This Is Why Your 20s Are The New Teen Angst

My life was filled with plans, although I was never a five-year plan kind of person. It’s been streamlined in all the general categories many other twenty-somethings have passed through: elementary school, high school, college. Very basic, very accepted, highly expected.

Now I am living in L.A., and when you look at my life through my Instagram account, it looks…pretty. But isn’t that what social media is all about; a way to show off our ideal lives, filtering and cropping out the parts that aren’t so pleasing to the eye? When we take a moment to talk to the person blurred by Perpetua, everything tends to sharpen.

I clearly remember the thoughts of self-doubt that swirled my mind as a teenager. I was definitely an “angsty” teenager at one point, not for any reason in particular, but hormones and life gets weird. I was generally a happy kid, did well in school, but I still recall feeling misunderstood by my parents, like my efforts would never amount to anything, and nervous about what the future held.

Of course, once I got into college, and choose the seemingly right path (Business – blah) for me, I was on a roll again. My college filled our heads with all the right skills for getting a job and all the wrong notions. I was so sure someone, hell, everyone, would love to have a fresh graduate on board that when it took months to even get an interview, I was thrown.

Two jobs later, I feel like I am still no further along in figuring out what the hell I’m doing or what I want to do. When you’re twenty-something, society looks at you like you are an adult. That’s not wrong, but the most adult thing I’ve ever done is probably set my bills on auto-pay so that I wouldn’t miss paying the bills.

Some days I feel so apathetic, I sit in my car for an hour talking myself into going into the office. Afterwards, I immediately head straight home and crash. Thinking of going through the vicious cycle of editing my resume, applying for months, interviewing, getting the job, realizing the job is not right for you and that you are not a single step closer to where you want to be (which is where exactly?) is daunting.

This feeling is all too familiar to my 13 – year old self. Daily immersed in social media, twenty-somethings are constantly surrounded by news of promotions, engagements, travels, and new beginnings. When we find ourselves stuck in a rut, it often feels like we are the only ones not changing or improving. We feel unsure, misunderstood, and discouraged. We feel the angst return.

I’ve read a number of articles that all essentially say the same thing: remember what you loved doing when you were young, and find a way to make it profitable. I am trying to return to my roots and perhaps most importantly, to be honest about how I am feeling, whether it’s by talking or tossing words on paper. Even though I’ve gotten older and learned a lesson or two, life is still weird. As Baz Lurmann said, “The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives/Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.” In the meantime, let’s break open a box of wine and cheers to that. Thought Catalog Logo Mark


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