to be a twenty-something

April 6, 2013

I’m a twenty-something.

Well, probably not yet. I’m still in school, so socially it is probably still okay to state my age. But still.

A little girl wandered up to me the other day, grandfather trailing close behind, and told me excitedly, “Guess what! I am four-and-three-quarters!” She was rather unimpressed when I told her I was 22, and regarded me suspiciously until I added “and a quarter”.

I don’t remember how old I was when I stopped adding those qualifiers. Probably somewhere in elementary school where “quarter years” stopped being important, then middle school (oh dear, did I stretch it into high school?) when “half years” faded away. (Oh, don’t judge! I know exactly when my half birthday is– being so close to Christmas, my parents definitely let me celebrate something in June to make up for it!)

Now, as the culmination of my education creeps closer, I find that even the whole year is becoming irrelevant. I am a 20-something: approaching the age when the college bubble bursts and reality begins. I’ll become a young professional, working 40+ hours a week, being stable enough to get a business card, likely moving into an apartment and knowing I’ll be there for more than a year.

I overheard someone relating how they knew they were growing up:

When I was a kid, if glass broke, my daddy was always there. “Stay back,” he told me. “I’ve got this. You’re safe.” But now, if glass shatters, I’m alone. There’s no one beside me to protect me from the shards. I sweep it up myself, and if I cut myself, I clean up the blood and try fix myself best I can.

We’re growing up.

I’m a twenty-something.

What does that even mean?

It means I’m afraid.

It means I’m excited.

It means I’m about to be lonely– again.

It means I’m about to make new friends– again.

I can’t say that I’ve ever super related to a Taylor Swift song. But I finally heard one that wove itself into my mantra.

It seems like one of those nights
This place is too crowded too many cool kids
It seems like one of those nights
We ditch the whole scene and end up dreaming instead of sleeping
We’re happy free confused and lonely in the best way
It’s miserable and magical

Tonight’s the night when we forget about the heartbreaks, it’s time

I don’t know about you but I’m feeling twenty-two

22- Taylor Swift

I feel like I’m at a point in my life when everything is wide open.

When I’m alive and accepting of the fact that I’m weird. When I make friends in coffee shops, run into strangers on the street and walk away with stories, when street musicians play the soundtracks of our lives. It’s a time of transition– finally accepting that I’m letting go of childhood, but unsure about how to embrace adulthood.

It’s a time of late nights and early mornings. Long conversations and lots of chocolate. Deep questions and belly-bursting laughter. What is this crazy thing called “today”? Can I grasp that instead of fearing the future or mourning the past? Can I salsa dance and karaoke, serve coffee and write lab reports? What world is my own?

So many questions.

But I guess that’s the point of being a twenty-something: learning answers one mistake at a time. So raise your glass, fellow wanderers. Take solace that we’re all making this up as we go along. And in the meantime, anyone down for an adventure while it’s still socially acceptable?


One thought on “to be a twenty-something

  1. Being twenty two has been so bittersweet. I’ve had the most emotional struggles I’ve ever had but as a result of my blog, I’ve found myself stronger. I’m more aware of myself and life which is a great feeling! Thanks for sharing this, really relatable.


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