Backstory

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I transitioned into my 20’s, as I’m sure most people did. I had a beer in one hand and my closest friends surrounding me as I rambled on about the amazing decade I had ahead. I didn’t think twice as I planned the upcoming, pivotal moments in my life. Confident that once I brushed off the hangover the next morning, I would be a step closer to the life I had always dreamed of.

Needless to say, the hangover lasted longer then expected and was not followed by a call from my future husband or employer. In fact, my life was the same – if not worse.

I spent days convincing myself that things would change, despite having no desire to make that happen. My motivation was short lived and I resumed living the life I always had, as a lost and confused teenager. I went to the same bar on the weekends and complained I wasn’t meeting anyone new. I ran home after class to get in a pre dinner nap and complained I didn’t have the proper college experience. I crammed homework into spare moments and often turned down new possibilities to dedicate my day to a Breaking Bad marathon.

I convinced myself I was still experiencing societies proclaimed, best years of my life.

Here I am – aged twenty-three. My life has made minor steps forward. I have a job I took out of desperation, a condo with a shoebox of bills and countless maybe I’ll laugh about it later, stories.

The twenties force you to step back and evaluate where you are in comparison to where you want to be. I was never able to do this as I was never able to set goals. My mind was constantly changing meaning ideas were disposable and the most insignificant decisions proved challenging. This held me back from finding my can’t eat, can’t sleep, passion.

My childhood defined perfection. It was the white picket fence storyline. An upper middle class family living in the suburbs. I have the ideal family, holding much resemblance to one of a 90’s sitcom. They’re supportive and encouraging of every decision I make. I have life long friends who know me better then I know myself. They’ve picked me up from my lowest, stood by me through the hardest and dusted off my mistakes with a nonchalant shrug.

High school proved challenging as it turned me into an angry, self-conscious teen. It took my ability to be myself, as I desperately wanted to fit in. I was never happy, or unhappy. I was simply coexisting with minds like mine. I lost who I was. I lost the joy of running to my mom’s car after the final bell. I lost the fun in playing tag and the people I played it with. I lost the innocence of sober movie nights and most importantly, I lost myself.

Soon after, I found myself immersed in the world that is college. I resorted to an easy program, as I had no idea what I wanted to do. I stayed in a dorm and embarked on the pizza for breakfast, drugs are a religion, I did what last night, journey.

Graduation was a bittersweet dread. A black cloak hung on my body while a man I’d never met congratulated me and a woman with a chalkboard voice wished me all the best in the future. No one spoke about the hard times ahead. No one told me the all nighters don’t stop when the ten page essays do. No one told me I’d crave the school hallway, the sense of routine, the day old poutine gravy and no one told me I was going to search for acknowledgment. Someone to pat me on the back and say good job. Someone to return an assignment, my mistakes etched with red pen. Instead, they told me good luck.

162 thoughts on “Backstory

  1. Wonderful. I’m 26 and a half now. I love your blog. Yesterday I moved back in with my dad after 3.5 years in the Bay Area after graduating college. Life is a bitch dude. I’ve learned a lot. I’m happy to know that there’s others out there struggling like me.

    • Thank you! Life truly is a bitch but it’s amazing to hear that you’ve learned from it. I hope my blog can help in the slightest, I hope things look up and I also hope to hear your thoughts on future posts :)

  2. I hope blogging has helped you find some validation that you’re on the right path. I love your writing. Contact me if you ever want to chat — I’m 22, just graduated myself but unlike you, I couldn’t wait to get out of school.

  3. As I watch my three daughters (all near your age) grasp and define who they are, I applaud you for taking the bull by the horns. Adult life is not easy, but it is challenging surrounded by bits of confusion, struggle, a bit of elation and many days of hum-drum. It ain’t like the movies :) Kudos to you as you carve your path with pen and personality.

    • Thank you so much! I can only imagine how difficult it can be for a parent to watch their child struggle but it must also be rewarding to see who they become. I hope you’ll stick around. I’d love to hear from you on future posts :)

  4. I nominated you for the ‘onelovelyblogaward!” Check it out her if you’re interested in accepting-http://wisewoman2.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/authentic-woman-blog-nomination/
    Blessings

  5. I am so grateful you liked one of my posts and I was able to stumble upon your blog. I am on the brink of college graduation and am perpetually terrified. I can already tell your blog is going to be my new guilty pleasure and sign of reassurance. Can’t wait to see and read more.

    XO, EE

    • I’m so glad you were able to stumble upon my blog! Be sure to keep up with your own writing. I hope it can give you the same type of relief it gives me. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I hope to hear from you more

      P.S. if you would like to write a guest post for me – please email me!

