After my 10th birthday, my mum got so sick even she was scared of dying. As a child, I couldn’t do much than stay by her sick bed, help her sit up, get her stuffs, cry with her while I assure her she’ll get through (which she eventually did) and I’ll make promises of things I’ll do for her. I begged her one night to please stay with me and my brothers, that, in ten (10) years time, I’ll be old enough to take proper care of her (commonsensically, my 10 year old self summed up 6 years in high school and 4 years in the university and figured I should be okay enough to take on huge responsibilities by age 20).
Well, I did my 18th birthday as a freshman in the university and had my 23rd birthday just a month after graduating (I did a 5-year course). I definitely grew into taking up responsibilities long before I was 20 years old, but, the point is, left to my futuristic calculations at age 10, I wouldn’t be ready by that age 20 for that which I promised her. Four years into my 20’s, I’m still not there yet.
I was depressed for my 23rd birthday worrying about figuring it all out (thought I was having midlife crisis until a friend asked me if I intended to die at 46 – lol). After that brief dark moment, I realized if I want to enjoy my 20’s in a peaceful fulfilling way, I can’t fit everything into just this magical decade.
There is so much pressure to discover purpose, travel around the world, get a bearing on your career, find a healthy balance, stay committed to your fitness routine, get partnered, make millions, write a book, make babies, start a podcast, get your doctorate degree – all in a space of a decade.
Some people probably get it right before age 22, and some age 25 or even 29, that’s them. I’ve purposefully chosen not to accomplish some goals until I’m 60. I probably won’t explore the world until I’m in my 70’s. I don’t plan on making babies until my late 20’s and early 30’s. You probably won’t catch me lifting weights until I’m in my 40’s (and my bones have started hissing). I may even not get to the peak of my career until I’m in my mid 50’s (I look forward to 2040’s already). But, in my 20’s, I’ll take my vitamins, do my situps, dream, find myself and live like I mean it.
Dear 20something, you don’t have to be pressurized to fit everything into this decade (that is one hell of a recipe to future midlife crisis). Take some things off your plate and re-prioritize. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. You are not running out of time, nor will you become irrelevant or peak at the end of your 20’s.