The course of being a millennial in today’s world is not uncharted territory. Constantly magazine publications, websites, family members, and friends will tell you how different you were compared to other generations. Odds are, these other generations were told the same thing, and next time’s new one will be doomed to repeat the same history. Yawn.
So now you’re in your 20s. You think you have life all figured out. You went to college right after high school, were employed before you graduated college, then jetted out to do it, the career path, but it all came to a pause when everything you thought you wanted no longer existed.
Does this sound like you? This period of a millennial’s life is called normal. They won’t tell you about it until you get here, then reassure you it’s normal to feel this way – alone, unsure, unmoving, demotivated. Whoever they are, you’re thinking they’re real scum right now for not putting up a caution sign or giving you a fair alert. Should “they” create a sort of millennial bat signal or something? S.O.S. (and red wine, because you and I deserve a glass every now and then.)
You’re sure this isn’t burnout, because it isn’t, it’s uncertainty, and what a scary feeling.
The truth is, dear millennial like me, you’re not supposed to have it all figured out. Take time to figure it out. Don’t rush.
Life’s too short to rush. Don’t worry. You’ll get there. I’m not saying to take it easy or take a year-long hiatus from the workforce. God bless you if you have that time and freedom. I’m not telling you to mooch off of your family and friends. Responsibility and independence are privileges. I’m not telling you to do anything you don’t want to do, because that’s what you need to do most right now, listen to yourself.
That’s what I’m trying to do, anyway… I was always career-oriented, even as a young girl. For a long time, I thought I wanted to be an actress, but when that didn’t work out, I pursued communication. I finished my Bachelor’s degree in 3 years because I was so eager to start a career. I worked hard during the summer, sometimes having 3 jobs at a time while taking summer courses, then repeating a similar methodology of winterim. (And yes, debt is still in my life, even though I told him to stop texting me.) I moved out to the East coast about 2 weeks after I graduated where I began in fashion, transitioned to the beauty industry, then finished my work there in entertainment.
At first, it fit like a glove, as the start of any new relationship might. I was excited, aflutter with the hope of new possibility and opportunity. While great opportunities did present, which I seized with utmost fervor and aptitude, jeggings will betray you, and when you get back into that pair of jeans you thought fit you from the start of your journey, you might find that 2 years and 10 pounds later, you outgrew your former self, and the world doesn’t look the same anymore. (Normal.)
When I lost my voice, I listened to my heart, and it led me back to my family where I’m picking up the pieces of a life I thought I wanted, and am re-adjusting them according to 2017’s me.
Every year before her, I thought I knew who I wanted to be. I wasn’t wrong at the time, because I did want to be a certain her then, but my image of me and life has changed. I’m not burnt out. I’m not hurt. I’m not down. I’m normal, and for the first time in a long time, I feel that I’m truly letting myself be.
Success isn’t defined by others’ perception of enormous. A big career doesn’t automatically indicate a great success. Success should be defined by the happiness you feel and share with others.
You shouldn’t be ashamed of how big or small the things you want are. The world isn’t over because you don’t know who you are right now or don’t know what you want to do anymore. It’s just the start, so don’t feel like it’s the end.
Don’t treat yourself or your life like it’s already over. That’s just about the worst thing you can do. You will ruin your 20s by worrying too much. Give yourself time, then pick yourself up, and live your life authentically.
Be honest about your loves and desires. Don’t let them slip with time. Embrace the seconds as they come. Don’t waste away by the hour. This is you. This is your life. You got this. I got this.