Wednesday, August 25, 2010

what is a 20-something?

I've been reading a lot lately about my generation. People judge and criticise us for racking up thousands of dollars in student loans, living with boyfriends or girlfriends before marriage, and being "selfish" enough to still rely on mom and dad for extra cash. It is said by some that our dreams are more important to us than anything else, and we don't mind "taking others for granted" if it means that our needs are being met. Between you and I, those people who say these things... they don't really know us at all.

One 20-something doesn't necessarily look like the next in the sense that some of us are married, some are parents, others may still be living at home. But there's something to be said about us 20-somethings.  Most of us are dreamers. We have ambition, and don't take no for an answer. We're passionate. We take things slow. And most importantly: we don't rush in. We know the realities of being 'grown ups' and try our best to hang on to that last bit of youth while it's still in our grasp.

I cannot tell you how lucky I am. Unlike a lot of my peers, I am married to my high school sweetheart, have a really great paying job that is equally as rewarding, and am financially stable {for the most part}.  But that doesn't make me any better than my friends, by a long shot. I've traded certain things in my life to get where I am today. Sometimes I have to pass up lunch dates, because I'm broke from student loan payments which are close to $600 per month - and those are just mine. But we get by. We eat cheese and hamburger buns for weeks if it means we have extra cash for happy hour. We're also lucky to have parents who help us out when we need it the most - because we all have months that are financially tighter than others.

We 20-somethings have some pretty big expectations to live up to. Many of our parents were married and pregnant with us by the time they were our age. We change jobs and living arrangements nearly every year, while our parents were probably settled into their career by now and happily {or not so happily} married. It has left me wondering, am I a failure because I cannot financially afford to get pregnant right now? I mean, am I seriously ready to give up drinking and to put another life totally ahead of my own? But then I think about what I do have, and I realize that it's silly to think I'm not doing well. We may take a little more time than others, but us 20-somethings are anything but lazy.

It's funny and weird at the same time. In our past, every 10 year old was on the same page as every other 10 year old, as was every 14 year old as was every 18 year old. But that's not the case anymore. My life is totally different than other 24 year olds, and I can't even relate to many 21 year olds anymore. I wonder what our future children's first day of kindergarten will look like - some parents will be in their 20's, others in their 30's and probably a few in their 40's. Nobody will be at the same place in their life, and I think that's very different than the past but also very ok.

I remember in high school, I was working as a paralegal and to put it lightly - my check was pretty fat. One summer I spent about $700 in one shopping trip alone on clothes. I used to spend AT LEAST $300 on Sean every Christmas on presents, now we gratefully set aside $50. When did I stop obsessing over how I look or what I get for Christmas, and instead get equally as excited over my friends pantry space. I can't imagine spending that much money on clothes now, and it's not even an option because somehow, every week, my entire paycheck barley covers loans, gas, groceries {if we're lucky} and bills.

All 20-somethings great and small -- don't let society pressure you! Work towards your dreams, live for your passions, and enjoy every moment that life has to offer!


  1. I love this! Thank you for sharing. It's SO true. :]


  2. hahaha---indeed--when DID pantry space become exciting?

  3. AMEN, SISTER!!! oh gosh, i wanted to clap after i read this. ;) haha, you are awesome, my darling... i was seriously just talking about this the other day. i love how so many times you say exactly what is on my heart. <3

  4. haha i agree with kelly ann. I was tempted to applaud.

  5. THANK YOU :)
    I really enjoyed reading this. It makes me mad, esp the part about school debt. I mean is it OUR fault it costs SO much to get an education these days? Back in our parents days college wasn't NEARLY as valuable and lets face it a necessity as it is today. No generation can judge a new one to theirs because our experiences and situations are SO different. I mean just think about it... our parents didn't grow up with cell phones, internet etc. Us 20 something year olds live in a much harsher and harder world then even our parents did!
    Anyways I will stop ranting on and on... haha I just loved this post. THANK YOU!


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