There was a time, not so long ago, when we were all very naive. And because I’m now old enough to say it, also very stupid. Every single one of us. It is an unavoidable part of growing up. I like to refer to that time as my twenties.
Now for some, this timeframe began around 18. It might not have lasted the entirety of your twenties, but at the very least until 27.
It’s ok. It’s not wholly your fault that you were an idiot for almost a decade. There is a certain arrogance that begins around this age. The “I can drive, I can vote and I can drink, so you can’t tell me a single thing about this life!” era. The “I am paying my bills with my college refund check or using it merely to buy new clothes so I am an adult” mindset. Every single one of us experienced it. The time where we were just floating and believed we had reached the apex of adulting. We had it together. We had the most foolproof plan for success for the rest of life. We were gonna have houses at 25, our dream job and a husband/wife before 30 and then clearly all that’s left is that happily ever after part, right?
And then, life smacks you and screams the loudest NOPE right in your face. The universe suddenly says, ‘that’s enough of that kid feeling comfortable, let’s throw a tsunami onto their pretty little existence and see if they can swim.’
I suspect the first glimpse of this is when Sallie Mae slides into your bank account about 30 days after graduation. That’s when you realize that all that refund check money might have been more useful in a savings account because Sallie Mae is now gonna be on your back for at least the next 20 years. She is the friend that came to dinner but will not leave. No matter how many hints you throw to her. Still not pressed, though, because this job I’m about to get in my field is gonna cover all of that.
Did you say dream job? Where is it, though? For most, it doesn’t come the day after graduation. If you’re not a soul fortunate enough to have a gig/internship lined up, there is a distinct timeframe when you have no idea what you’re going to do next. You have paid all this money for a degree and there is no immediate need for your presence in an office space. You’re still undaunted, though. Cause you’re 22. You’ve got time. Right?
Remember those bills that used to be covered by that refund check? Well, guess what? They become your responsibility as you get deeper into your twenties. And that thing gets really stressful, really fast. Accountability is at an all-time high because you have proclaimed your adulthood heavily, probably shouted it from the rooftops, so now you must back up all that talking. The 20-year-old you knows this is just an adjustment period and you will get a fantastic grasp on this concept.
Then, there’s relationships. Hahahahahaha!
Let’s just say they have the potential of getting sillier and more absurd as you grow older. This is accurate for both platonic and romantic relationships. Friends and lovers alike will show their true colors and make you wonder whatever were you on to allow them to enter your life, let alone stay around for so many years. The 20-year-old you is devastated by the loss. How can you go on?
Lastly, there’s your appearance. In your twenties, you can devour a cookout tray at 3 a.m., drink a bottle of water, do three crunches and maintain a flat tummy or six pack, having no clue how folks are unable to maintain their weight their whole lives. Actually having the audacity, the TEMERITY, to shame people that are not wearing the same clothing they wore in college. What are they doing with themselves?
This can all seem very depressing. However, the extraordinary news is that if you were paying attention, you have learned tremendous lessons during these years. Sure, you were like a baby giraffe just learning how to use its legs, but you have become wiser. You have now experienced peak arrogance and have also discovered just how wrong you can be about every single category of your very own life.
But you lived to tell the tale. You should be smarter and hopefully more humble because it’s true that the ride is just starting. Strap yourself in, it gets even better from here.
Educator. Black. A woman. I’m an outspoken introvert. Consummate over-thinker. Sassy and simply complex with the courage of all of my convictions. I will debate you ’til the death and then hug you when it’s all over. A millennial who feels there are few things better than the ’90s. On the greatest of days, I manage to get all of it on paper.