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A Tagline For My 20s

September 9, 2013

Feeling my way through college involved my deciding on a major my parents never totally understood, a lesson quickly learned that some girls are just straight up bitches (not because they have daddy issues, not because they seek approval to overcompensate for their self-loathing, but just fucking because) and that you should never, under any circumstances, mix wine and whiskey. Sidebar: You’ll convince yourself that it’s okay because it sounds fun, not like the idea, but the actual act of saying the words “wine and whiskey”… but you’ll be wrong.photo

There was a moment in college when I thought I was so lucky to be lost. I was living in a state of bliss because it was unexpected of me to have it all figured out. It was my four years to have another chance at my formative years, I could recreate them without the awkward high school haircut. I could reshape myself, become “Anjli the Journalism Major” or “Anjli the Dating Columnist” or for a second there, “Anjli the Wearer of Hooker Heels” (RIP Steven Madden stilettos, you did me proud until you didn’t… because I fell flat on my ass at the bar… sober…). But the truth is four years is far too long to be questioning your entire life, especially when most of your “entire life” hasn’t even happened yet.

But then that horrible eventual moment happens, when you approach 24, your official mid-20s, your official time to hate your life. You could not pay me be 24 again and I’m not even there yet. There was some delightful delusion about college that made me think I had the ability to change the world, to shape my future. I blame university marketing efforts, (“what starts here changes the world,” um, can I get a more specific ETA on that change?). But then you get to your future and you’re just like, “Ha, that was funny College, did you and the guy who led me on most of sophomore year like hook up and think it’d be really funny to pull that shit all over again? Realllllll slick.”

It seems like every chunk of five or so years are the formative years of your life until you fucking hit 40 and you’ve already pretty much decided who you’re going to be in your life, whether it’s someone you’re particularly enthused about or not. First it was high school, then college, now I’m stewing in my 20s like a fucking flailing mess, just hoping my life will magically figure itself out at 25, secretly knowing that’s not a real thing that just happens. (Obviously, I mean, um, Lindsay Lohan?) I know that we’re supposed to experience growth every day, soaking it like sponges who are blessed to welcome a new day and meadows and rainbows and fucking glitter, like I get that. But is anyone ever just like, “okay, I’m ready to not grow anymore”? Like, “I’ve had enough ‘growing experiences’ and I’m now I’m just ready to be who I’m gonna be”? I know it’s not very becoming of me to ask, but isn’t that the point?

I really savored my “losing myself through finding myself in college” phase, I mean I was a Journalism major for crying out loud. I really took advantage of it. But the worst part is when you look back after all of it and wish you could go back, wish that it was still socially acceptable to blow off figuring shit out so you can go to Sixth Street and get drunk and dance instead, because we’d convinced ourselves it was all somehow part of “the process.” There was nothing magical about wearing a dress from Forever 21 that was half polyester, half acrylic and drinking $5 pitchers of well liquor, and yet, there was some magic in knowing that you didn’t have to have it all. And when you leave college, the only thing on the agenda is finding a way to have it all; the job, the guy, the social calendar, the self-worth you were promised with your diploma. #FirstWorldProblems, for real, huh?

Maybe some day I’ll look back on my 23 (approaching 24) year old self, and think “You don’t have to have it all just yet,” but then I’ll immediately remember that’s a lie. Sure, maybe I don’t have to have it all, but the assumption is that I should be on my way, that I should be within reach, carefully calculating the plan of action.  Why isn’t there a marketing tagline for your early 20s? Like, “what you do now will be the start of everything you ever do,” or “the choices you make now will stay with you for life” or “good luck bro.” For now, I’m just trying to keep it together. Maybe you don’t have to have it all for ages 20-39, maybe you just spend that time trying to fucking keep it together and when 40 happens you just sort of accept that having it all simply means, getting 50% of the remote control time and getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. TypicalKain permalink
    September 9, 2013 9:58 pm

    Absolutely enjoyed this post! I can say I’ve felt a lot of what has been described here 😀

  2. September 10, 2013 12:01 pm

    I think I have accepted that I will never stop changing or searching for a purpose. In fact, I think I’d be down right sad if I had it all figured out. What do you do with yourself at that point? Sit back and watch life fly by?

    I only have 23 years under my belt, myself. Still, I am convinced that life will throw me curve ball the second I think I have it all figured out. I’m done wishing this roller coaster would stop for a moment and am content enjoying the ride.

    (if you don’t mind me asking, where did that journalism major land you? That was one of my college majors and one my parents certainly didn’t agree with. I even spent a year as a dating advice blogger!)

  3. September 10, 2013 3:50 pm

    So relatable! I loved this post.

  4. September 22, 2013 9:41 pm

    Wine and whiskey totally doesn’t sound sexy to me but I have heard chicks talk about this before.

  5. November 11, 2013 4:44 am

    Very entertaining post aha- thanks for sharing this, good read 🙂

  6. February 1, 2014 7:40 am

    Nice!!

  7. April 9, 2014 2:17 am

    What a great post! a lot of what you described here happens to a lot of people

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