Held Back

I’m not sure if anyone gets held back in school anymore. I feel like nowadays students can go to summer school or do some extra credit to boost their scores and keep themselves from becoming little Ferris Buellers. But once upon a time, if you failed a couple classes in a grade, then you would have to stay back until you were taught a thing or two.

Sometimes, I think life is holding me back a grade.

Why? Because I can’t seem to move forward. And I’m sure at one point, everyone has felt this way. But if you haven’t, it sort of feels like you should have accomplished so much more at this time in your life. It’s a crippling sense of your own personal failure, and it is coupled with the aromatic scent of ramen noodles and spilled beer.

I mean, I am constantly hearing how one decision someone made in their twenties completely changed everything for them. Yes, the moment I decided to live in the wilderness of Alaska is when I realized that I was meant to be a tuba player. 

So, I ask myself: Shouldn’t I be doing something…I don’t know…important? Before I get too numb to the world and start having sleep-deprivating children?

And the troubling part is every other 20-something I know (EXCEPT ME) seems like they’re moving right along in the current called life. They’ve already figured it out. They land a job, move out, and find their soulmate in about a month. And a month later, they’re pregnant. Not that I’m totally envious of all that. (I like sleep way more than I’d like a child right now. But you can eat whatever you want…)

But really, what gives?

And sure, everyone tells you that you shouldn’t rush it. You’ll get there. You’re a late bloomer. You’ll figure it all out. But I can’t help but think that I’ve been waiting my whole life to grow up. And at the same time, I’m still waiting for it to hit me that I already am.

Which is why I’ve come to the very sound hypothesis that I’m being held back a grade in life. For some reason, the universe is confident that I am not ready. And if I think about it, I think whoever is making that decision is right. I’m not ready. I need time to puzzle things out about the rest of my life, even though the calendar says that it’s time that I had everything together.

But more than that, I also feel that I have more to learn. I honestly think that life has been trying to show me, trying to help me understand, what I need to do to pass this grade level, and I’ve been ignoring it. It’s like I have a blindfold on, and I’m lifting my foot up to step over an obstacle, but when my foot hits brick, I realize that I can’t step over the obstacle because it is an entire wall that I need to scale. So, I reach out and feel along the wall and realize that I don’t have the tools for climbing the wall, either. I’m not equipped yet, and I think life knows it. But I’m also not sure when that will happen for me. So, I grow impatient, and I bloody my knuckles from hitting the wall out of frustration.

The point is, I don’t know where I’m going or what I’m doing or even when I’ll get there. That’s for life to decide. But I also need to trust in the process. Because I’ve always been exactly where I’ve needed to be before. And I will get there again, someday. And so, assuredly, will you.

The New MidLife Crisis

Sadly, we live in a youth-obsessed culture. And yet, we are often being told to grow up. To be a proper adult, we need to be able to afford an apartment payment and student loans, but we are also told to enjoy our freedom as young adults while it lasts, before we have a mortgage payment and children.

Huh?

It seems, that somewhere along the line, we got our signals crossed. This results in many twenty-somethings trying to balance a fully active lifestyle (social life included) while still trying  to juggle the responsibilities of someone twice their age. Think of a toddler playing dress-up in Mommy’s closet, high-heels on her too small feet. Get the picture?

So, what does this all mean? It means that many millienials right now are experiencing a midlife crisis… only about 1/3 of the way into their life. They are questioning their futures, lamenting the end of their lives (if only the lives they lived in college), and making extravagant, selfish purchases.

And do you know what I say? Do it. Have your midlife crisis, and eat some cake, too.

Because your twenties are about two things: making memories and making mistakes. You can’t do either if you are diligently tucking away each cent you make from your job. You should live a little. Just don’t empty your bank account doing it.

Of course, saving or paying for a place to live is smart (especially if your parents aren’t down with you trying to renovate the basement into your “man cave”), but you will begin to resent the money you are making if you do not use it to enrich yourself spiritually and emotionally rather than physically.

Like money, time is meant to be spent, not squandered away. And sadly, once it is gone, it is gone for good. So, spend each of these wisely but generously, and you will have no regrets when your time (and your money) is up.