More and more I realize that there are these standards thrown at me from so many different outlets. We receive these images of what we’re supposed to be from the media, our families and unfortunately, our peers. I’m 25 and I don’t have much figured out. I can barely find shoes that fit, let alone figure out my fucking life. Well let me tell you what I’ve discovered, none of these models matter. Here are some of the biggest ones I’ve encountered and the reasons why they’re total bullshit:
1. The Fallacy That We Should All Be In College
In today’s economy, not all of us can afford a college degree. I happily went to college when I received a grant and when our shitty economy no longer supported that grant, I stopped. And then life happened. I’m working two jobs and raising a daughter so excuse the hell out of me if I don’t have the time or resources to learn fucking algebra. I’ve always looked to my Dad’s example when I feel discouraged. A similar situation happened to him, that situation being life and shit. He went back to college in his late 30’s and is now doing a job he loves for an unreasonably high amount of money. Who says “old dogs can’t learn new tricks”? Never let someone tell you that you have to do things now now now, unless those things are doing your taxes or getting the fuck out of the intersection.
2. The Myth That Our 20s Are The Years We’re Supposed To Be In A Stable Relationship
If you’re dating an entire dance squad, screwing a bad boy, or having a serious fling with Netflix and novels, all of those things are normal and acceptable. Women used to get married and settled young because they had no fucking choice. They didn’t have the independence, options, and motivation we have now. Their jobs were to be pretty, pump out a bunch a kids and make a kick ass casserole. As of 2010 the average life expectancy is 78. If I had tied the knot when I was 20 I’d be stuck with that B for what would feel like fucking eternity. And for all you dudes out there, if you chose not to get married back in the day, you were called a “confirmed bachelor.” Which 9 times out of 10 really meant queer as a three dollar bill in a unicorn’s pocket (and not in a good way). If you’re working on “you”, and you’re happy with whatever stage your romantic entanglements are in, then fuck it! Get it, girl/boy/whatever you wanna be/unicorn. Your mind/heart/private parts can’t be held to any bullshit that you don’t believe in. I refuse to feel like I am “less than” anyone of my peers because I don’t have a picket fence, a partner, and 4 kids. I’m satisfied with my one kid out of wedlock, thank you very much.
3. The Idea That We Should Know What We Wanna Be When We Grow Up
I have two jobs and neither of them are something I want to do forever. There are so many obstacles and options that’s its impossible to know which road to take. You don’t need to know what you want to do forever when you’re in your 20s. We’re only a quarter of the way there! How are we supposed to know what the exit looks like if we’ve never driven by it before? For all I know, I wanna be a fucking clown next year. Like literally a circus clown. I can see a lot of positives to that particular venture. Lots of makeup, travel, working with kids, and free entertainment when I’m not clowning it up. If you can’t commit to what you wanna do forever, then don’t. If you feel like you’re just making ends meat, you’re doing more than that. You’re learning how to be an adult. You’re figuring out what you don’t want to do. You’re figuring out you.
Here’s what I do know. I love being a mother, I love both of my jobs, I love my family and I am currently very much in love with my significant other. That’s enough for me right now. Whatever is going on in your life, be okay with it. You’re a work in progress. You’re processing. You are a loading screen that buffers a lot. But I believe in you, my precious little caterpillar. And why do I believe in you? Because I believe in myself, and in possibilities. So why shouldn’t you?