In 2 months, I will turn 24. I feel at such an in-between age, a stuck age. I’m young enough that older people laugh at me when I say that I feel old, but I’m too old to feel in touch with people younger than me. I’m too old to connect with 18 year olds, and in some ways I crave being that young again, because right now I feel so out of place. I know people getting married and having babies, I know people buying house and getting management roles and getting raises, and I know people earning minimum wage or travelling or living with their parents or going back to uni.
I just feel stuck. I don’t feel this age, and I don’t really know who I am at this age. I don’t know what I’m doing or what everything is for, but when I say that, people just say ‘oh, you’re young, you have plenty of time.’ That’s all very well, but still all I can feel is my life slipping away from me. I remember it taking ages for me to reach 18, and then I blinked and I was staring down the final lap of 23, in the same place that I was, this time 5 years ago. Heart shattered from a break up, but just not about to embark on anything new like I was then. I think sometimes about going back to uni, and then I shudder at the thought of Freshers Week, and fresh faced 18 year olds begging to have sex with each other, and I just can’t face it.
I’d like to make a big list of what I’ve learned, but I don’t know if I have learned anything of note, really. I still put myself out there too much and I still wear my heart on my sleeve, and I always end up getting my heart broken. I know I’m young, but I just don’t feel it. I feel like I’m wasting my life but I don’t know how to stop it, I don’t know what to do to stop because all the options I have seem too big, or too small. That is what this age is to me right now, everything is ‘too much’ something, or ‘not enough’ something else, and who even knows which one to choose? I feel stuck, because all the major ages anyone will hit are gone. There is nothing that I will be able to do at 24 that I can’t at 23 and I feel like I’m caught in a wheel that is going faster and faster. I feel stuck, and I don’t know how to get out.
I feel this this is something this generation is struggling with. We are the last generation to not have childhood photos taken on phones, we are the generation stuck trying to fix generations of mistakes but we won’t live to see all the change followed through, we are the generation that expect more from people, but are being constantly let down. We cannot afford houses, we can’t afford children, we are children for longer, and constantly getting judged for the choices we’re making, because everything about our lives is online, everything about us is open and there to be judged and prodded and examined under a microscope. How can we not have ‘mid twenty life crisis’ when there are so many expectations on us; the standard for us is higher, but so are the fallouts.
Does anyone else feel like this? I know that everyone’s lives are different, and I know that the worst thing you can do is compare your world to someone else’s, but sometimes it’s hard not to get stuck in the self-pity of it all.
I know that I’m young, but what does this age even mean? What does being 24 mean? Where does the moment go when you’re not living in it?