I turned 23 in October 2015. Yes 23. An uneven number that has me in constant limbo. I spent months feeling frustrated and just annoyed thinking about ok Lilly “what have you actually accomplished and what have you done up onto this point”. I’m at that awkward age where I’m still getting use to my “grown up” clothes and corporate settings, that age where I’m too old to go out every night but too young to stay in all the time, people my age are getting married and having babies but I don’t feel ready. I don’t even feel ready for a boyfriend let alone a husband. An age where I’m still indecisive if crop tops are still acceptable for me to wear or not (ha-ha I joke, it’s not that bad). An age where I feel like an adult and want to act like one but still need my mum when sh** hits the fan. I keep hearing what you do in your 20’s will make or break you (scary or what right). What makes this age even more awkward for me is due to the fact that I am 23 with a pretty awesome global job, a nice apartment in the city some may say I have it made (I don’t as I am constantly broke but some do say this apparently). I should know exactly what I’m doing – I don’t know what I’m doing, I am constantly looking for straight answers but straight answers don’t come with this age – IT’S ANNOYING!
I AM 23 AND YOU KNOW WHAT IVE LEARNT:
- Its ok that I’m not Mark Zuckerberg or any other billionaire who made their millions in their 20’s, Its ok not to have absolutely everything figured out – we seem to think and have this mind-set of “I’m this age, I should have X by now” instead of thinking about what stage in life you’re in. Run your own race.
- You’re not in Uni any more so now you have to make friends in the real world, where you don’t happen to share a class and can bring up conversation. You also don’t all live in the same dorm anymore and some may have travelled so it’s harder to keep in touch. Don’t be discouraged, you’re simply narrowing down to who you will make an effort with or not, your circle may get smaller but you’ll be able to identify your true friends and make loads new ones. New people aren’t that scary.
- If you’re anything like me, you won’t really be interested in politics or the government until you see your first pay check get taxed
- I don’t need to find “a man” before I’m 25 in fear that I’ll never get married or some other crazy notion my African culture has drilled into my head – no point bringing someone else into the madness of finding oneself when your both in your 20’s because you’ll both end up getting lost. Develop and love yourself first and know what you want before going into anything.
- I don’t know the difference between hooking up, hanging out and having sex? Lines are blurred. No one’s ready for anything serious, but after getting your heart burned too many times, you seriously believe you are. Marriage is a distant future; casual one-night stands are an immediate past. And on top of it all, the people you want are either too immature or too mature to want you back.
- Not everyone is meant to be around forever – Learn to let go and know when to try harder
- Its ok to be broke sometimes most 20 something year olds are – were still trying to figure out a lot and trust me saving is easier said than done but we will learn
- Its ok that you can’t party all night and handle hangovers as well as you use to
- It’s ok to need your mum and family sometimes no matter how independent you think you are, I’ve learnt just how important family is when you’re growing up, more than likely an older sibling has gone through it already.
- It’s the best time to experiment with new ideas – the earlier the better and if it doesn’t work out you learn and still have enough time to try again
- You have responsibilities but on the grand scale of things they aren’t that huge just yet, for example I don’t have to take care of another life just yet. I have nieces I adore and love and the best part is I can return at any time – it’s a win win
- We don’t have to rush through everything – Love, Promotions, travelling (with anything) enjoy and live in the moment not everything is meant to have a timeline.
I am 23 and I’m at a point where I have a rough idea of what I want for my life but I am going to enjoy every minute getting there because at the end of the day you only live once. I am getting older and it’s scary because I feel behind emotionally and career wise, but in the mean time I am going to try travel more, love freely, and embrace everything, I won’t lie and say it’s been easy but here’s to hoping it does get better.