Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Death by unmet expectations

This is fairly accurate representative of what I thought my mid-twenties would be like.
Being 24 is weird. Like, really weird. The last two days have been filled with such highs and also a bunch of lows (but fortunately just regular, valley-sized lows, and not, like, Grand Canyon-sized lows). I discovered yesterday at work that the most challenging days are by FAR the most rewarding days, and came home on such an adrenaline high. It was so satisfying and awesome and fulfilling, and at 10:00 I fell into bed without taking off my make-up or even brushing my hair, and slept for 14 hours. Today I caught up with a friend I haven’t seen in a while, and as wonderful as it was, it also brought up a discussion of people we knew in college, which oddly brought me way, way down. Later in the evening I received an email which confirmed that a proposal I wrote back in the fall had been approved and was now making a HUGE impact on a non-profit I worked for. And then at 1am (about an hour ago) one of my friends called me in crisis mode. This is a pretty regular occurrence and I felt myself getting emotional for my own sake—because I give great motivational speeches, and why doesn’t anyone listen to them? (and while we're at it, could I be anymore self-involved?)

So it’s been a little intense. But throughout it all, I keep reminding myself that it’s intense in a good way. I love my routine and the monotony of some of my days—sitting at Starbucks and writing, watching tv with my roommate and having dance parties in my living room, getting up at 4:30 on the days I have to work and driving downtown in the dark. But I love that other days are completely crazy, full of near disasters and requiring a ton of coffee and advice-giving, testing my patience but ultimately making me into a better person (and I don’t mean better person as in more ethical or moral, but better person as in stronger, more capable and more confident). 

But there is definitely something strange about this period in our lives. Unlike all the years that came before, I don't have a concrete idea of what 24 should "look" like. I feel like I had an idea of what 16 would be, or 18, or even 21, but after that, everything got kind of blurry. As a kid, I had a vague idea that 25 year old me would have "high powered business-y job" and look like Shania Twain. I still have 6 months to go, but it's looking...doubtful. Basically, I have a lot of friends doing really cool things, and a lot of friends that are struggling. Everyone is confused, and no one really knows if we are where we "should be" at this point in my life.

I'm not saying anything new by proposing that there is, or shouldn't be, a standard. Everything happens at a different pace for different people. I feel as though I have quoted this list multiple times to multiple people this week alone, but "Life will never feel like it’s “supposed to”. Being twenty-something can feel like death by unmet expectations. However, let me be so brash to say that you are right now, at this moment, exactly where you need to be. But you’ll only be able to see that five years and thirty-eight days from today."

Fortunately, and this may just be a temporary thing, I feel as though I can see that I am where I need to be, highs AND lows, right now. I hope that if there over comes a point when things are going less swimmingly, on a more consistent basis, I'll still be capable of having this kind of perspective. 

What did you imagine 24 (or 26, or 17, or 48) would be like? Has it met your expectations?


  1. Life as a 20-year-old is absolutely nothing like I expected it to be... but I feel like that may be the case for every age. I think you have done the BEST thing you can do- learn to appreciate the highs and lows, for what they make you. That's something that studying abroad has forced me to learn a little bit.

    P.S. I really liked the article you linked to.

  2. I'm turning 23 in a couple of months and honestly don't know what to expect! I have some friends who seem to have everything figured out and other friends who are totally lost at the exact same age. By the way, I've nominated you for a Liebster award so check it out on my blog!


  3. Oh my gosh I love this. This is my life. First of all, you are rocking 24. you are killing it. I love the description of your lows and highs. You have great perspective and I feel like most 24 year olds are not as balanced as you are. I also feel like I had this idea of what 25 would look like. Like I assumed that once I graduated from college I would be this super intense investment banker. But when I was like 20 I decided I wanted my life to be different and now it looks nothing like what I thought an almost 23 year old life would look like. Gah! I don't even have an idea of what th next 5 years of my life will look like. When I was 18 I thought everything was so planned out for me...

  4. I just came across your blog and am your newest follower!

    I love this post - I'm turning 24 and when I look back to when I was 17 and thinking of how my life would be at 24 its SO very different but I'm still happy and that's the main thing that counts x