I wish to change the old adage that youth is wasted on the young.
I've spent many days mulling over my misery and desperately looking for solace in the smallest of things, whether it be binge watching one of my favorite television shows or searching the Internet for inspirational quotes.
One quote in particular has stuck in my mind for a very long time. I come back to it when I'm in hysterics, or crying so hard that I can barely breathe: "Some people wish to be pretty, rich and famous or popular. Me? I just want to be happy."
Happiness in my 20s, or what I know to be happiness, is an arbitrary state of being. Misery is usually the name of the game and has a terrible side effect of chaos, not knowing what you want from life and being unable to figure anything out.
Being in perpetual limbo is awful; it affects your every waking being. Most of our unhappiness (I know that I am not alone) comes from wanting to skip over all those years of finding yourself and working hard, and go straight to the end of getting paid to do a job you love.
The harsh reality is that we can't skip over all of the years of confusion. We're young and we have to live through them, but we don't have to live through them miserably.
We need to embrace the confusion and push through the limbo that is unpaid internships, rent we can barely make and confusing lovers.
Here are the reasons why being in your 20s, both the best and worst decade of your life, is reason enough to be happy. It's time to change your attitude and discard any residual misery, frustration and fear.
1. You Will Never Be As Fit and Limber As Your Are Now
I consider this aspect to be very important because these are the years that you will look back on as you flip through old Facebook photos (because no one has beautiful photo albums anymore) and see how hot you looked, and with minimal effort at that.
Your metabolism is still fast and you can still get away with eating that dessert at dinner. I am reminded of comedian Dana Carvey and his bit about the physical aging process: By the age of 30, your butt starts to sag from sitting all day, and by 40, you are hunched from leaning over at the computer and working. He then concludes all old people slightly resemble the Hunchback from "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."
2. You Will Never Be As Beautiful As You Are Now (Without Any Artificial Help)
Yes, I went there. I'm being a little shallow, but right now you are gorgeous. Your skin is acne-free (for the most part), your hair is shiny and beautiful, you have no wrinkles and all you have all of your collagen intact.
Go look in the mirror. Enjoy your beautiful youth and enjoy knowing that you don't need to wear any makeup to look youthful and refreshed. You will not look the same forever so smile and laugh before you have to reach for the wrinkle cream.
3. You Have Your Health
Do you have any serious health problems? Most likely you don't, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't sign up for health insurance. We're not invincible.
I just recently found out that an old friend of mine at the age of 24 has inoperable brain cancer. We very often forget to be grateful that we have our health.
4. The World Is Yours For The Taking
I passionately subscribe to the ideal that the world is yours and you can be whatever you want to be. If you want to be a doctor, go out there and make yourself a doctor. If you want to be an artist, be an artist.
Find something you love and just go for it. Money, success and fulfillment will come along eventually; just hang in there and fight the good fight with a smile on your face.
5. Less Responsibility
Yes, you are responsible for the basics: food, rent, hopefully central heating and a job (or career). Despite the core responsibilities, the reality is that the only thing you really need to be concerned with is YOU.
You do not have a mortgage to pay, another little human who depends upon you for everything or any other astronomical bills besides your student loans. Enjoy YOU right now; get to know yourself better.
6. Know That It Will All Work Out (I Promise)
All you need is a little bit of faith in yourself and in the world to believe and know that everything will work out. I don't know when and I don't know how, but things always have a funny way of working themselves out.
We'll all get through this complicated and confusing time, but in the meantime, try to find a way to laugh and count your blessings.
Life's really not that bad.
Photo Courtesy: Favim