Just So You Know It’s Okay If Your 20s Look Nothing Like You Thought They Would

Aidan Meyer

When I was younger, thinking about being in my 20s sounded so old. I thought everything was going to be awesome by the time I was there. I would be graduated college, have a killer job and my own chic place. I would be living out a fabulous post grad adult life the way they had always portrayed it today in the movies and television shows- thriving young professionals had fancy jobs at Fortune 500 corporations, were living in loft apartments in the city, had a hot business man fiancé, and had plenty of money to afford beautiful clothes and nightly happy hours after work with their friends.

What the media happens to leave out is all of the incredibly real struggles and the real amount of time and hard work it takes to actually gain those things or anything even mirroring that kind of lifestyle.

In my mind, being in my 20’s meant independence and freedom for myself. I would be out in the real world by now, living on my own and learning how to make it for myself.

Even, when my parents were my age it seemed like they had done so much more. By this age, they had already had steady jobs, been married and had me.

But now, on the brink of 24 years old I am nowhere near where I pictured myself being by this age. I still have tons of student loan debt, a job (that doesn’t pay the generous amount I made up in my mind long ago) and my old bedroom living under my parent’s roof. I must admit it is not a terrible life, it is just different from the life of what I though an almost 24 year old would be like.

That is when I had to step back and think about how vastly things have changed since my parents were younger and how unrealistically most television portrays the hardships (or lack thereof) of adulthood. I’m sure we have all read the stories about how Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw actually would have never been able to afford that spacious apartment in New York City as well as all of those Christian Louboutin’s. Success isn’t measured by when you get the things you want in life it’s about how you got them.

I think it’s important to know that our journey doesn’t always (and definitely won’t always) go as planned but we must learn to adjust to the new obstacles along the way. We must celebrate all of the things we have accomplished up until now instead of dwelling on the things we have not done yet.

I admit, this is hard to do sometimes and it’s nearly impossible not to think about what your life could be if maybe you had made some different choices. But thinking this way will only negatively mess with your head. Sure, 24 sounded so old when you were 10 years old but now you can see 24 is still just the beginning of your life.

I still have my days where I get into a funk about where I am and how I could and should be doing better by now but you should just let those days motivate you further and have them make you work harder to get your dream life someday.

So it is ok to still be living at home because you are saving a lot more money to be able to afford a great place one day. It is ok to not have your dream job because you are just gaining the more experience to take to get there. It is ok to still be single because the truth is most guys don’t mature until their late 20s anyway (and sometimes not even then). So you can’t get down on yourself. Majority of people in their 20s aren’t in their most ideal place yet but that doesn’t mean we will never get there. Your 20’s are about figuring how what you want and how you can accomplish it.

Don’t let anyone (including yourself) make you feel down about where you are in life because as long as you have worked hard to get there so far you have something to be proud of. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Keep up with Stephanie on Twitter

More From Thought Catalog