Read This If You’re A Lost 20-Something And Still Have No Idea What You’re Doing


When we are six, we are told we can be anything if we put our minds to it. We are told, ‘Yes, of course you can be the president of the United States when you grow up, or the next superstar, or the next Michael Jackson’. We are told that if we try really, really hard, then we can be anyone we want to be. And we can do anything we want to do.

But then we grow the fuck up.

And at sixteen we are told that if we don’t get that certain score on the SAT, or if we don’t get that certain GPA, than we won’t get into a good college. And if we don’t get into a good college, what happens?

We fail. 

So we work our butts off. We lose countless hours of sleep. We destroy our bodies, drinking red bull to keep our tired eyes open long enough to quiz one another just one more time.  And then the day comes. They tell us, ‘this is the day you find out what your fate will be. The day you find out if your hard work paid off’. 

But college isn’t our final destination at all. Life is just beginning then. Just starting. Just becoming something

At eighteen years old, they tell us that we need to pick the practical major. The major that makes most sense. The major that will make us the most money. They tell us we better not fuck up. We better not let anyone down.

They say, ‘This is your future you are playing with, you know’

But it doesn’t feel like a life or a future at all, really. Because we have spent eighteen years of our lives trying not to fail. Trying to be better than everyone else around us. Trying to not let our parents and the generations before us down.

And then we graduate.

And at twenty-two, they say, ‘This is your future. This is it’. They tell us we better get a job quick, we better start living our lives. They shout at us, ‘You better get a boyfriend. Before you know it, you’ll be 60 and alone. Before you know it, you’ll be dead’.

And as years pass, as we all struggle through our jobs that we hate, and our personal lives that keep unraveling at the seams, we have to realize, that this isn’t the life we were meant to live.

This isn’t the life we deserve at all. 

We weren’t meant to be so scared of failure. To be so frightened of falling. We weren’t meant to live a life full of unchecked boxes. We weren’t meant to concentrate so much on what we are doing wrong, instead of what we are doing that’s right.

We weren’t meant to follow everyone else before us. We weren’t meant to be so goddamn scared.

You were not meant to live a life of fear. Of mediocre years. Of days spent aimlessly wishing you weren’t there. Of months spent thinking that you aren’t worth it.

So live the life you want.

Forget what they used to shout at you. Forget what they told you when you failed that exam, or when you didn’t get into your dream college. Forget the insecurities that are wrapped so tightly in your mind. And forget the path that they all tell you to follow. Forget it all.

This is just the beginning. The beginning of a new start for you.

Turn this confusion and this state of the unknown into something that is powerful and into something that is beautiful. Make today the start of your new life. The life that you choose. The life that you actually want.

Make today the day you quit listening to the whispers that fill your head when you are alone at midnight. And make today the day you start listening to your gut.

And make today the day you listen to what your six-year old self would’ve wanted. 

Make your six-year old self ecstatic with joy. Go after that dream you have been repressing for so long. Go after that dream that you have hid in your closet after all these years. Go after it. And actually live your life. Life the life you used to dream of living.

And make it a realityThought Catalog Logo Mark

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