FROM OCCUPYING MY 20’S

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“Sometimes I just wanted to raise my hands and stop. But stop what? Maybe just growing up.”— Patti Smith

I’ve put an itsy-bitsy dent into my 20’s, as I slowly reach the half-way mark climbing toward 25 and have found that most of my 20-something years , thus far, have been spent standing inside of my suitcase, tossing clothes above my head, moving to new cities, reporting to new jobs, getting caught up with the amount of stamps that decorate the pages of my passport, while bills (that i can hardly afford) leave splinters on the top of my coffee table.

And i believe it is safe to say that many years from now, I’ll rummage through boxes of old parking tickets, torn apart love letters, pay stubs from random jobs and shed bits of laughter over how much money i cut into my paycheck to shell out for things that will one day be labeled as “ridiculous” “unnecessary” “unimaginable!” like kite surfing the Atlantic Ocean, years of rent in New York City, tickets for a night of Rock N’ Roll, and love–doesn’t that always cost us so, so much? These things are all i have, right now, as i am at a point in my timeline where everything i own can fit into three over sized duffle bags or sold, for enough money to get me a one way plane ticket.

If anything, It will go down as an era of gorgeous chaos, that’s for sure.

I stumbled upon a New York Times Article, the other day, that threw up the common and overused question of,”Why are so many people in their 20s taking so long to grow up?

And steadfastly, i found myself becoming bubble wrapped and confined in statistics that slapped me right across my heated face.

–One-third of people in their 20s move to a new residence every year. Been there, done that.

–Forty percent move back home with their parents at least once. mmhm, i remember this real well.

–They go through an average of seven jobs in their 20s, more job changes than in any other stretch. I’ve been through three.

This morning i engaged in some early mornin’ wake-up call loving banter with my darling mom who was telling me a tale about someone who is at the end of their 20’s about to get married and settle down in sunny-side Florida, begging the read between the lines question of when will i settle down. It was only 8:45 am and i had her and the NYT both asking me, when will i grow up?

I found myself walking the avenues of the city, in the pouring down rain, with frizzing hair, raising my arms and my voice–like a crazy person–reminding my mom what your 20’s are for. The time to be adventurous, to make mistakes and then make those same mistakes again, and then make them one more time. It’s about reaching the very peak of the mountain of your dreams and  often, having someone or something push you right back down to the basement of your parents tacky wall-papered home. But above all else, it’s about creating a foundation, a limestone block of certainty that we can dance on for the rest of our lives. That will make it stable for us to grow up on and settle down on, ah what a concept. Speak to me in my 30’s about this, please.

It’s not that we are not ready to grow up. Surely, if you want me to buckle down into a business suit and work a desk job that will have me trading dreams of climbing Mt. Everest for climbing corporate America, I can do that. If you want me to become a serial dater and go on date after date to try to find a husband, i can do that too.

But what is the rush?

It is about trial and error. About not being deadlocked with a career, a family, a mortgage before you have shaken off the biting lice of life that pushes you  to try out a lot of things before coasting through, before knowing what it is that will make you the happiest of happy for the rest of your life.

Everyone’s time to settle down is different, I need to run off the leash for just a few more years, and as long as I am employed and keeping the wheels turning, I don’t see anything wrong with that.

The NYT article states to ask a 20-something  if they agree with the statement “I am very sure  that someday I will get to where I want to be in life,” and 96 percent of them will say yes.

 

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I’m Jen Glantz. I’ve been a published writer for over 13 years, spilling my words into magazines (ranging from style to scuba diving), newspapers, websites and even this one time, a speech, for someone who didn’t speak a word of English. What drives my words, my site, my writing, is the power of relating to people. I find that many people, especially young girls, feel so alone and quite often they feel embarrassed. I want to shatter those feelings! I want them to read what I write and understand that it’s okay to be a little outside of the box, but most importantly, that it is okay to just be who they are.

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