Backstory

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.

201 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.

    1. 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.

    1. It has absolutely helped! I hope you can say the same about your blog. Thank you for taking the time to read my writing. Perhaps we will be in touch in the near future. I’d be interested in hearing your story.

  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.

    1. 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

    1. 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.

    1. 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!

    1. 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. :)

    1. 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.

    1. 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 :)

    2. I’m 32. I think I spent a great deal of twenties doing things that I thought would matter. I served in the military in a good career field (essentially what is IT), I got out, went to major state university, I’ve been a research assistant, and just done a lot of important an meaningful things during that time.

      Once I graduated, the world decided that my talent and skills were worth $10 – $12/hr and that I would accept that because I was desperate for just enough money to live right on the line between poverty and being homeless.

      As time went by, I just grew more and more angry and bitter. I did everything I was supposed to and it didn’t mean shit. I dealt with these feelings of inadequacy, anger, humiliation, and degradation with much drinking and poly-substance drug abuse.

      After some time of keeping my head down and allowing the world to beat me down, I said you know what, F this: I’ve served in military, I have a degree from a reputable university, and my math and verbal skills are pretty sharp. I’m a smart guy with a lot of talent and drive and I’m just going break away from all this noise and pave my own way.

  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?

    1. 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).

    1. 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!

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

    1. 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. :)

    1. 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.

      1. 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

    1. If you don’t mind me asking, what country did you move to? That’s inspiring in many ways although I’ve always thought that starting fresh for me would be a horrible idea. I appreciate you sharing your story and I hope to read more of it on your own blog :)

  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.

    1. 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!

  20. Love the idea of this blog and look forward to reading more. I never would have imagined after counting down the days to graduation that now I look back and yearn for that time!

    1. I never realized how much I took advantage of my school years and it doesn’t seem to be something we can learn until we go through it ourselves. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I hope to hear from you on future posts!

  21. You are exactly where you need to be … A little lost. Being lost at 20 something beats being lost at 40 something, and there are a ton of people out here today like that. Find your passion and follow it, wherever it leads you. Whatever your faith tradition is, always be open to it. I believe sometimes God allows you to be lost for a while – maybe requires it – to get you where you need to be. Don’t be afraid to rely on your parents if that’s available. Life ain’t like the sitcoms. Finally third, as one who has made his living as a writer and editor. I can tell you, you are a talented writer. Keep your blog going.

    1. I agree. I’m pretty fortunate to be lost at the age I am and thank you for sharing your great perspective. Life isn’t a TV show – it’s a hard lesson to learn. I will absolutely keep up my blogging, thank you so much for the support!

  22. I just happened to be updating and renovating my blog when I came across yours in my notifications and I am absolutely grateful. This blog is amazing. I am 18 years old and I already feel like this, but I’m glad I’m not alone. This blog is something I’ll definitely share with everyone I know because it is so good and relevant. I can totally relate and I love how you are able to write so charmingly. I look forward to reading a lot more.

    1. I’m so glad you were able to come across my page. It’s amazing to hear how much you can relate to my writing and thoughts. You sound like you’ve found a lot of self-awareness at such a young age so I hope your twenties will prove to be successful. I look forward to hearing from you on future posts!

  23. Love your blog! I recently graduated too and am trying my hardest to transition into the “real world” and a career…a lot harder than it seems. Nice to know I’m not the only one trying to figure it out! :)

    1. Thank you! I never realized this overwhelming feeling of stress was common for all (or majority) or post grads. I appreciate you visiting my blog. I hope I’ll hear from you on future posts :)

  24. I really loved reading this. It is so true, but it’s like a dirtily kept secret by the older generations, your twenties are tough. Really tough. But you wrote about it so beautifully. I will definitely be following.

    1. I’m glad you took the time to read my work. You’re right – it is like a dirty secret. One that you’ll never be let in on until you experience it for yourself. Thank you for sharing :)

  25. I enjoyed reading your story about growing up in these times. I have grandkids your age facing that big old world and hoping for the best themselves. I wish you all the best on your journey into the future, knowing you will find yourself eventually and be all the stronger for the struggles you are facing now in your efforts to get there. As for me? It took 50 years to learn to stand on my own two legs, and by then MS had almost crippled those legs. It hasn’t crippled my spirit though, and I’m sure nothing will cripple yours either.

    As for it being a dirty secret we older folks keep? I’m a product of the ’60’s and I thought I would never pass the age of 30, that death would be better than growing old, yet here I am at 70+ still enjoying life and loving every moment, even though I will never understand a bit of it. Chin up kid, you’ll make it. Keep blogging. You tell a good story.

