I’m calling this last year as a throw away year. As I rapidly approach twenty-five, I’m realizing how truly unremarkable twenty-four turned out to be.
At twenty-one I spent a year living in London and returned home finally able to drink alcohol during my last year of college with my friends.
At twenty-two I graduated college, fell in and out of “love” twice, and said goodbye to the safety and comfort of a life at school.
At twenty-three I became an egg donor to help an amazing couple reach their goal of having a child. I then spent two months working and partying in the Bahamas before moving to Italy.
But twenty-four – twenty-Four has been nothing more than one giant blur. I returned home and left the most adventurous year of my life in the past.
I’ve heard a lot about the quarter life crisis. It’s the time in our twenties when we are supposed to feel lost, lonely, and confused as we search for ourselves. Our generation supposedly facing it harder than others as we put off many of the milestones generations before us rushed into.
My mom was married, with a 2 year old, and working as an accountant at my age. I can’t even remember to pack a lunch for work in the morning. Most days, I get take out for dinner because I come home too tired, cranky, and lazy to cook for myself. I can’t imagine having the added responsibility of a child to take care of, and a husband to show love for. I often forget to even text the guy I’m interested in back. If I can’t do something as basic as type a six word sentence response, how am I supposed to establish a loving and fulfilling relationship?
At work, I feel successful. As much trouble as I have not hitting the snooze button for a solid hour before getting out of bed, I still show up ready to get my work done. For eight hours a day, I feel a little bit like what the adult I imagined myself to be at twenty-four when I was a little girl. I wear my button up, and dress shoes, with my hair nicely straightened. I even look a little bit like the adult I once imagined I’d become.
However, at night I come home and remember the adventures I’ve had. The nights I got to spend drunkenly dancing on the beaches of the Bahamas, or wandering the streets of Paris late at night in search of a Hookah bar. I remember the weekends I spend flying to new countries alone, and trading in nights at the club for days in the museums. I think of all the different people I met, and how each one had a list of adventures that made more jealous than the last. I think of how I spent all those months thinking I had been finding myself, only to return home and realize I hadn’t learned much at all.
It’s easy to feel content when you’re surrounded by distractions. As lonely as days could be in new countries and cities where there wasn’t a single familiar face, there was always something new for me to explore. New people and places always there to distract me. To make me feel happy and whole.
At home, I don’t have that. Sure, I have my family and friends, but mainly I have myself. I spend my days going to work, and the smallest of my adventures are reserved for the weekend. And with bills to pay, those adventures are far and few between. I could easily say I feel myself falling into this rut because I’m simply a nomad in nature. That I am meant to spend my life traveling the world, never settling down in one place. But, I call bullshit on that. I love to travel and explore new places, but I also know one day I want the love and comfort of building a family and a home.
I simply do not know how to get there. This last year I felt settled, but I also felt very little at all. No intense highs from doing trapeze on the beach, or wandering city streets hoping I would have enough time see it all before I had to find my way back to the station, before my train left. No devastating lows as I lost someone I believed I loved, or as I missed all the friends and family I said goodbye to and left 3,000 miles behind.
It took time before I mastered adventures and the art of going it alone. You could drop me anywhere in the world now, and I know I could find something to do, somewhere to eat, and a place to sleep. I can be in any strange city, and never once feel lost.
I now just have to learn how to do it at home. I need to learn how to live when every moment isn’t make it or break it. I have to learn how to enjoy being settled. I want to feel comfort and contentment in it, instead of nothing all. This year wasn’t it. This year was the beginning of my quarter life crisis. This I felt lost, but like always if I give it time I’ll find my way. I’ll find something to do, the energy to cook, and a person to lay my head down next to.