Look, the way the media portrays the early 20’s life is a big sham. Netflix makes it seem like having a cool group of friends in one apartment is the norm. Instagram creates this vision where the apartment should be filled ot the brim with vibrant plants and fun coffee mugs. Unwanted facebook updates from peers preaches that everyone should have “one special person” in their lives by now. Society paints this beautiful picture of how 20 somethings may be struggling to “find themselves”, but the struggle is aesthetically pleasing.
Meanwhile, you look around your own surroundings and there’s not one plant in sight. The dishes aren’t done, and the doom of the unknown is makes everything look painfully dark. Oh and the whole friend group living situation? In reality you haven’t even seen a friend in three weeks.
This stark difference between what it feels like where we should be as 20-somethings is so different than the reality of our lives.
We’re all dealing with stressful financial situations (okay a majority of us are BROKE and in debt)
We’re going back and forth between pursuing our passions or having stability
And the ultimate question of what should we be doing in life? Why are we on this planet and for what reason am I supposed to be here for the next 50 or so years??? WHY?
It can be hard comparing yourself to everyone on the internet. Everyone’s “moving forward” while you’re stuck where you are.
You are not defined by whatever job you have. You are not defined by how much money is in you bank account. You are not defined by your living situation, relationship status, or any other external societal labels and markers.
When people who love you think of you, they think of the times you’ve been a good person to them, when you’ve made them laugh, and how you add such great light into their lives.
So when you compare yourself to someone else’s curated life, stop for one moment.
Stop, breathe, and turn your phone screen off before you go into a deep spiral of an instagram loop where you keep finding random profiles and comparing your life with theirs.
It’s overwhelming to constantly absorb this false narrative of what life should look at our age. It’s a false narrative! Most of us can’t afford the lifestyle that’s being marketed to us, and THAT IS OKAY!! Even though it feels like everyone around is living the life you want, most of it is all an illusion anyway.
Instagram is just for show. It never shows the behind the scenes that may be unattractive, difficult, and messy. Never.
Even if other’s do have the life you want, focus on yourself and your own journey! You are worthy just where you are. Take your time to figure out things on your own.
Try your best to be grateful. It really helps. No seriously.
Trying to be grateful can be a pain in the ass. Yeah yeah, we get it, older adults have shoved this sentiment down our throats since the day we entered the world.
“Be grateful for what you have! You’re so lucky!” – ugh.
One of the things’s the thing that’s really helped me come to terms getting over this desire for the perfect independent adult life is realizing that a lot of us are having a hard time figuring things out. There are people well into their 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s who are still navigating through different stages in their lives. Age does not correlate to a specific adult stage. Being 23 doesn’t mean you’ll have a full time job, just as being 33 doesn’t mean you’ll have a house.
Once I got rid of this mentality, it was a lot easier to be thankful for what I have. As sucky as life may feel right now, just embrace the not so sucky things:
You probably have internet if you’re reading this. That’s honestly a wonderful thing in itself. That means you can watch youtube videos! Chat with friends, chat with strangers! Read awesome blog posts! Listen to music!
Think of one person who cares for you. Wow, they care for you! A concept.
Friends. They may be flaky, but you got to love them.
Hobbies? Anyone like spending time with themselves? I recently got into baking and I admire the beauty of eating goods I made. Wow. Sweets!
Family. This one can be a hit or miss, but if you’ve got family members you love, be super grateful.
The sun. Honestly, it glows. It just beams so much light, and you can be so warm under it. Amazing!
Trees. Grass. They’re all green! Cool! Or brown, but still, they just sit there and exist.
Pets. Lovely things! Even if they’re not your pets, they do no wrong and are fun to look at.
Even if it seems small and insignificant, just be aware of having it in your life. Every minute you spend pining over something you don’t have, is a minute you lose in your own life.
I understand that this is so easy to say, but it’s a lot harder to do. It’ll take practice, but the quicker we figure out how to be content with ourselves NOW, the easier life flows.
Forget that perfect instagram aesthetic. Roll around in your messy bed, eat a ton of cookies, and embrace yourself now. Let’s all try to be grateful, and remember that life is not a series of achievements to be checked off a list. Life is just a series of moments that have to be lived.