You’ve spent years daydreaming about this phase in your life. Thinking about the dream job you’d have. The funny friends and funnier partner. Your life would be so Insta perfect it would seem too good to be true. But you would work hard for it, you would achieve all those life goals and come out on top. Because you’re hardworking. Determined. Tenacious. And that’s the road to success right?
But here you are and your life is anything but a dream. It’s a below average reality you never imagined living.
It’s day 3 hair more than once a month. Leggings to work because you haven’t had a chance to wash your jeans and office coffee because you can’t afford to spend R22 on a flat white every morning. According to you, life just isn’t what it was supposed to be.
But not everyone seems to be living the same struggle as you.
Your best friend just got a promotion. Your ex is getting married. Your old school pal just opened their business and then, there’s you. Not doing what you imagined. Not living your Insta-perfect life.
Different people are doing different things and the success of others looks 100 times brighter than the small goals you’ve achieved so far.
Self-doubt starts to kick in because you have yet to learn how to turn it off. And you can’t help but question yourself, your career, your goals, your future. Asking yourself questions like why you? Will this always be your life? Alone? Unlucky? Nothing but a sunken garden filled with dreams that will never flourish.
Once your doubt passes your insecurity sets in. You’ve convinced yourself of your lack of worth. And you grab the closest thing that will make you feel important. Your cellphone to text someone who will make you feel cherished if only for a night. A bottle of wine to numb your pain. The closest thing you can smoke to help you forget.
But in the morning you’ll feel worse than you did the day before. Angry at yourself for your decisions. At your lack of ability to deal with what you consider a crushing reality. Your lack of strength to overcome a bad day. You curl up into the proverbial ball and just judge yourself even more.
In the midst of this loneliness you forget that some of us have been where you are too many times to remember and too many times we’d like to admit.
The next time you feel like that, take a step back and just breathe. Remind yourself that as much as it feels like you’re the only one in this situation many have walked the broken and beaten path before. In their 20s, Ralph Lauren was selling neckties, J.K Rowling was a secretary and Oprah was fired from her job.
Turns out you’re not alone. You’re not the only one who’s going through what you’re going through. There’s still so much more out there for you than your current situation. You have people to meet. Lessons to learn. Things to do. Places to see. Adventures to live.
So don’t waste another moment on sadness, there’s a good chance in another 25 years you’ll be grateful for the lessons you’re learning now, today, in this very moment.
So go ahead and learn some more, laugh some more and feel as much as you can. Remember that you have your whole life ahead of you. You’re only in your 20s after all.