2017 was such an exciting year for me. It was the year that I decided to start focusing on my dreams and what I wanted out of life rather than what other people wanted for me. I hopped on my first plane EVER and travelled to three different continents. My boyfriend and I started thinking very seriously about our future together and the life we want with each other. I started a Instagram and YouTube for A Hint of Spring. I finished student teaching, and I started my last year of college. I went bungee jumping for crying out loud!
It was exciting and scary and adventurous and amazing and terrifying and wonderful.
And then 2018 hit, and I was confident that I would be on the same adventurous path I started….only it didn’t happen in January. Instead of starting life with my boyfriend I’m still thousands of miles away from him. Instead of inspiring high schoolers, I’m back sitting in a lecture hall. Instead of following my dreams, I’m trying my best to pass my last few classes until I graduate.
It’s been a really strange time for me, and although it may seem like I’m complaining and my life sucks, I’m really not upset. It just feels….strange. It feels like my life was running at full speed, and now it’s just stalled, and I’ve found myself “playing the waiting game” until graduation day where major life changes will begin again.
I’ve never really been a fan of waiting. I would much rather just do what I need to do and be done with it. It seems like a waste of time, so I’ve been trying to find ways to make the waiting seem more meaningful. I’ve tried new hobbies. I’ve watched new shows. I’ve tried to find new inspiration, but nothing seems to make me feel any better about waiting for the next big moment in my life.
However, the more I’ve wished that the next big moment would arrive quicker, the more I’ve realized that I’m wishing my life away. Even though this waiting period in my life is still hard and somewhat annoying, it’s a part of life, and maybe it’s there to make the other moment sweeter.
*My intentions in this post are not simply to be negative and rant-y as they may appear. Instead, I would like to use this post to show other people who may be going through the same things I am that they are not alone. That other people feel the same way even if they may not think so. I am also in no way saying that EVERYONE feels this way, so if your 20s happen to be glorious and exactly as you expected, I’m incredibly happy for you and somewhat envious of you…. SO here we go.*
When I was in high school, I had so many ideas about what my life would look like in my 20s. At the time, being in my 20s seemed so far away and out of reach. It seemed like the golden years full of freedom, adventures, relationships, and babies. In some ways, it has been that way. I’ve traveled to places I never even dreamed I would. I have an amazing boyfriend who I’m looking forward to spending a long and happy life with.
However, in a lot of ways, it has been completely different, and here’s why….
- Your life is no longer mapped out. Up until college, my life was incredibly mapped out. From the moment I signed up for my first advanced class in elementary school, I knew that I would go from elementary to middle school, middle school to high school, and high school to college. Even the college I went to was largely planned out. My biggest decision at the time was whether or not I should quit band and who to go to prom with. Once I got to my Freshman year I was fully convinced that the next few years would be similarly mapped out. I would find a major I was passionate about, meet the love of my life, get married right after graduation, and spend the rest of my life raising kids. Only….it didn’t happen that way. The perfect major didn’t pop out at me. The love of my life didn’t walk up with a sign saying “I’m the One.” Which leads me to my next point.
- Your 20s are full of (what seems like) high stakes decisions. I was finding myself (and still find myself) faced with the seemingly huge decision of what I want to do with the rest of my life, where I want to live after, do I go for my passions or the practical job? When should I get married? SHOULD I get married? Do I even WANT kids? So many questions that seem to shape how your life will look when you hit the next decade of your life.
- You spend much of your time alone. It seems like you’re never alone in high school. You live with your family, you have all of your friends in school with you that you grew up with, and you spend your after school hours around friends or participating in extracurricular activities. In your 20s, though, it seems like you spend much more of your time alone. You live alone for the first time. You live with people you don’t know which can be quite lonely until you get used to them. You study alone. You walk into a classroom of 300 people not knowing a single person. It can be very lonely which goes along with my next point.
- You don’t always have your best buddies around (or any buddies). Usually in high school you think that the friends you have then will be your friends for the rest of your life. BFFs 4ever, right? Unfortunately, for one reason or another that’s not always the case. As you get older, your paths diverge and before you know it you’re texting each other on holidays lamenting about how long it’s been since you’ve seen each other and how you HAVE to get together soon. You make new friends who’s interests and direction lines up closer to yours, and you may even meet a significant other who you spend most of your free time with.
So no, your 20s are not what you expect, but that does not mean that they are all bad, so enjoy your 20s and know that you are not alone in what you are feeling.
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