I have used the term “twenty-something” many times in this blog mostly because I am one. I am 23 soon to be 24 which, if I understand how ages and numbers work, would definitely put me in the category of twenty-something. Most of my friends are also in that category as their ages also start with a two and have another number after it.
I look at the people I have chosen to share my life with and to allow in to my world of family, work, dating, heartache, and triumph. They are all different. None of them approach a situation with the same view, none of them give me exactly the same opinion on a situation.
I have an issue with seeing the words “typical twenty-something” everywhere and a list of things to check off to see if you are one. It could be a list of fifty reasons but for the most part, they could be shepherded into three categories: you’re broke, you drink/eat too much, and no matter what your relationship status, you’re dissatisfied.
WELL OF COURSE.
We are all broke for one reason or another. Usually it’s because we have loans and credit to pay off and a job that just pays for our one major bill every month (rent, your car, etc). Some people will tell us to get better paying jobs which, okay, I understand is the logical response, but I’d like you to find me one first. Everyone I know is working full time, over time, double time, whatever it takes to make the money they need and have enough on the side to maybe buy a burger once in awhile. It’s not that we’re underachieving, it’s that we’re not disillusioned in thinking that even if we deserve more, we’ll just be able to find it. You sometimes have to pay your dues before you make it to where you want to be.
And anyone who thinks that we’re all just being lazy and refusing to find a better job can look at everyone I’ve met who is doing exactly what they want to do as a free intern or for minimum wage because that’s what we need to do.
Then all of a sudden we have a night off that matches with our friends’ and we go out to drink. Now we’re typical because we honestly think that whiskey sour is calling our name and, to be honest, it kind of is. It has been for the last 15 days that we’ve worked. We wake up the next morning with a bit of a hangover but a smile on our face because we finally got to have some drinks with our friend. Then we get sad when we haven’t drank together in forever because even though coffee and dinner are great, it’s not the same as seeing your best friend bite someone in a fit of drunken love. It’s just not.
All of a sudden as we’re battling either the bottom inch of a pitcher or the first half hour of a hang over, the person we’ve been dating is all miffed because they weren’t invited out but you made sure to call them and say, “Ohhh haaaaayyyyyyy I just… I just… love… nachos.” They’re offended because they weren’t allowed out on your one night off with your friends and they probably don’t understand how much more important time with your friend is than time with them. So then you guys fight and you don’t understand why and you might end up not seeing each other anymore. Or you might stay together but it’s a constant issue.
Or you wake up all hung over and with a smile on your face and realize that you had absolutely no one to call last night and no one to be mad at you today. And you might be sad about it or you might be okay with it. You might even be a bit of a both.
Because we’re young and still figuring it out and still running on emotions, adrenaline, and past experiences from when we were 18 and completely different people.
So yeah, we’re a little dissatisfied with our dating life.
Just because we all share these experiences, it doesn’t make us typical. It doesn’t make us a cookie cutter. It makes us who we are but all of us are so different from each other it hurts.
We are dreamers, thinkers, writers, analyzers, calm, and anxious. We party, laugh, scream, cry, work, create, destroy, walk, drive, run, love, hate, hurt, and heal. We just don’t all do those things. We also don’t do them all at once.
We’re a collection of people just starting to figure out adulthood, responsibility, and who we are. Present us with the same situation and you’ll get as many different reactions as there are test subjects. I might cry over something while someone else rejoices. Another might get angry while someone else brushes it off like its nothing.
We have our own style, our own way of love, of life, of looking at the world.
And just because we’re all broke, drinking, and, emotionally, a little fucked up right now, it doesn’t by any means make us typical.