There is nothing cool about being in your twenties. Whoever said it was is a big fat liar. When you are twenty-something, you worry about university. About exams. About last minute revisions. About whether you did well or if you could have answered question 5 differently.
In your twenties, you suffer your first major heartbreak, the one that changes you as a person. The one that makes you insecure, lonely, bitter. The one that makes you write poems, listen to Radiohead and eat pizza in bed. You make new friends. You go out a lot. Only to come back to a very lonely place.
You get your first job. You don’t know how the hell they gave it to you but you try to play the game, to ‘fake it til you make it’. It doesn’t leave you. That feeling that you are getting away with something. That one day or another, you will be caught. And you will be out.
You start commuting. Listening to music in your car in traffic. You master the art of just zoning out. Of starring at the world but seeing nothing at all. You sing along Chasing Waterfalls. You laugh at the silly jokes of a 7 am talk show. If you are in Europe, you take the train. You observe people and their behaviors. Check out if their hair is greasy or their nails polished. If their shoes match their belts. You try to guess their background. If they have an executive job, a child or a mistress.
You start climbing up the ladder. Not necessarily because you are good, sometimes because you are, but most definitely because you did the time. You are too busy to reassess, question, wonder what life would have been if you had made another choice. If you had taken another road. You dismiss the woulda coulda shoulda. Later. It’s your stop.
In your twenties you are most likely unsure of yourself. Of your body. You find it fat, short or too skinny. Your change your hair color with the season. And you hate how you dance. Who cares? People don’t dance anymore. Lucky you. You realize how fucked up the world is. How criminal powerful countries can be. And the fact that despite what is said, there is actually very little your tiny self can do about it.
In your twenties, you start to question friendships. You realize that the people you hang out with are not necessarily the ones who will stand by your side in tough times. You try to reconnect with childhood friends you no longer speak to because your friendships just died with time, with distance, with the fact you took different paths. You start to look for what is real. You clean up your closet. Who the hell invented Harem pants anyway?
You take some time off. A time that you choose to take or that gets imposed on you when life decides to do one of its tricks. It allows you to think. You decide to quit the lie. To do something concrete that makes a difference, that you enjoy doing or that simply makes sense. You don’t want to kill time in front of a screen anymore. You don’t want to pretend. You don’t want to be part of the abstract game. You want to follow your passion instead. That only if you have discovered yours. Even though you have no real talent. Practice makes perfect they say. Will see. Maybe.
If you experience a major loss, you grasp its meaning and you feel the pain profoundly in your veins. It takes time but you finally accept the separation even though it devours every part of your body, changes the color of your eyes and haunts your dreams. Forever. You make peace with yourself. You accept that life has to go on and that it is actually kinda worth it at times.
As you approach your thirties, things get smoother. Nothing is a major discovery anymore. Responsibilities might become bigger, but you are stronger and more likely to handle them like a boss. You are fine with the way you look. You know you are not the best looking hottie out there but you are happy to be just you. You have a few hand picked friends you can trust with your life. True, they can be SO annoying at times but now you know no one is perfect. Not even you. Your weight is stable. Except on weekends. Your wardrobe is consistent. And if you are lucky enough, you are doing what you love for a living. Even if that is barely living at all. You know you cannot change the world. And the best part is: you no longer want to.