Here’s to everyone experiencing that mid-20s-crisis (as I call it). You know, that awkward space where you realize your idea of adulthood was complete bullshit and the life you thought you’d have in college is nowhere to be found? That crisis. The one where you’re trying to figure out how the hell to balance working AND being a good friend AND trying to find or maintain a relationship AND having a social life AND being healthy AND sleeping AND, of course, not letting social media skew your perception of reality. And then you’re sitting on your couch one night (or someone else’s) and you think…how did I get here?!
And then, there’s managing your mental health, right? Although that’s the most important piece of juggling all those balls, we often ignore it the most. Mostly because “mental health” sounds like a cuss word to some. SMH. At the peak of my mid-20s-crisis, I came to a crossroads with my mental health. I thought I had it all figured out. Dealt with the sexual abuse of my past (check), dealt with the family past that altered how I viewed myself (check), dealt with the feelings of being left behind for graduating “late” (check), dealt with the daddy issues (check), dealt with some of my imposture syndrome (check). And then it happened.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was going up a rollercoaster, blind, and had no clue when I was reaching the top to rush down the other side. As I crept up the right side I was trying to deal with re-surfaced feelings of insecurity, feeling less than (because everyone on social was living their best fake lives), feeling lost confidence and discomfort in my skin, feeling like I wasn’t doing enough, but not sleeping because I was working around the clock to pay bills. And then…one night…I felt my throat close up (I was reaching the top of the rollercoaster) and the next day, I was down the left side fast and in shock. That led to a breakdown (of course) followed by a season of depression that sent me right back to therapy.
Fast Quick Deep Breaths.
How did I get here? How did I not see this coming? Why didn’t I listen to those trying to tell me I was doing too much? What is wrong with me? Why can’t I handle my shit? This is too much.
It’s amazing the number of signals you ignore on your way up the rollercoaster. And not to say life is perfect and there’s never a quick fall on the left, but there are definitely ways to create somewhat of a safety vest for yourself. I.e. – if you’re more in tune with your stress signals…but that part takes the work.
You’re mid 20’s are enough of a mindfuck ALREADY, we do ourselves even more of a disservice when we act invincible and ignore what our bodies and minds are telling us.
So over with the mid 20 phase…it’s like, “when will it be done?” but also stressed about what’s on the other side and how I build the life I (think) I want in my 30s without completely losing my mind.
Because…by the time you’re 30…you’re supposed to have it all figured out, right?
In the words of the great Sza “Good luck on them 20 somethings.”