Drowning in my twenties
As I sit in my 500 square foot apartment that is currently bombarded with pounding noise of a hammer being used next door, I start to think, how the hell did I get here?
Two years ago I was sitting in my overpriced college dorm wondering what the hell I was going to do when I got my degree. Now here I am, about to turn twenty-one, no degree, and I believe about seventeen dollars to my name.
When older people tell you "Your twenties are a time when you are supposed to have fun!", what they really mean is that you are supposed to get all your reckless behavior out now before it has serious repercussions. What most don't tell you is that the beginning, middle, and end of your twenties are just as defining as your senior year in high school. My senior year I was choosing which school I thought could lead me to some the future I had dreamed of, and now I'm choosing which jobs are going to be sufficient enough to pay my bills.
On the other hand, I am also doing things I could've never imagined myself doing; Paying rent, balancing bills, living with a man (one of the toughest ..believe me), keeping a healthy relationship, keeping the fridge stocked with groceries, and actually being fully responsible for myself. Ten years ago the thought of being completely self-sufficient scared the shit out of me. Now it's just normality, survival even. Things that seemed impossible are now daily duties that are necessary to live.
As a little girl, my mother would always express our financial difficulties but never in a negative connotation. In her eyes, things just were the way they were. We had to live how we were able to. With that being said my mother never left me without and provided a life that I wouldn't trade for anything. She never made me feel as though I was missing out, and she did it all on what she was given and what she could get. She used to call it "Robbing Peter to Pay Paul". My mother is the hardest working woman I have ever met and a true inspiration. The lessons she taught me I still find myself making use of today. Still to this day I call her constantly seeking advice on how not to drown in my twenties.
There is the freedom aspect of the twenty-somethings. Never in my life have I had more freedom than I do now. However never in my life would I ever think that I wouldn't it want it. Don't get me wrong, freedom is the gift that keeps on giving, but its also the gift that keeps on taking money from my wallet. The more freedom you have, the more it costs. Having no one but yourself to answer to is not all it's cracked up to be. When you are the one who has to deal with the shit you decide to get into, that's when you truly start to think about cause and effect. The other day I had a thirty-minute conversation with myself about how big of a dent a cup of five-dollar frozen yogurt would put into my wallet. Even all while being frugal with my money, I still find myself splurging on the little things that I take joy in. I deserve it, I work my ass off to still struggle the way so I make sure to remind myself that I deserve to have fun. I guess what I am saying is that no matter how fucked up life gets, I am still having the time of life gasping for air in the deep end.
life loading: 50%.
How long does the “I don't know what I am doing with my life stage life” stage last? How long does it take for the career and long term housing part of one's existence to kick in? Does it depend on how hard the person is working, or does it depend on what opportunities they are given? Many will say that to get what is wanted in life hard work comes first and the reward will follow. Not many ever really speak of the middle of the road stage. Is this a part in life that everyone goes through and no one talks about? Or is it just myself that is caught in a gigantic limbo of my future. I like to call this the loading zone.
When downloading a new game, app, or a computer program there is a start and a finish. The worst part of the process is the middle of the loading. The time where it's at about forty or fifty percent. It's too far in to give up, but not far enough to feel completely satisfied. The eighty percent zone is a lot safer because the end is near enough so it doesn't feel like as much as a stretch. Eighty percent says “I've almost made it, but I have some last minute touches to really top things off.”
Fifty percent bring anxiety and doubt. “I have made it this far, do I have it in me to finish? If I stop now, do I have enough to start a new chapter, or even to start again if I wanted to give this another go?” Fifty percent is a real risky business. Although not widely talked about, it's completely essential to what we call “Our Hopes and Dreams”. Without the doubt and worry of the halfway mark, none would know if they are certain about their choices. This middle of the road stage is way more important than what we give it credit for. It tests us time after time, seeing if we can last until the end.
The middle of the road feeling does not last forever. I wish I had heard that more growing up. If one middle of the road stage leads to newfound paths, I dare anyone to take those steps, but just know its always going to be there. Don't let a fifty percent feeling stop what makes life feel complete.
My name is Bri. I am a twenty- one year old trying to survive in Los Angeles.