Thought Catalog

I’m 24, But I Feel Like I’m Still In High School

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Twenty20 / @avenning

I turned 24 in December. As a kid, I always assumed by the time I was in my mid twenties, I would feel more grown up. More mature. More like I had my shit together. But in reality? I still feel like I’m 17.

I have the job of my dreams, I have wonderful friends and a roof over my head. So why do I still feel like something is missing? Like there’s more for me to do, more for me to be, more for me to accomplish.

My head feels like a never ending race track, always needing to press on the accelerator a little bit more, always wanting to speed and to leave, when in actuality, maybe what I should be doing is slowing down.

At 17, I was on top of the world and in love. I was graduating and everything was new and magic and shiny. But I still felt so small, so miniscule. I still felt like I had something to prove. Like nothing I would do, would ever be enough for me and for other people. I always felt like I needed to be someone better. To be someone better for myself and for my loved ones.

And now at 24, I still feel small. I still feel like my best isn’t good enough. Like my head is always drowning in to-do lists and bucket lists and goals that I will never achieve. I still feel like that young 17 year old, so afraid of what I could lose. So afraid of what I couldn’t do.

I think I thought that by now, I would be more confident. That I would walk into a room, and people would look at me and say, hey that girl knows exactly what she’s doing.

But I don’t.

I’m still all over the place, an anxiety-ridden brain that doesn’t know how to stop or slow down. I’m still so jumbled up and tense that my dreams won’t come true. That my accomplishments won’t matter. That I won’t find love again.

I thought that by now I would be better. Be better at taking care of myself. Be better at knowing my self worth and my ability to be a decent person. I thought that I would believe in myself more by now. That I would be able to look in the mirror and not doubt my strength. That I would be able to not hide from my mistakes and my flaws and imperfections.

I thought that at 24 I’d be a different person than I was at 17. But it feels the same. I feel exactly the same. And I keep wondering when it’s going to change. I keep wondering when I’m going to feel different.  TC mark

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