I’m 27 and, honestly, I can’t figure out how I got here. I feel like 21 was a year or two ago, probably because much of the past six years have been a mix of blah, blech, and bitch please. I’ve developed a theory to explain the sharp decline from the pinnacle of my twenties (21) to now (27). It’s not groundbreaking, probably not even original, but I feel like it’s at least worth reading so yeah, click through.
My early twenties were so.much. fun. Don’t get me wrong, my life was messy but I also learned and grew A LOT. Despite having low expectations for everything and of everybody, I was incredibly optimistic. I just knew that every problem that I faced was solvable. Every hurdle was jumpable. Every river was crossable. And every mountain was climbable.
But somewhere along the way I tired myself out.
I pushed myself to get out of jam after jam until I was completely worn out. I was tired of pulling rabbits out of my hat. I was tired of the stress, the sleepless nights, and the close calls. I didn’t want to do any of it anymore. The praise and accolades were no longer worth it.
Any athlete, musician, artist, or skilled person HAS to train. They HAVE to practice. They HAVE to sharpen their skills. Unless they put forth the work to stay in optimum condition their performance will decline, despite their natural propensity for their craft.
My craft was thinking. I’ve always been a thinker. I used to pride myself on the rich inner life that I had. I enjoyed the constant cognitive tossing and turning turmoil inside my mind. At my peak, I could think my way out of a room with no doors or windows. But after years of letting my mind roam rampant, it got to be too much. What I believe was/is anxiety suddenly took over and the mental energy that I used to apply to a stellar vocal performance or final exam was now exerted to something as insignificant as replying to an email or deciding what to do on a lazy Sunday.
In addition to that, I was much more footloose and fancyfree in my early twenties to the point where, now, I avoid any and all drama-relationships, friendships, work life, etc. I thought I’d had my fill of it all but now, I crave a little excitement. If my life were food, I went from extra spicy to incredibly bland.
My overall theory is that your twenties have to be shitty in order to teach you the lessons you need to learn to make your thirties great.
Unfortunately, I put the pedal to the metal way too soon and now I’m on the slow and painful final stretch to my thirties (which I’ve heard are GOLDEN). I’m not giving up hope that the next two and a half years will be bearable – maybe even good – but I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t be tempted to hit fast forward if I could.