"We're so young, we're so young. We're twenty-two years old. We have so much time. There's this sentiment I sometimes sense, creeping in our collective conscious as we lie alone after a party, or pack up our books when we give in and go out — that it is somehow too late. That others are somehow ahead." - Excerpt from "The Opposite of Loneliness," by Marina Keegan
Marina Keegan's words resonate with of all of us 20-somethings, in the stage between lost and found, in the place where we feel like we have the possibility to aim for any destination we want.
Yet, there is no clear-cut sign of how to get there.
I see Keegan's words reflected in my own eyes as well as in the eyes of my peers. They can be found in the feelings of anticipation mixed with anxiety when we think about the unknown that lies ahead of us.
We have somehow, in this early stage of our lives, played around with the notion that the best days are behind us.
Instead of holding onto the belief that our most incredible days could be happening right now or have yet to come, we look back.
I think so many of us wait for the world to happen to us.
We hold on to the fear that keeps us in meaningless jobs and dead-end relationships, and we battle continuously with the voices inside our heads that whisper, "You should have done it this way."
We want to be catalysts in our own lives, yet we constantly think we are under-qualified or "not there yet." We believe we don't have it all together, and that will be our demise.
We are so young, yet we live with this belief we have somehow failed or life has somehow failed us because we haven't put all the pieces together.
We have components of the bigger picture, but there is always something more to acquire, even for the person who seems to have it all.
I think there's always a piece missing, and I believe life is always meant to keep us on our toes and to keep us moving because it is, and always will be, perfectly incomplete. Is that not the reason we all want to live?
There is always more to see, more to do and more to be.
Graduating From College and Landing The Job
I think one of our most current, common stressors is that after we graduate from college, we are immediately supposed to have our lives together.
It is almost as though graduation is the divide between our old selves and ourselves in the "real world."
It's as if on the morning after graduation, we are going to wake up on the Upper East Side with an attractive man building us a walk-in closet after successfully publishing a book.
Yet, the majority of us will wake up in the same bedroom we have slept in our whole lives in our parents' homes. And that is okay!
It's similar to the feeling we get when someone asks us, "Do you feel any different?" after we turn another year older.
In our heads, we wonder if we are supposed to be enlightened with some new information because, quite honestly, we feel the same as we did the day before.
Just as we mature through experiences, as time passes, we land on our feet. In this present moment, we accomplish what we need to and we put everything we have worked toward into effect.
Just like that, we happen to the world.
The Relationship Status
Is there ever a perfect time to start anything? I believe there isn't.
If we are always looking for reasons to keep us from what we want, we will always find them.
It is these people, the constant second-guessers, the ones who dive head-first into our world and then retreat just as quickly, who create the waves of insecurity and the belief nothing will ever happen for us.
Every time someone hurts us, plays us and leaves us, we question what we have done wrong that led him or her to this action.
Yet, this person's actions say more about him or her than they do about us, right?
We have this belief we should already have the right person, the person we're going to spend our lives with.
I think for many of us, this importance turns into a irrational obsession. We become more concerned with the "when," rather than the "who."
Some questions can never be answered, and some people's actions can never be accounted for. But, we know ours.
We do not need to be with someone else, and we do not need someone else to be more than we already are.
We need to remember that if we do not have that someone right now, it by no means translates to forever.
Whoever we are, wherever are and with whatever we have, we always want more. We want that next step.
I see people wishing life away. When we are 16, we cannot wait to be 18. At 18, we want to be 21. At 21, we continue to wish the years away.
We wish for the husband, the children, the life ahead, and before we know it, we are middle-aged wishing we were 21 again.
There are so many things we would tell ourselves about the different focuses we would have.
We are always wishing for next, and we forget about the focus of our now. We are so young, and somehow, I have the feeling it is not too late.