I am in my 20s and I don’t have friends. I don’t have a job. I don’t go outside my home a lot. I don’t have a dog.
I am not happy in life but I am trying to make the most of my circumstances. I freelance and earn money from that. I watch a lot of shows and movies on Netflix. Not because I want to watch them but because there’s nothing else to do. I spend a lot of time on YouTube and Reddit and Twitter but I don’t enjoy any moment of it.
I am miserable.
Things could be a lot worse I guess. I still have a roof over my head and I still get to eat three meals per day. It’s just that I don’t enjoy life anymore. I know these are just temporary feelings and all of it will pass. But for now, it sucks.
When I was a child and was not allowed to do a lot of fun things, I always dreamt of growing up. Grown-ups could do whatever they wanted. They could drink alcohol if they wanted. They could eat chips for dinner if they wanted. They had friends that they lived with, not their parents.
But most importantly, they were happy and independent and free.
That’s what I wanted my life to look like. But sadly, it doesn’t. Being a grown-up is nothing like they show on TV and in movies. They all lied.
Now that I have grown up, I realize how wrong I was. The 20s are lonely. There is even scientific research to prove how lonely 20s are.
“There are a lot of myths about what the 20-something years are all about,” says Tess Brigham, San Francisco-based licensed therapist who specializes in treating young adults and millennials.
“Many of my clients think they need to have a fabulous career, be married — or at least engaged — and have an incredible social life before they turn 30, or they’ve failed in some way,” Brigham adds.
That’s a lot to take on, especially all at the same time.
She is right. 20s are fucking difficult and no one prepared us for this. The world doesn’t look the same anymore as it did ten years ago.
Like most people in their 20s, I start my day by scrolling through my social media feeds. I check each and every app and go through the notifications. Even my notifications are boring these days. I then scroll through these apps to see what’s been happening in the world while I was fast asleep.
And every day, there is something horrible happening. Some country is on fire. Some country has taken over another country. Global warming is going to kill us all. People my age can’t find jobs or a place to rent anymore.
I am in my 20s and I am already tired. How will I live like this until I am 80? I can’t imagine.
It’s exhausting. I have tried quitting social media previously. I once deleted all these apps on my phone but ended up reinstalling them in just a few hours. Because of the pandemic, I can’t go out to meet my friends and these apps are the only way I can continue staying in touch with my friends. After uninstalling them, I felt even more isolated.
I know there are ways of still staying in touch with my friends without being on social media all the time but I won’t lie, I am a weak person. I am addicted to being online all the time. I need to know everything that’s happening in every part of the world.
I am not proud of it but that’s how things are for now.
I spend hours on Twitter just reading tweets. I read tweets from people who tell us the world is a horrible place and then I read the replies to those tweets that confirm the fact that the world is a horrible place indeed.
So how are we supposed to be hopeful about life while we are surrounded by horrible news events every day? I have been struggling with that question a lot lately but I am slowly starting to realize that we can still be happy even when awful things are happening.
Yes, the news is so fucking depressing. But I don’t have to doomscroll all the time. There are still some things that I can find pleasure in. It can be as simple as eating a big slice of pizza or wearing a pretty dress. I have joined some subreddits where people post pictures of their cute cats. When things get difficult, I find solace in other people’s pets.
I have also bought a few books and even though I have only admired how beautiful they look on my bookshelf so far, I am sure I’ll read them at some point too.
Another thing that has been helping me is planning for my future, a future where things are much better than they are now. I’ll get to dress up again. I haven’t dressed up in so long and the idea that I might be able to wear a pretty dress again is something I look forward to.
I love wearing lipsticks and I haven’t worn one in a while because every time I go out, I am wearing a mask. But I look forward to wearing bright, red lipstick soon.
I am pretty sure once the world opens up and I am surrounded by people again, I’ll miss the quiet times I am in right now. That’s how we humans usually are. We are always missing our past or dreaming about our future. But we rarely enjoy the present.
So I am trying to make the most of these quiet times too. Most of these days I don’t have to wear trousers and that feels amazing. On some days I stay in my bed all day playing online games and that feels almost as good as being on a vacation. Once the world opens up again, I won’t be able to experience any of this.
If you are in the same boat as me, maybe you can find something similar in your life too. The world sucks, yes but there are still some things that don’t. And we have to live for them.
Our 20s are just like our teens, just with the added pressures of taxes and bills and debts. We’ve grown up a little bit but most of us are still not sure what we’re doing with our lives. Are we on the right career paths? Are we dating the right person? We don’t know. And we won’t find out until much later.
If you come from abusive homes and have had traumatic relationships, it gets worse. Because not only are you learning how to grow up, you are also unlearning how to leave your past behind. It’s hard.
20s are hard anyway but with the way the world is right now, just waking up every day and just surviving is a big achievement. We are at a point in our lives where nothing is going right right now but it will soon. I hope the world would look a lot better within a few weeks.
So, if you’re struggling right now. It’s okay. We are all in the same boat.
My 20s are nothing like I imagined them to be. But I am not losing hope. The only thing worse than living in such a world is giving up hope.
Enjoyed reading this post? Subscribe to my newsletter and I’ll send you regular updates. (I won’t ever spam!)
Need more help? Why don’t you check out my writing courses meant for helping people stuck in life?
If you have any questions or feedback or would like to tell me your own story of your 20s, I’d love to hear from you. Just drop me a message!