It seems that many of us 20-somethings have the fact that we are at a weird place in our lives in common. For our generation, 20s are the new teens. Some of us try to hang on to our youth for as long as possible, thinking it will show up in the clubs, at bars and at festivals.
Others want to grow up too fast. They work their 9-to-5s and talk about how they're looking into buying condos with their significant others.
As college has made us prolong our dependent years on our parents, our 20s are becoming more and more like an extension of our teens. We use expressions like "YOLO" and "young, wild and free" every chance we get, and we try to justify our questionable actions. The dichotomy between youth and adulthood swirls together in our 20s now, in the same way you saw your colors melting together after you took that pill at EDC last year.
It's not just about youth and growing up, though. It's a generational thing, and this one is awkward. I personally feel too old for some things and not old enough for others. We've all seen the memes joking about how our Facebook news feeds are full of ultrasound, baby, engagement and wedding pictures. It's funny because it's true.
While the people we knew from high school (and even some of our close friends) are slowly going over to the dark side, the rest of us are consumed by our relationships with Jameson, Jack, Jim and Jose. These are the longest relationships I've ever been in, and we never fight. I'd say they're getting pretty serious.
I think most of us can agree that the idea of settling down and becoming news feed statistics scares the sh*t out of us. Of course I want these things in my future. But I simply feel too young to be thinking about them now.
To be honest, 26 is not really that young. My eggs will shrivel up before I even consider taking out my Nexplanon at this point.
Maybe it's a generational mentality flaw that we all have. We feel like we're younger than we are. Maybe we missed something during childhood, or maybe society has changed slowly and quietly. But the traditional values our parents tried to instill in us clashed with everything we saw happening around us while we were growing up.
I feel like I'm a minority in my generation. I'm somewhere between never using Tinder (true story) and getting way too sloppy (drunk) on the weekends. Yet, I pay my bills on time.
It's all about balance. It's an art. Part of me believes in the romantic notion that true love exists, but the other part is bitter and cynical.
The wall around my heart is built with the bricks of tears, bad decisions, hatred and lost hope. Many of my friends have said the same. We are the halves.
We've been raised either by broken families or super traditional ones, and we are hanging on to that glimmer of hope that our culture will appreciate monogamy again. Most of us are part free-spirited hippie, part sheep who is following the herd.
I'm not saying we are all like that. But the vast majority of us have this guard up, and it's hiding something that's far more vulnerable than we realize. What are we hiding from? Growing up? Facing reality and having to act our own age? Whatever it is, we all have it in common, and we should work with it.
We are the Millennials. We have big ideas, but we don't know where to start. We have this hybrid mentality of both the old and the new. We're the perfect mix of youth and adult. We need to embrace the place we're in and use it to our advantage.
Life is all about balance, and we have a leg up already. We are equal halves of two opposing ideas. If we could just stay still long enough to let the scale settle, we would see all we have to offer.
That holds true despite the consequences of extending our youth, despite the bad decision making and despite not feeling prepared for our futures. We have so much more to offer the world and ourselves.