  6. You’re the same age as my daughter. In just a few more years you will actually look back on these years as part of your “childhood”. :) It’s funny how life sneaks up on us like that. You are a very thoughtful young woman and I love that you are using a blog to express how you are feeling and thinking and processing your world. You are correct, your 20’s are very important and transformative. But, try not to worry too much. Enjoy each moment of life. Embrace the good times, and consider all of the difficult times as important learning experiences. You have so much life and living ahead. How glorious! If I could talk to my 20 year old self, I would want to remind her just how lucky she was to be free to make her own decisions and to be able to focus completely on herself. I became a mom at 23, so I didn’t get too many “me” years.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your perspective! It’s always interesting to hear from people not only in their twenties, but those who have the ability to look back in hindsight. I’ve been told these are the ‘selfish’ years so I’m more or less focusing on me. Again – I hope to hear from you on future posts :)

  7. ditto to @sweetsavorystyle. I just finished undergrad this year and honestly, nobody tells you or even prepares you in the slightest for how rough life really is. I can see that your posts will be something that I empathize with. I want to say just continue moving forward but I know it’s far easier said than done. Looking forward to more of your posts!

    • Absolutely! They tell how hard the teen years are but no one really speaks of the twenties. I’m glad you came across my blog. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I hope to hear from you again.

  8. Well if this isn’t the most relatable blog post I’ve ever read. I am in nearly the same boat; 24, just graduated last December. It really is incredible how different our twenties are compared to what we expected them to be. I look forward to following your posts. :)

    • I’m so glad you can relate! The twenties have been a surprise to say the least, but they’re getting better and better. I hope you feel the same. I hope to hear from you on future posts :)

  9. Being in my twenties, I understand this all too well. We’re generation where college degrees don’t equate employment. Graduating in a desert of careers just makes us stronger, more creative. We have to make our own jobs, think outside the box and keeping the hope alive.

    • That’s a perfect description as life as a post grad! I spent many months struggling to accept that but it’s amazing the changes that will come to your life when you stop living according to society. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment :)

  10. In high school, they get us all ready for college. In college, we are supposed to prepare for life. And then when real life happens? Instead of us always focusing on what is next, I think we need to focus on how whatever is next will be affected by what we are doing right now. I am reading this book called “Keep Your Love On” by a guy named Danny Silk. A quote of his really popped out to me. He writes, “I can respond to today and create my tomorrows.”
    Who you are right now does have to be who you are tomorrow. BUT, who you are today can choose who you are tomorrow.
    I’m 22 and still have a lot to live. But I can’t live if I am not living where I’m at. How else are we to take another step without using support of the present step to elevate us to the next one?

    • Thank you so much for taking the time so share that! I would love to checkout that book. I love books with positive meanings and especially quotes such as that. I truly believe the school system is a flawed way to help us prepare for our future but since I don’t see that changing; we’ll have to learn the hard way. Thank you again for sharing, I hope you keep on the right path and I hope to hear from you again.

  11. Your blog is wonderful and I think you will be very thankful that you wrote it someday. Honestly, I think there will be a lot of other people that will be glad you wrote it. You’re right, no one talks about this stuff. They make it sound like when you graduate from college that your life is just going to fall into place. I’m 27 and I’ve worked REALLY hard to get where I am right now. You can do this. Keep trying to get that perfect job even if you don’t think you’re qualified (people appreciate persistence), use the criticism that people give you as a lesson, keep your head up and please continue to write. If I were a professor in college I would direct every one of my students to your blog.

  12. I’m a fifty-year-old here to agree with you and to tell you that the twenties are really, really tough. The good news? You’ll survive them. And then you’ll be thirty, and I promise you, life will get easier, if of no other reason than that you will have figured out a few things that you haven’t yet figured out. What I wish someone had told me when I was your age? Don’t compromise your principles — not in your work life, not in who you choose as your friends, not in your love life, not in anything you do — and always always listen to your gut. (Somehow, from your blog, I get the feeling you’re already doing these things.) And also: enjoy being young and single. Don’t waste it wishing for Mr. Right to come along and marry. If you want to get married, you will, so enjoy being single. Neither being married nor being single is a perfect state. They both have their huge pluses and their huge minuses (like almost everything else in life).

    • Thank you! I appreciate you not only taking the time to read about the struggles of someone so ‘young’ but commenting on your own reflections! “You’ll survive them” is probably the biggest truth to remember. I’m constantly in the mindset of growing up and fulfilling society’s, 9-5, wife and mother, cooking in the kitchen lifestyle but it’s never been for me. Again, thank you so much for sharing. I hope to hear from you again.

