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Monday, August 13, 2012

True Life: I'm 20-Something in 2012

I just want y'all to know this is my 1000th post! Yes, you care. 

True Life: I'm a 20-something single black female living in a city full of men who think they can court you by handing you their business card. Try saying that 5 times fast. As if thats not enough, I'm smack-dab in the middle of a "Quarter-life Crisis" according to the self-help book 20 Something 20 Everything. Aint that somethin?

I need to stay away from those self-help books. They make me think I need help lol! I'm too young and fly to be in any kind of crisis right? Right! In case you're wondering, below is the 10 question Quarter-Life Assessment. You should answer the following with an honest yes or no:
  1. Do you feel a need to “have it all”?
  2. Do you feel older for the first time in your life?
  3. Do you feel pressure to grow up and get your adult life in order?
  4. Do you often feel depressed, overwhelmed, lost, and maybe even a little hopeless?
  5. Do you ever feel that time is running out when you try to figure out your career and decide whether you want to get married and/or have children?
  6. Are you stressed out by choices that seemingly will affect the rest of your life?
  7. Do you feel that you have failed because you don’t know what you want to do with your life?
  8. Do you overanalyze yourself and your decisions?
  9. Do you ever feel guilty for complaining about your life when you’ve lived only about a quarter of it?
  10. Are you embarrassed that you have not figured out or accomplished more?
According to the book, if you have more than 5 yes answers to the above questions you are in a "Quarter-Life Crisis." I didn't wanna answer yes to 9 of the questions but I did.  Still, I refuse to let people convince me I'm in some sort of crisis but I wanted to share that with you. Moving on, again. 

Wanna read something funny? Not like haha funny, but like "damn thats so true" funny? Talk to anyone 50-something or 60-something and they're likely to tell you this: Its normal to feel lost in your 20s. Seriously, seek out their perspective so they can help you see how much you're buggin out. Cuz I'm not the one to run to. Old heads will tell you you're not REALLY expected to have it all together and you're not REALLY expected to know it all. Listen to them. They be knowin stuff. People who were 20-something in the 1960s tell me they went thru the same things I'm going thru now. They also pursued a college education only to find out they couldn't get a job they found suitable to their skill level and salary expectations. They also had to choose between having a roommate in a decent location and living in a terrible apartment alone because thats all they could afford. They also had to deal with external pressures to settle down and start a family by a certain age. They also worked part-time jobs to help make ends meet. Some of them didn't know what they wanted to do with their lives until they turned 30. Let them tell it, I'm ahead of the curve. Put simply, this whole dealing with harsh realities thing is not something that is new to our generation. Were you alarmed?

My generation feels so entitled. We think we're always supposed to win. I blame whoever came up with the idea to give everyone trophies in a competition. What a dumb idea. You're not supposed to get a trophy if you lose! Knowing you worked hard to win builds character. Losing builds character too. So now we're feeding into the hype thinking we should be doing the same thing as our peers. We define success by other people's standards. Thats not true. Oh, I'm still IN my 20s so I don't know nothing? You don't have to listen to me. Stay mad. Stay local. Do you. Come back to me in 5 years and tell me how that worked out for ya. 

I don't know about y'all, but I'm not about to walk around thinkin I'm in a quarter life crisis. I'm not where I want to be, but I'm gettin closer everyday. I may owe a house mortgage to Sallie Mae for student loans, but I fulfilled a major life goal. I no longer have a comma in my savings account. My car is 7 years old. I still get pimples. 70% of my friends have kids. I know at least 15 people my age who got married in the past year. My parents still support me financially. Is that enough? Well its gonna have to be. That aint no crisis. Thats just reality. 

Everyone needs to accept their journey for what it is. Thats all I'm sayin. While I have friends closing on homes and gestating babies, I chose to spend the last 7 years of my life preparing to be a quick-witted lawyer. I'm happy for them and they are happy for me. I'm not trying to imitate their lives and they aren't trying to imitate mine. It works because we understand that our paths are different. Live YOUR best life, and stop trying to live the life other people tell you you're supposed to be living. 

Be great. Stay humble. 

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