Being A Hot Mess In Your Twenties Isn't Worth It

Being A Hot Mess In Your Twenties Isn’t Worth It

This is embarrassing for me to admit (even though it should come as a surprise to no one) but I’ve had a hard time accepting that I’m growing up and getting older. Maybe I have a case of Peter Pan Syndrome (I’m one of many sufferers who live in New York. After all, this is a place where you can spend lots of money to continue behaving like children.) Whatever it is though, I’ve reached my breaking point with self-destruction. You think you’ve hit it before, you think you’ve had enough, but all of that stuff before was just warning signs. You know the real thing when it hits you.

And boy does it hit you. All of a sudden, you wake up one day and see that everyone has moved on without you. Shacked up with their partners. Gotten happier and healthier. And not in a fake “I’m going on a juice cleanse kind of way.” I’m talking about true happiness. I’m talking about making proactive moves to better your life. My best friend was a hot mess in college. She drank a lot, made out with stupid boys, ate crappy food after. Her entire life seemed to be like one giant shame spiral but it was okay because everyone was there right with her. After college, however, things started to change, she started to change. She got a great job, a great boyfriend, and became joyful in a real way. At first, I was resentful of these changes. I made fun of her for eating healthy and not going out as much anymore. But then I realized that all of my taunts came from a place of deep insecurity. Because my best friend was getting it, she was sick of being miserable, and I wasn’t. I wasn’t even being close to finished.

I haven’t been with a boy in some time now. Intimacy is a concept I’m losing more and more touch with each passing day. And when that happens, when you find yourself getting excited when someone rubs your knee and gives you a long lingering hug, you realize just how far gone you are.

My advice to anyone who is still in college and in the beginning of their twenties is to be careful. Don’t feel obligated to burn the candle at both ends, don’t feel like you have to hook up with every person who throws themselves at you, don’t try all the drugs. Just don’t. Because there can be irrevocable damage. One day you can go too far and find yourself incapable of dealing with life.

I feel regretful now when I read my earlier writings where I was like, “OMG, do all the coke and make all the mistakes!” That was irresponsible of me. That was me just wanting to justify MY mistakes. At the end of the day, drugs, meaningless sex and being wasted just distract you from the big picture and prevent you from getting what you really want later on. The important thing is to always treat yourself with respect. Treat yourself how you would treat a best friend or a lover. It’s so easy to forget yourself in your twenties. It’s so easy to prioritize yourself last and forget that YOU actually need love and attention. Try not to, though. Try not to hurt yourself, try not to get into bad situations, don’t feed into this idea of being messed up in your twenties as glamourous. Because you’re stuck with yourself until you die. And if you lose who you are, if you neglect your needs for too long, you might not ever be able to find your way back. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author

Ryan O'Connell