  13. You hit the nail on the head here! I struggled right through my 20s, and although I’m still in them (I’m 27) I’ve come to the realisation that it’s the 20s, not the teenage years, that are the hardest days of our lives. You’re totally right, noone tells us how hard it is to just live life without school or college providing a structure. Those people who have their dream job aged 21 seem to me figments of imagination, sometime made up by one or two successful people who then make everyone else feel like a failure. Great intro to your blog!

    • I love hearing from people who can look back on my situation with their own hindsight. So, I appreciate you sharing. The twenties seem to be harder then our teen years because we’re torn between (as my name suggests) being a young teenager or being a mature twenty-year old.

      “Those people who have their dream job aged 21 seem to me figments of imagination, sometime made up by one or two successful people who then make everyone else feel like a failure.”

      I love this! I haven’t read this much truth in awhile.

  14. I don’t know if I’m just emotional today, but this made me tear up. I feel like this is exactly what I am going through right now,..sometimes it’s overwhelming to read your own thoughts written by someone else so precisely.

    • I’m guilty of having a few emotional days where anything can set me off, but thank you so much for sharing that! It’s beyond any other compliment to hear that my writing can move someone so much. I find a lot of peace when I read something so relatable, I hope you can find the same!

  15. I’m not sure what to make of this post beyond seeing it as a fascinating glimpse into your twenties. In many ways I can’t relate but in some ways I can. If interested, you can get an idea of some of the turmoil I experienced when I was about your age (I just turned 44) in this photo essay:

    http://hammerhomestreetphotography.wordpress.com/2014/03/29/landsdale/

    I won’t be offended if you edit out the link.

    What I experienced was not the result of being uninformed or making stupid choices. I was well advised beforehand that what happened could happen, and I actually tried my best and still wound up with the biggest setback of my life to date. Fortunately, I did get through it all and I am far from that episode in my life with the exception of carrying the memory of it with me as a constant reminder to be proud of what I have been through and accomplished.

    I don’t know where you’re heading but I want you to stay strong and focused.

    • I appreciate you taking the time to comment as well as share something that’s personal to you. I wouldn’t dare edit out the link. You sound as though your experiences have left you with a lot of your own wisdom and you seem to be a stronger person as a result. I look forward to connecting with you again on future posts.

  16. Great blog from a great writer. Although I’m way past 20s I can relate to almost everything you said, except by age 23 I had 3 1/2 kids. Ahhh, the generational paradox. And, if I may, every decade has high-lights as well as low-lights. There’s no escaping the University of Earth’s lessons of personal progress. As I read your blog about your family I thought,”What a fortunate young girl.” You had support, you had back-up people. So many do not have that luxury. Think of being a confused teen without anyone’s support. My support came from friends and a few teachers. Zilch family support. I consider myself blessed. I hope you have books in the works.

    • Thank you so much! Your experience sounds completely incomparable to mine and yet it seems that we will come out with similar lessons and hopefully a strong outlook on life. I had (and have) amazing support from my family and friends and that is something I will never take for granted. I appreciate you taking the time to not only read my post but comment :)

  17. I came to your page after you liked my first post. It’s great to see that there are like-minded people out there that are also blogging about similar things. I’ve just barely started my twenties and it’s taken me this past year off university to realise that I need to get out there in the world more frequently and that it’s up to me to change things if I find myself unsatisified or unhappy. And thank you for viewing my post. :)

    • I’m so glad you in turn, decided to visit my page as well! It sounds like your years off University really helped you with a sense of self-discovery. I hope you continue on that path! I hope to read more of your work in the near future.

      • Yea I think I really needed it, I started university straight after high school and a lot of things happened during my first couple of years of uni. I needed time to collect myself and reflect and discover more about myself. I definitely feel like I’m going in the right direction and starting my blog feels right somehow. And I hope to see more from you as well, your posts are very eloquent and enlightening.

  18. I really relate to your story and it reminds me of my own! I’m 24 now and I just finally feel in the last couple of years that I’ve found my purpose but I really struggled after highschool and until I was around 22 to figure out what I was supposed to do with my life. The best thing I ever did was move to another country and just start my life totally over! Looking forward to following your blog <3

    Danika
    http://www.danikamaia.com

  19. I’ve just entered the world of being a graduate at the age of 26 and have only just realised how much I miss uni. I’m without money but already thinking about doing a master’s degree. As a person with a degree in creative writing I feel I should be writing for a blog or newspaper and getting paid for it, but alas, I’m not.

    And now I’m rambling.

    • I appreciate you taking the time to share your story as it really seems to relate to my situation. It’s hard enough to be a post-grad in this economy but a post-grad with intention to pursue a creative career, an even harder journey. I hope you can find something to do in life that gives you fulfillment!

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