When I was a teenager, everyone said the best time in life was in your twenties. It’s the time of freedom, impossibilities, independence, no obligations to anyone. You can live, for once, without adults breathing down your backs about something. You are finally the adult, and although there are adults above you, they still have to respect you for who you are; and the children below- because anyone younger than you is a child, all have to show respect to you. You get the best of both worlds by being in the middle. Of course, this may have been one of those myths that you were told growing up. And the illusion is that, it didn’t actually come from grown-ups, this myth came from the other kids in your age group. We envision this perfect transfiguration from nineteen to twenty. A magic trick if you will that transforms us from dirty cinderellas into beautiful princesses. The glory in it all is that chores are no longer our responsibilities. We have no curphews, now we have the freedom to speak our minds instead of worrying about being disrespectful, when it comes to our siblings we have the right to tell them what to do. Certainly there is some truth about this stage in life, but be warned- we may have been partially deceived.
We were all fed with false evidence, up until we were shot with reality. In my world, having lived half of it, I am confident to admit that there has been some upheavals. As a teenager, I felt stable; there was nothing to take care of- not loans, not bills, not making money, not providing food, shelter, clothes and security for myself, not worrying if not having a job might kill me, not wondering if I choose not to do something will there be a repercussion? I was cushioned into a nice little world and while I had familial issues to deal with; for the most part I never had to face the world. Now, my problems are not at home, mostly because I’m not there either. My dilemmas rests with the outside world.
How do I purchase all my necessities and stay under my budget of $10? If I ignore the calls from student loan, will they find me? What about my rent? Is prostitution all that bad? Maybe since I lived a good chunk of my life already, I could just die today. I mean, I’m probably going to die from the stress I’m undergoing from my unemployment status eventually; If not before I die from loneliness or boredom. I really blame it on the adults for keeping all this heart ache a secret. Did they think we wouldn’t find out? or were they hoping that we would luck out of this period of life? Personally, I think they were utterly embarrassed about the things they did in their twenties so they dislodge every trace of disaster out of their lives during that time; and pretty it up with what they became. While we were teenagers they sat and listened to us talk about becoming presidents and lawyers, olympic athletes and world’s most famous singers and musicians. They told us, ‘go for it!’. You can do anything. Yet, they failed to tell us the dirty truth that it comes with a lot of endurance. Persistence. Resilience. Courage. They didn’t tell us about this process of learning-about-yourself period in life. That we all go through it, and what we thought about as a teenager may not be what we think about as young adults. When we greet the real world, the soft cushion on which we sat would no longer be there. We are faced with thorns, we have to walk on gravel, and ruffle around in mud a few times. When it’s all over, I guess we might have wonderful princess lives, but of course I have no idea yet because I’m still in the mud.
Don’t get me wrong however, there are things I did at twenty that I couldn’t have done any other time in my life. I was away at university so I had the freedom that I never had. I was no longer a prisoner of war but a citizen with rights and freedoms. I could go out when I felt like and come in if I felt like. I could have a boyfriend and he could actually call me and he could even come visit. I had no ‘chores’ because if I didn’t feel like cooking, cleaning, doing laundry I just didn’t have to do it. I could travel anywhere I wanted, go out with friends, spend my money and live. I had the best experiences in my twenties and I just wouldn’t trade them in for any other time in my life. However, it’s in this stage that you actually think about the future- how you can make a life for yourself, how to find a long term partner and make a decent living for you and your future family. Again, it’s the middle stage that makes the living difficult. Maybe it’s the early twenties that is the best, but when you are left with the future in your face you realize that you have to start planning for it, otherwise it might wipe you out the battle.
As I think about my future, I still imagine being the princess- with no worries because I found my prince and he’s taking care of everything. I can focus on the little babies and all the animals and plants in the garden. So, I’m wondering how do I get there? I’m still feeling like Cinderella in her stepmother’s house having nothing for myself but the old clothes of yesterday.
Like everyone in their twenties, I’m still in the furnace trying to mold myself into something because no one else is going to do it. So like I said, maybe there is some truth in the excitement of turning twenty; but personally I wouldn’t rush it unless I was already the daughter of a millionaire and the friend of the president. That way, I will walk into my twenties with money and power at hand. I still think I was deceived but I just woke up to reality. I don’t like it but I’ll deal with it. I’ll even dip in my little sack to retrieve some courage, persistence, resilience, and endurance to carry me along the way. I have another five more years to go; if I don’t die I’m certain I’ll transform into a princess just like cinderella!