“My title for that period of my life would be, ‘It was the Worst of Times, It Was the Worst of Times.’ Did I mention it was the hardest time of my life?”
I hope that in ten or twenty years, I won’t look back at my twenties quite so viciously as actress Lisa Kudrow does, but it’s still refreshing to hear that us millennials are not the only ones struggling with this period of adulthood.
After years of being looked after by parents, teachers and lecturers, no-one tells you that the real world can be a difficult place to face alone. If things don’t go exactly to plan or we find ourselves floundering, it can be tough to put things in perspective and realise that our twenties are just one small part of something much bigger.
“Your whole life is ahead of you, yet you have no identity. You're kind of an adult, but you aren't really treated as an adult,” said Lisa in the same interview… and she is right. We might spend all of our teenage years dying to get out on our own and find out exactly who we are – but when it actually comes down to it, self-discovery can be a very slow process.
We have so many plans for what we’ll do when we’re finally living in the adult world. We’ll get that dream job instantly, live in a gorgeous Carrie Bradshaw-style apartment and spend every evening drinking cocktails to ease the stress of another busy but highly productive day.
If only. The reality is that we end up living from payday to payday, settling for a job that’s not QUITE what we want to be doing, getting way too drunk on the weekends and spending Sundays crippled by The Fear. Not quite living the dream, is it?
The thing is though, every adult goes through some sort of transitional period before things start slotting into place. For some it might last longer than others, but that’s all it is, a time of change. Things will start clicking, it just takes patience.
“In your twenties, you’re all about who you don’t want to be. In your thirties, you’re asking yourself who do you want to be. And in your forties, you realise you just are who you are.” Another quote inspiring some hope, this time from actress and comedian Amy Poehler.
But the truth is, we shouldn’t have to wait ten or fifteen years for things to start working in our favour. Yes, our twenties can be a difficult and confusing time, but once we are aware of that, it becomes easier to move with the tide and just take things as they come. Life’s not meant to be easy just yet.
Mad Men actress Elizabeth Moss had the right idea when she said, “Almost everyone says the same thing [to those in their twenties], which is relax, don’t worry…you should take that advice now, you know what I mean? Because in ten years, you’ll be telling yourself the same thing.”
Rather than looking back at these years a decade down the line, let’s live them now and just accept whatever is thrown at us. Our twenties might not be all smooth sailing, but that’s no reason to waste them worrying about the future.