Dear Late Twenty-Something,
So, you’re in your late 20s nearing 30 and all of a sudden it starts to hit you. People around you are getting engaged, buying houses, celebrating five years or more at a company and some are even having babies. You’ve gone from the everyone’s graduating getting dogs and trying to run a half-marathon phase to some real life accomplishments.
Depending who you are, if your anything like me – you’ve got none of those things. Either you don’t want them yet (like me) or your hoping that accomplishments like that will be you soon. You may have been dating your boyfriend for six years and someone else gets engaged after one. Why them and not you? The game starts of how can this be happening? Why are they getting to do those things?
Our timelines are all different. Social media is an easy tool to communicate and share your life. It’s also an easy way to fall into the trap of comparison and why not me. For some it means that jealousy creeps in overseeing sorority sisters getting married and having kids. For some it means feeling inferior when you see high school classmates receiving promotions. That’s normal, it happens, especially in society today.
Even though are generations have come leaps and bounds from previous generations and the one size fit all traditions. There are still plenty of obstacles to overcome, and numerous ways society has an impact on us. It’s hard to stay in your own lane and trust your path.
The thing is? Those social media posts are just a highlight reel; there are no details behind those. Maybe that person is getting engaged to someone who they just feel comfortable with and aren’t really in love with? Maybe that person with the promotion works 60 hours a week and never gets a vacation. That person with the new house & car, they’ve got student debt out their ears.
When people around us are achieving milestones and accomplishments it’s easy and natural to want that story. It looks so perfect and often times we convince ourselves that looks great, I want that. Deep down that may not be anything close to what you truly want, but the fear of missing out and feeling inferior starts to trick us into thinking we do.
Maybe you’re starting a new career, that’s easy to feel like you’re starting over. When in reality you’ve built up experiences and are taking a risk to lead a life on your terms filled with passion. Or maybe you’re still single and people keep trying to set you up with people, when in reality you’re so happy being independent and doing your own thing. Maybe you’re headed back to school, which seems scary as you see people crushing their careers. When in reality you will be happier and more fulfilled in your new path.
Late-20s are hard. They’re scary. All these weird societal timelines start kicking in and you think you have to be somewhere you may never even want to be. Stay true to yourself, make mistakes and follow your path. There is only one way for you, so focus on yourself. It’s not going to be easy and fear is definitely going to be your friend. Don’t worry, you’ve got this.
A 27-Year-Old, Switching Careers to Live more Passionately