The Twenties Turmoil!

Posted: September 20, 2014 in life
Tags: , , , ,

I am about 25 now and if you ask me where my life’s headed, I can only wish I had a convincing answer. I have been 25wondering if it’s only me, to feel so lost and directionless at times or can it be extrapolated to many others of my age. Well, it looks like an epidemic, and our age is to blame! You are expected to be all grown up, have a good degree to flaunt and start earning well. Your parents start discussing important things with you, discussions which you were hitherto not part of and it slowly starts to hit you that you need to take more responsibilities and basically ‘be an adult’ and not ‘act like one’, if you know what I mean.

But your mind’s still stuck with being a lousy teenager, unable to get over the cartoons you used to watch and listening to music which most others feel is passé. All your friends are busy with their own lives , or at least it seems so and basically you realize that you are on your own. Some shift their bases to different countries for higher studies and jobs while some divergent guys start their own business. Your social media sites are filled with people travelling all over the world and posting their stories and experiences. Even more startling posts are the ones where people are either getting engaged or married. Huh! So much happening and happening so fast! It does get overwhelming and it only makes you ask one question over and over again, ‘what the hell am I doing?!’ This is what I call the twenties turmoil!

Back in college, all we cared about was to graduate and land a decent job, and we thought we were all set! What a farce that turned out to be! Finishing college and landing a job is one thing, but to find a job that you love is another (Well, if you have, congratulations!  You make the elite minority!). Either it pays you pittance or you really don’t like what you are doing. Either ways, you are not happy and constantly on the prowl to find something better. My early twenties was mainly about that. I mean just that! Nothing more…nothing less.

It’s about time that people around you expect you to settle down in life. ‘Settling down’ to me is a very subjective term and it’s very hard to quantify it. Does having a plump pay package and a job that sucks the life out of you qualify? Or even a job that you love, but pays you only enough to just get around till the end of the month does? When do you know that you have ‘settled down’? Does getting married translate to settling down?

The answer to this basically defines what kind of a person you are. If you are really content with whatever you already have and don’t want to come out of the cocoon of your comfort zone, you are basically settled. But for the ones who are struggling to break out of it and do something worthwhile, these are difficult questions! Having been through this thought process for a few years now; some hard realizations have hit me.

  1. Grass is greener on the other side: I cannot blindly wish to be what others are. If my friend gets into a job that pays him an astronomical salary, or starts a business, good for him! But should I start one, just out of peer pressure? Absolutely not! What if I am not earning as much as he does? Doesn’t really matter! I should only be concerned about hitting my own sweet spot, the one which is an acceptable compromise between money and passion, as chasing either of them, alone, can be a recipe for disaster. Success is a notion. Hard choices have to be made, some you like and some, meh, not so much!
  1. Degree, a piece of paper: The degree you have, the one that you toiled for years at college, doesn’t really mean much in the real world! It’s nothing more than a piece of paper. All the laurels you thought were bestowed upon you… Puff! Gone! Those grades that you fought so mindlessly for, they are a joke now! Hard to believe, but true. All that matters is how good you are at the work that you do. If you are not getting any better, there are hundreds of other guys out there who are ready to do the same, and for a much lesser price. Demand vs Supply, you see! You realize you don’t actually love your job, mainly cos the company won’t reciprocate! Moral of the story, never fall in love with a company! It will still be the same without you, or may be even better.
  2. Farewells are hard: Well, it’s inevitable. People do go away. You won’t have your roomies to fall back on to run some errands for you. You have to do your own dishes. You start missing the chaos and the ruckus your gang used to create! Loneliness is not actually a phenomenon that you once thought could only happen to people who were depressed or had some mental problem! It’s for real! You also find it hard to make new friends. Well, everyone around you seems weird! And you believe it’s true, beyond any reasonable doubt.
  3. Fear of Failure: Failures hit hard. Yes, harder than you thought. And there are far too many of them for your liking. May be because you are still finding out what your actual strengths are… and more importantly, discovering your own quirks and weaknesses along the way. But you know you have to keep wallowing, in whatever that comes your way, till you find that right thing to do. Until then… you shouldn’t forget to ‘Dream on’! As John Lenon once said, ‘Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans’.
  4. Get busy living, or get busy dying: This epic dialogue from the movie Shawshank Redemtion, makes more sense than ever. You know you have to toil hard… Harder than most others to get where you want to. If at all you know ‘where!’, that is!
  5. Keep Reinventing: There is always room for improvement. The more you work on it, the better your chances are to stay competitive and also do what you like in a better way.

So now, I tell myself that it’s OK not to have everything sorted at 25! I know, for a fact, that this is absolutely normal and almost everyone has gone through this. One can still make mistakes, as long as we keep learning from them.  After all, we have a whole life ahead of us! And we are just 25, for heaven’s sake!

’Your twenties will produce more failures than you ever choose to remember! The key is, when you do fail, don’t begin calling yourself a failure!’’ – Paul Angone

  1. vishvesh says:

    Heheheh I was wondering when u will come about the “Age 25” conundrum. Anyways currently 3 out of 6 apply to me, but very well written. Will surely wait for the next phase of life written by you. All the best.

    • lifeparadox says:

      Hey Aditya!

      Thanks for your response!

      When you say ‘Incessant questioning and self-criticism just bogs you down from living life’, I completely agree with you!

      Well, I do agree with most of what you say!


  2. gaurav says:

    Excellent, just the thing I was thinking the other day

  3. Puneeth says:

    I turned 25 last December. Felt like you just wrote what was going on in my mind for the last 3 months. Nice write up.

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