Your 20’s are the time in your life when you will experience the most change. I’m a little bias saying that, as I’m in my 20’s and can’t speak to older ages, but I think it’s true at least. Being a kid was fine, being a teen was more than hard, but being in my 20’s has presented me with the craziest rollercoaster ride.
From being in college, to moving out of my parent’s house, to working full-time, to moving in with my significant other, adopting 2 dogs, and getting engaged – for me, this is all in the span of 8 years. I went from sleeping in and showing up 30 minutes late to my New Media final exam to working full time and being a responsible adult with a 401k and my own health insurance. And it was all just very jarring.
I’m 28 now, but the older I get the less I feel like my age. It’s hard to explain why, but I’ve always felt perpetually 22. I don’t know if it’s because it’s the age when I first started getting a grip on life and just held on to it, but 22-year-old me and 28-year-old me are worlds apart.
It’s a struggle feeling younger than you are, but feeling only 6 years younger seems to make it even more difficult. When I start a new job, I feel like I’ve never worked a day in my life. I feel brand new, I feel imposter syndrome, I feel far too young to be in a position of power. And now I’m a manager and I’m like uuhhhh who gave me this authority??? I’m not old, but I’m not that young anymore.
That feeling spans across my life. Who put me in charge of choosing my health insurance and 401k? I still need to call my mom to figure it out. Who said it’s time for me to pay the bills and soon enough buy a new car and own a house?
I feel 22. I feel like my eyes are wide to the world, I just left the comfort of college and need to be cradled. And when you’re 22, people will do that for you. They’ll still treat you with kid hands. But when you’re 28, there’s far less special treatment. It’s a tough pill to swallow when you’re struggling to catch up.
And when I say I’m struggling, it’s more internally. I know I’m capable of this adult life I’m living. It’s just hard to watch it move by so fast, it’s hard to be a fully autonomous person when you don’t really believe in yourself. When you feel small and green, like I did at 22.