Wasting Your 20s

There is a TED talk circulating around Facebook land about how “20 is not the new 30,” as many of us have come to–rather self-servingly–believe. I watched this video expecting to feel like crap. Well, I half felt like crap. The part of me that felt like a lazy, good-for-nothing, Millennial totally feels convicted by what this therapist talks about in the video. She basically says that too many 30 and 40-somethings look back on their 20s and feel like they were wasted. They ask themselves, “What was I doing?” She uses examples of young womens’ unhealthy love lives as evidence that you shouldn’t push yourself into the box you thought you should be in by 30 just because you didn’t manage to accomplish things earlier (i.e., don’t marry that guy you’re dating at 30 just because all your friends are getting hitched). Now, I agree with this part. Heck, I see friends talking about it all the time. They feel like they need to settle down soon or face the possibility of being some sort of cat lady. However, she tempers this statement by saying that you need to get to work on this earlier. By expanding your circle of acquaintances, you’ll meet people who will be good for relationships, jobs, etc. Ok. I can see how that works.

So, here I am: unemployed by choice, single, educated, living with my parents. I am the typical case she is talking about. And, yeah, I’ve thought about the fact that I have a good 10 years to accomplish a lot of stuff that I always thought would always come easy as a part of life. That’s a little scary. Now, the other half of me that doesn’t feel so terrible was able to pull a little bit of wisdom out of this TED talk. I started googling “wasting my 20s” to see what came up. I stumbled upon a blog post that basically takes everything this TED talk said and discredits it. It includes a lot of feel good-ish, learn about yourself kind of stuff. This totally reinforced the part of me that wanted to blow off the message of this TED talk. I mean, that is what the internet is good for. You read something that makes you feel bad and then you look up something else that reinforces your actions. It is great for getting rid of cognitive dissonance.

I’m sure that I’m being a bit unproductive right now. I’m not investing in “personal capital,” as the lady in the video talked about. And, yeah, I’m not super satisfied with the way things are going right now. I always had high expectations of myself and now I’m settling for what’s comfortable. But, at the same time, I’m not sure I agree with the trendy journalistic, latest craze, armchair psychology. Yes, I know this is self-serving, but it isn’t like I’m blissfully unaware of the fact that 30 is creeping ever so closer.

I’ve never been able to wrap my head around the “age is just a number” adage. But that’s a post for another day….



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