed to be the defining decade of adulthood. 80% of life’s most defining moments take place by about age 35. 2/3 of lifetime wage growth happens during the first ten years of a career. More than half of Americans are stastically found to be married or are dating or living with their future partner by age 30. Personality can change more during our 20s than at any other decade in life.
I never quite understood this till, well today.
I started the year bitter and anxious to prove myself to no one in particular. What that led to was a vision tainted by a cynical glare. I questioned many things; my life and what I was doing with it. People came and left but to those who stayed, even they had trouble identifying who I really was or trying to be at that time. I felt like at 25, I needed to act a certain way – to develop a maturity that blossomed over night. I had to be satisfied with life, drink alcohol with a distant nonchalance and wake up sober the next day. 364 days later, I still wince at the taste of alcohol and have problems sleeping at night.
It seemed like there was race to get somewhere, to be someone. The faster you supposedly learn the most difficult life lessons, the sooner you can subsequently lead a great and successful life. Coming to the end of the year, I have registered that no one really gives a (flying) fuck.
Are you still alive? Are you making any plans for that to change any time soon? Then, honestly, nobody cares. Sure, friends will drown you in platitudinal emojis and your parents will start calling you more, but fundamentally, hearing about your shithousery that is your life is as compelling to the average happy person as opening a gas bill. Someone else’s gas bill.
And this is because by the time you’re in your mid 20s, literally everyone—princes, models, the neighbour who cooks too well—has experienced heartbreak and failure before. Nobody is going to want to spend a whole weekday night listening as you warble drunkenly about how your frustration was any different from all the other failures/relationships ever recorded in poetry and song. If you still have those friends around you, I learnt this year to treasure the people who still take your bullshit.
I wouldn’t say that this year is a failure or a success because it cannot be considered as either. This has been the most turbulent of years to me: ego completely blasted to smithereens by a tutor, fell too easily in love and have it slammed in my face. But yet, through this I have learnt to appreciate the good things, to celebrate the successes no matter how small.
It took almost the whole year for me to learn it; and even though doubt still creeps in, I am at least aware that good things actually do exist – they don’t just appear in fairytales. It is there, out of sight and in small doses but it does exist – extracting you from your doubt into something quite beautiful. You just have to find it and let yourself fall from the high when it ends.
Resolutions aside, this is the year I want to crave life and be open to experiences – to fall in love hard and passionately, to tire myself out by wringing every bit of learning from my education. So I guess this year I will no longer be safe, failures to spur on determination and well if my twenties are meant to be turbulent, let 2015 rock my world.
Love hurts, but not as much as not loving. You know what 2015, I will see you on the other side.