Monday, November 20, 2006

5 Reasons Why The 20s Kick the Ass of the Teen Angst

Recently I was in a lunch with a few colleagues, talking about the plight of teens these days. The massive alter ego inside, the one that believes whatever pain I am going through supercedes anything else, spoke in defense of all the 20-somethings out there. What is this belief that teens have it bad? Oh, it must be the theory that claims teenhood is a confusing, body hormonal war in a terror tunnel, and homes are echoing because no one's home to help with calculus homework.

Yes, it's terrible, like the sound of dying cows with no tongues.

But, take all of that and apply it to young adulthood where one begins to make decisions that must be made, owned, and made manifest by your own self. No one else is responsible to teach you, guide you, ask you to come home, or tell you not to indulge in sex, drugs, food, work, or alcohol. It's ultimate freedom with ultimate consequences and absolute responsibility for Y O U R O W N L I F E. The book would be called, "What Happens When Daily Life Begins to Elbow You Repeatedly in the Lung Area for 10 Years."


5. For those pursuing higher education, you enter your early 20s with a debt comparable to your first job's salary. In addition, having a bachelor's degree is not a big deal anymore. A master's degree will soon be the common degree. BRING ON THE DEBT. If you are a college bound teen reading this, mark my words: Sallie Mae is an ubiquitous big mama.

4. People are living longer. Dying at 70 is considered young. A full life is croaking at 93 - 101. Do you really need to know by 25 how you will spend most of your days? Weeeellll, yes - because if you don't know, you're perceived as a) lazy b) capriciously indecisive c) unmotivated d) scared
To be in your 20s means every conversation is laden with really large fonted labels being awkwardly wrapped around you like a deformed Christmas gift.

3. Community. A fairly cheesy word to describe the undeniable need to have support around you. In the age where 20sumthins are more nomadic than ever, it's difficult to feel a sense of belonging, of roots. Work buddies are a toss-up, one can never be certain of finding a happy hour playmate or someone to just connect with in the office. Family is family; not the same as having a non-blood related, warm, soul-social network.

2. Attempting to find a primary relationship will always be the most contentious aspect of a young adult's life. Without relationships, you are a cold, cold human with nothing to look forward to. Even with a buttkicking job that smiles into your life and bank, finding a meaningful human with whom you share a few ideas with can be a daunting and perilous element of the 20sumthins juggler. Also, for those who choose the single, not twin icepops of a lifestyle, defending your chosen singlehood can be an oppressive experience with a society obsessed with soulmates and "we" attitudes. READ MY LEFT HAND - MARRIAGE IS NOT FOR EVERYONE.

And the number one reason why it's so damn hard to be youthful and full of untapped potential in 2006:

1. You still need time to figure out who the hell you are when society is ringing the alarm that your time is up. The niche, your thing, a call, a place in the world...Say it's identity development, say it's a quarter life crisis, say it's life. Whatever you call it, you need MORE time to define it. You hear a teen slamming a door and label it annoying, but expected. Fast forward 5 years, you hear a slamming door and it's usually a mental health practitioner closing a room containing a 20s person in a straight jacket.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hey there,
Before you leave a comment, just remember two things:
1. You are taking responsibility for a public comment
2. Anything that resembles racism, homophobia, classism, ableism, or anything based from religion, citizenship, or ethnic bias - don't bother commenting, you'll be deleted.