Everyday I feel pressured by something or someone.
And it’s not any particular person or things fault.
This is the world continuing to turn and people going about their daily lives. People trying to be normal and happy.
Which typically means things like: marriage, children, mortgages, investments, settling down, holding down a steady job, having a savings or a 401K, retirement, etc.
Is it weird to currently not have any of those things? The numbers for Millennials who are currently unmarried or not having children are the highest it’s ever been in U.S. history.
Seattle itself has always stood out as a city with one of the highest numbers of people living alone (about 40% of the households).
But I still feel pressured. I’m not ready yet nor do I know if I ever want those things. It’s nerve wracking to think about when I barely know what’s for breakfast tomorrow. And yet, I’m 26. Should I want those things by now? Will I ever? Or have I willingly sacrificed the stable job, the marriage, the house, the kids, for the lifestyle I have now?
I can confidently say that I would not trade anything that I have right now for anything else. And it strangely feels like I’m exactly where I should be even though I constantly second guess myself.
This is a conflicting place to be right now.
You’re expected to: be independent, embrace spontaneity, pursue happiness, do what you love but also be mature, responsible, stable, dependable.
I recently read a book by Aziz Ansari called “Modern Romance”. It was pretty eye opening.
I learned that in the 1950’s, getting married was the first step in adulthood for young people. After high school or college, you got married and left the house. You were also likely to marry someone that lived nearby or was in close proximity to you in some way.
These days we marry much later then we used to in previous generations. Most young people in their 20’s and 30’s now are in a different stage of life where we go to school, build careers and experience being an adult outside of our parents homes. In this period we have other priorities besides just finding a mate and settling down therein becoming a more fully developed person.
And sociologists are calling this “emerging adulthood”.
The people that grew up in the 1950’s or so? They didn’t do this. It wasn’t a thing nor was it normal or condoned by most parents. Many of the seniors that Aziz had interviewed for this section of the book regretted the lack of emerging adulthood. Especially the women who didn’t have much chance to continue with school or build careers of their own.
When I was around 12-13 years old I thought that by 25 I’d have it all figured out. I’d be done with college, have a good job, married with kids and living in the suburbs. Funny how things change.
I still have no idea. I’m basically just really good at improvising. I’m living in the city by myself, building a career, hoarding books, binge watching tv whenever I have spare time and trying not to have pizza delivered twice in one week.
Someone should pay me to be confused. I could start a 401K with that.
Does anyone else feel this way or felt that way at this age? Anyone else out there still confused about basically everything? Just know you’re not alone. I’m starting to think that’s actually what normal really is.
Cheers to adulting and beyond,