What’s it like to be 22 you ask? Well, good heavens, the early twenties are in fact mortifyingly confusing!!!
First things first, when you are of such an age, one doesn’t quite know if they’re in fact Arthur or Martha, Harry or Sally, or POSSIBLY even Mandy or Randy!! I mean which name does one even respond to when not knowing? My point is that we don’t exactly know who we are yet. We can be whoever we want to be, we can respond to whichever name we want to respond to and we can certainly put on our Brave Brenda Booties, invite Inquisitive Ingrid to the party and give them all a good try for that matter. That is until we figure it out…
With that being said, being 22 has a way of making you feel as though you are meant to have your life together, which is basically impossible, considering we barely even know our own names! At the moment, my logic of thought goes something along the lines of “I’m almost 23, which is so close to 25, which is BASICALLY a ¼ of a century and pretty much means that I’m almost 30 and should have my life together by now. I should be successful, know what I want out of life, be on the right track and possibly even be on the lookout for the right guy to eventually settle down and be jolly with.
Truth is, at 22, we are only just pipsqueaks. Pipsqueaks without a name to be exact. We are confused, don’t know who we are yet and are still trying to figure out what it is that we want out of life. We may think that we know, but we in fact probably don’t.
At 22, we are faced with MANY different challenges. For one, we are learning that we actually DON’T know everything. We start to notice who our real friends are. We realise that our time and our days are more limited than before, and become wiser with deciding who is worth spending our time and energy on. We also find ourselves letting go of high school friendships that no longer serve us. We no longer sweat the small things and learn that it’s simply OKAY to let go. We teach ourselves how to invest time in meaningful relationships with family and friends. We begin to understand the meaning of support. We learn how to support. We learn that it is okay to take and we learn the importance of giving.
We are all TRYING to be adults, yet don’t quite know how. 22 is a year of becoming a little more selfish in doing things that make you a lot happier, rather than others. We begin to want our own space. Our own places to live. We want to leave the nest. We realise that there’s a lot more to life than the valley and the place that we have grown up in. We realise that we do in fact have wings. We are learning how to spread them. We want to be free. We want to explore. Majority of us want to travel. But we also want to get our lives on track and start building a career.
We test and push past the limitations of boundaries. This is how we learn. We learn the importance of decision making and the consequences of making the wrong ones. With every decision we make, we learn something, whether it be good or bad. We give the people in our lives many chances, but also take plenty. Every action we take allows us to slowly morph ourselves into who we truly are, but don’t realise it.
We become influenced by the people who we surround ourselves with, but are still trying to figure out WHO exactly forms part of our “favourable crowd”. The truth is, we don’t know where exactly we fit in just yet.
You see, being 22, is in fact the year of the “terrible 2’s”, rather than the preferable well known age of toddlers. Being 22 is the year of opening up doors and learning whether to knock on them politely, or bulldoze them down.
22 is a year of sacrifice. We now know the importance of paying our own bills. We understand more now than ever what it’s like to work for what you have. We learn to FINALLY take the advice we have ignored over and over again, because we have realised that we are in fact growing up. We are all becoming adults.
We learn the value of money. We begin to understand that things don’t just fall onto your plate as they did in high school. We are no longer spoon fed. We are taught that time and effort in a job goes a long way, and results in small jumps of success and rewards. We are all trying to find a way to establish ourselves. We don’t know how, but we are trying.
We learn to teach ourselves the meaning of patience. We invest our time and energy on more meaningful situations. We no longer feel the need to impress the people around us, because we are who we are.
We become more comfortable in our own skin. We accept that we might not actually be a size 2, but rather embrace the fact that we are a comfortable size 10. Who actually cares anyway? We realise that looks aren’t everything. We feel okay to face the world without any make up on. We aren’t embarrassed. We are who we are, remember.
We realise the importance of no longer running after people or empty friendships. We realise that running after people is really a waste of time, and doesn’t quite burn a satisfying amount of calories, mentally.
We experience pain and heartache and teach ourselves how to rise above that. We learn that we might grow apart from people or maybe develop different interests. We begin to think less about the perceptions that the outside world may have of us, because we remind ourselves that we are who we are, and that is enough. We learn to understand the meaning of our own self worth. We learn how to start loving ourselves for who we really are (even though we haven’t quite figured that part out yet).
We come to terms with the fact that Taylor Swifts song “22” will inevitably be our life theme song for the year –and there’s no way around it! We learn that being “happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time” is in fact a REAL thing. Our emotions and thoughts are continuously running wild while we try to figure out the real world.
Being 22 can sometimes feel lonely. We don’t know where we fit in. We don’t know who our crowd is. Some days, we don’t even know how we like our coffee, nevermind what we want for breakfast!
We may feel as though we are going through a midlife crisis not knowing all of these things. We may also feel that we are lost, but lost in the right direction. We don’t know where the direction is heading, but that’s part of figuring it all out.
Some days we like to listen to Selena Gomez, other days, Eminem. Sometimes we like to be lazy and take naps, other days we might feel as though we could conquer Mount Everest. We might like our eggs sunny side up on a Monday, but scrambled on a Friday. You see, we are very unpredictable. We even take ourselves by surprise. This is what it’s like to be 22. Everything is up and down.
Basically, we are all a bunch of headless chickens (spring chickens, to be exact), who are running around in circles of emotion, desire and confusion, but we are none the less individuals filled with passion and ambition. Ambition to be the best that we can be.
For all we know, we could be a Glenda. We could be a Brenda. But all we need to remember is that we are not going through a “midlife crisis”, and that none of us are alone.
If we could get through being 13, 16, and 18, our year of 22 will be an absolute breeze!!