I woke on my 23 birthday and although the day was beautiful, it’s an age I had never really given much thought to. However since stepping into my 23 big girl pants, it has been brought to my attention that literally nobody not even yourself likes you when your 23...Thank you Blink182.
So TWENTY-THREE…was does it even mean? If you have been this age already was it a brilliant hallmark age? Or a tragic age where you are still paying expensive insurance whilst simultaneously getting thrusted the ‘real world’. So here you are at 23 in said ‘real world’ just wondering what the bloody hell is next?
Your teens are well and truly over, your 21st party album is popping up on Facebook memories and you are most likely finished with Uni & still working that casual job to fund…what exactly?
We all know about mid life crisis’ but I it is safe to say I am experiencing a quarter life crisis. And yes it is a legit thing, and no one prepared me for it! For me 23 has been a time of unceasing questions. Something within me has shifted and I’m not sure it was necessarily welcomed.
So here are some things that have been swirling around my brain for a while now and thus a comprehensive list for the innocent Taylor swift singing 22 year old whom ought to brace themselves.
1. To career or to travel
Firstly I would like to note that I am grateful that I even have these first world options as an issue.
So we (may) have an expensive piece of paper or cert from uni with our names on it, we also probably have done some sort of Bali or Thailand trip or a couple months in Europe so now what? We become that executive sales person? Start our own shop? Become a teacher? Bar manager? Have a childcare company? So that we can start saving for that investment property that everyone seems to be saving for (Are people actually doing this!?)
At 23 there is a certain pressure to get a full time job and kickstart your career. This pressure can be stressful to say the least, or can completely derail us all together. However it is important to remember that everyone’s path is different there isn’t a right way to live out your twenties and this is where my struggle seems to lie. Every year that I am out of uni, there are fresh new graduates with the latest info armed to attack the workforce consequently stealing my job.
So do I run away in a bikini like the rest of Instagram and experience cultures at length or do I plug away in my early years to set myself the foundations for the life I want to live later?
SOMEONE HELP! That’s it, I’m becoming a DJ.
The easy answer is… do both? And that is the simple most valid solution.. though I want to travel widely & not be bound by the 6 weeks leave at my full time job. Travelling without a time as a constraint is the freshest thing since eucalyptus drops. You learn valuable life lessons, not just contouring your face, (I still don't know how to do this?)
Consequently this is a choice everyone needs to make, and ultimately what you deem valuable will prevail and fulfil.
2. Some friend’s stay some friends go
You lost some after school, you gained some at uni, you got some when you travelled, then lost them when you got home.
Losing friends as you age is a natural consequence of growing into our adult boots. At 23 you seem to get more time poor attempting to juggle your life between work, family, relationships, exercise, yourself let alone friends. As saddening as losing friends can be, friendship is always a two way street and like relationships can simply just drift away. And this is ok.
Some may have moved away, have settled down and are having a baby, others are simply just too busy and unfortunately this is just how life goes. Truth is, some friendships were just meant to last a season and some were meant to last a years & others would stay with you forever!
Remember that everyone you meet along your path is part of your journey and is a piece of your puzzle. We all unlock something in each other. So let them add a piece and send them on their way.
3. You have to pay for stuff now
No seriously, not like going to the movies but actual life stuff. Car rego, insurance, gym memberships, exercise clothes, haircuts, rent, toilet paper, makeup, deodorant, pet food, home wares (thank god for k mart!) Let’s not mention attempting to eat smashed avo, acai bowls or organic fruit and veg whist skulling kombucha from the farmers markets. The age of the rich healthy organic eating, lulu lemon parading mothers has been brought down to 23 with half the income flow! Cheers social media.
4. You’ve been to a funeral
As morbid as this point is, it is very palpable. You now know someone who is not with us anymore. For a brief moment in your life you stop and realise that humans are not invincible and that at any given second a life can be taken from us. Naturally a self reflection will follow, you will reconnect with some around you and again bottomless question’s as to whether you are living or aim to live your own life fruitfully.
5. Is this guy the one?
The argument of whether to be in a serious relationship in your early twenties is an ongoing opinion based debate. In a sense, at 23 you really do have the world at your feet and still room for error. So are having ties to someone in your twenties really the right thing? Should you be off manifesting and exploring yourself mentally, sexually & spiritually?
This is one of life’s many challenges, trying to navigate through your own self-discovery while being interlaced with someone else’s. The art of exploring your self needs whilst catering to someone’s else’s is a fine skill and often hard to balance and master.
So if you’re in a semi legit relationship at just 23, I guess you start to question where your future lies. If this isn’t the one and a bit of fun then what the hell are you doing? Will you evolve and grow with each other? Or is heart break inevitable? Most importantly, do you even like him farting in the bed!?
To say the least, my casual swipe right turned into a long term, serious relationship. Something I was afraid of after previously having my heart broken. However I took the leap of joining another person in doing this life thing. Although the ups and downs, the tantrums, passsive agressive texts all whilst juggling someone else’s emotions… being in a relationship at 23 can be quite the time! Ultimately you begin to discover what type of person you would like to be with & how it feels to always give and take.
If I could go back, I’m not sure would have done it any other way. Putting someone before yourself can be the most rewarding experience, but then again... what would i know I'm only 23!
6. Your hung over productive days are coming to an end
In your teens when you worked in that café or shop on a Sunday morning accompanied with a righteous hangover some how… you managed to pull through!! Now at the age of 23 your liver frequently resides on Struggle Street begging for some hydrolyte to pass on through. To be frank, your body is not 16 anymore, it does not bounce back as quickly and it can’t function on burgers and booze. Fuel it correctly and choose your white girl nights wisely!
7. You are going to feel lost
Yep its true, we all are. At 23 we don’t really have it all planned out or really any idea of how to get there (at least I don’t) . But (apparently) it is normal to feel completely sh** scared about your future. Your transformation into adult life is just beginning and the feeling of uncertainty will probably continue to follow you for a while. So unless you know exactly what you want and are traipsing around telling people of that investment property you’re looking into then… JOIN THE CLUB!
23 has been unkind to me and as has required resilience (loads of it) , I have crumbled, cried and carried on.
23 thanks for keepin in real. Maybey don't come back. xx