Early twenties in flux

In your early twenty-somethings it can be difficult to know where you’re going as life has a tendency to rarely pan out the way you imagine it.

You can get into a headspace about envisioning the future with one job application, imagining living in this new, unfamiliar area – then suddenly, nothing. You can think about living with a person you’re seeing or moving in with friends that are in one place – then suddenly, nothing. A change of plans, a change of direction, everything is in flux at this age and certainly, nothing is concrete.

But the issue with this liminal state area that seems to be our early twenties are the perceptions which come with it. What if I already want to live with a partner and start a life that way? At the age of twenty-one going on twenty-two, people this age are seen as ‘party animals’, not knowing what they want, or just not taken seriously as well as in the job world. Take the recent Netflix hit show, Love is Blind, for instance. Jessica could not stop reminding her fiancé, Mark, of their ten year age gap (him being twenty-four and her, thirty-four) despite his maturity and emotional intelligence exacerbated in opposition to hers. Age past a certain point, barely determines anything, none the least how someone would plan to live their life as it varies from person to person. Men in my life are constantly telling, or, projecting their opinions onto me as stated facts as though age makes you wiser in everything including on expertise in my character, even in a field I study and specialise in.

Further, what if I enjoy staying in with cups of tea and shit TV but also relish the opportunity to dress up to go out? Just because I like to go out and do things, travel places and explore, does not mean that I’m also not a home body. If doing my Masters degree has taught me anything (I joke, I’m learning valuable knowledge over here), it’s that it’s really nice to stay inside the comfort of your home and play cards whilst drinking indoors, or alternatively, not drinking at all and being in bed by 10pm*. Basically, it’s hard to do something properly social when you get into the routine of staying in and enjoying warmth, your bed, unlimited hot drinks and being able to move from your room to the living room (or anywhere in the house for that matter) with your blanket. Activities like the gym, swimming, blogging and volunteering take on my time and when I’m not doing them I definitely have uni work to be doing until I go to sleep that day. All of this amounts to making you feel older than you are, at least for myself, and wanting some reassurance in knowing the next steps in your life.

Sometimes I want a place of solace in the countryside already, but my friends insist that I would thrive in a city, then other times i’m sure I need at least a year in London, or to live and thrive in the cheaper North, but now I do know what I want already whilst ‘just twenty-one’, but, of course, it all just depends on what life has in store.

*this is diametrically opposed by the nights three of us in my postgrad house decide to stay up to 6am, tipsy and nostalgic, watching old episodes of Glee on Netflix

(Written pre-pandemic)


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