  26. Hi, just read this into page and felt such a kinship with your experience. It’s funny isn’t it. The moment of realisation that you may actually not be all that great? That your dreams of success whatever success may be, are not actually going to be handed to you? That in fact they’re super hard to get? I think you hit the nail on the head, when you spoke about goals. We need goals to achieve. We need direction. We need plans. However even with all that (as a self-confessed over planner) we can still look back and feel somewhat insignificant. I think blogging is a great way of documenting that you actually have achieved quite a bit (it can be so hard to reflect on the good things we’ve done sometimes and the awesome experiences that went along with our achievements) and also to hold us accountable to keep striving, to keep living this precious life to the full! Really enjoyed this read, keep it up! Take care, Kazza

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to visit my blog and leave such an inspiring comment. It means a lot to find others who are willing to open up about similar situations. So well written – keep up the blogging. I hope to hear more from your journey :)

  27. You cant fool us, we can see right through your angel wings :)

    the ability, courage and determination to put to paper the things you go through and how life feels like its a thing few people have.

    You’re going to go far having that mindset, and by going far I’m not necessarily saying you’re going to be super rich and famous, but going far in discovering your true Self and living It to the fullest with a and supremely warm heart..

    Be well, blessed child :)

    1. Thank you so much for leaving such a kind comment! I hope the fact that I’ll go far with my ‘mindset’ not my ‘money’ will workout for the best. I appreciate you taking the time to read my work :)

  28. Hi

    Thanks for the like on my Galapagos Islands post.

    What you describe here is called life. What sets you apart is your ability to articulate in a very cohesive manner. As one old enough to be your father I can tell you that life has a strange way of working itself out. I can also tell you your generation is on another planet to people my age. We didn’t have 6,500 “followers” to complain to about how life is hard. We just dealt with it. Bloggers my age use social media for fun whereby you guys are so trapped by it, if the internet went away you’d all wither up and die.

    Having said that and speaking as one that thinks most blog writing is very amateurish at best, I can say you do it very well so kudos and enjoy the journey through life. Perhaps if you choose to follow our upcoming journey it will help assure you there’s a big light at the end of your tunnel;

    Cheers
    Rob and Diane

    1. Hi Rob and Diane,

      Great blog – I appreciate you taking the time to read mine. I am however a bit taken back in your perception of my generation and social media.

      In the generic sense, yes, social media does occupy a lot of our times. Some use it for good use, others don’t, but that’s not our call to make.

      As for you calling my blog a spot to ‘complain’, I have to resent that seeing as my blog has very possibly save my life and I like to believe it’s helped others.

      The mere truth that you have your own blog means you enjoy sharing experiences and thoughts with essentially strangers. Sharing my poetry and love for writing is no different, regardless of my age.

      Mental health has left us beneath such a thick blanket of stigma that the least I can do is stand up for those writing. I believe their voice matters whether it’s in front of 1000’s on a stage or 100’s in the corner of the Internet.

      I love hearing different perspectives and stories that start as, ‘when I was your age’ but respectfully, we know things are different. Heck, I know things are different even from when I was growing up. I look forward to reading more from your guys’ s great journey as I hope you will now see either my generation in a different light, or at least the right to use social media to ‘complain’.

      All the best!

      1. Hi

        I apologize because I didn’t mean to offend you in any way and I love your writing. I’m sure it does help others and that’s great. Obviously you know how to use social media in a positive manner.

        But I also believe in honesty, and to be frank, many people of my generation might not relate to your situation the way you might hope they would. We simply didn’t have all the opportunities you guys have now and it’s great that you take advantage of them; many I’ve seen write stories about how they don’t want to work or settle down but just want to do whatever they feel like. Simply put, nobody my age approves of that attitude because we all had to work hard without the benefits now enjoyed by today’s generation. But that does not describe you, thankfully.

        Thanks for understanding and I still look forward to following your posts and hope you continue to do the same

        Regards to you too !!

  29. From the beginning of this post, I was thinking “No, this is me. THIS IS ME.” I’m turning 24 in a week. Scared and disappointed in myself, but I know that where I am at is necessary if I am to be where I want to be in a year, or two years. I am so eager to read more of your blog. I think I could very much relate and benefit from reading of your experiences. I saw on another page of yours something about how online forums don’t really work. They don’t. I thought they would, but in some strange way they don’t allow me to express myself in ways I’ve always wanted to. I find comfort in your space, and I look forward to more time spent reading your posts. :)

    1. I’m so glad you found my blog, seeing as you’re so able to relate. It sounds like you have a great perspective already on ‘what’s meant to happen – will happen.’ i hope you’ll enjoy the rest of my posts. I look forward to hearing from you! :)

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