20, 30, adult, adults living at home, career, economy, expectations, future, growing up, jobs, society, thirties, twenties, what happened
I remember the days of my youth. That awkward stage between being a child and grown. Body changing, brain changing, there was so much going on. It was a time when I finally started to get a taste of freedom and independence.
I remember having crushes. The racing of my heart as a boy I liked talked to me or accidentally touched my hand. The “does he like me?” conundrum. You can’t ask, for fear of revealing yourself, but you want it more than anything.
I also remember so much possibility. Always wondering what I was going to be when I grew up. A marine biologist. No a fashion designer. Wait, perhaps I’ll be a psychologist. So much out there, so hard to choose.
But along the way, something went wrong. The world changed.
Far as I can tell, I did everything that I was supposed to. I made it through high school without having children. A feat not accomplished much in my family. I worked, I moved out, I finished college.
So, what happens next?
My expectation was always that something would happen. There would be some change in my brain and “poof”. I’d be an adult. It didn’t happen. Maybe my expectations were skewed. After all, I remember most of my mother’s twenties. She was a grown-up. She managed to raise three children, most the time on her own. In her thirties and forties, she relapsed into the teen-hood she had never gotten to experience, but that’s a story for another time.
I continued on, working at a job that had nothing to do with my degree and doing all the things that grown-ups did. Still, nothing changed.
So, here I am, almost thirty, and feeling like I’m still a Tween. Most days I wake up wondering what I’m going to be when I grow up. I’m still working a job that doesn’t pay enough and has nothing to do with my degree. Still have my heart race around best friend, who happens to be my boyfriend, and wonder what the future holds. What he thinks. Still tasting independence, but not quite there. Most of the people that I know my age are in the same situation.
I suppose when I was a kid I did not think specifically about what I thought thirty would be. As I grow closer, I find myself more and more confused. Don’t people at this age have careers and houses, families and 401ks?
I live my life at the risk that I may have to return to my parents basement someday. At having my adulthood completely revoked. I don’t want to be this way, but I can’t find any other.
Maybe I was wrong. Maybe it’s the world, not me. But I’m believe that our twenties are just as formative as our childhoods. While I still don’t feel like an adult, and I cringe and feel offended if someone calls me “ma’am”, I am different in my late twenties then where I started.
So where do I belong?
I can enjoy the company of people in their early twenties, but they tire me. I can enjoy people in their mid-thirties, but they are at another level. They have kids and careers, and just not that much in common. Also, for reasons I can’t understand, the thought of that age still sounds so old.
I’m not a kid. I’m not a classic adult. I’m somewhere that doesn’t have a name. Something in the middle.