You're Only 22

I'm only 22, and let me tell you, it is a RIDE. 

When people told me my twenties were going to be full of ups and downs, crises and triumphs, hell and heaven, I smiled politely and nodded my head while thinking, "Who the hell do you think you are? My twenties are going to be AWESOME." I knew I had dreams; I knew I had goals; I knew I had the potential to do it all.

What I didn't know was how much I didn't understand. I had (and still have) a long way to go in understanding myself, my mission, my purpose, my relationships, my health, my spirituality...virtually every aspect of myself. There's a long way to go, and sometimes that sucks. 

People often tell me, "Oh, you're only 22! Give yourself a break! You're too hard on yourself." But what they don't understand is that it's hard. Sure, they have experience. Sure, they've lived through their own twenties. But they don't understand just how hard it is for me in my life, to live through this and try to make the most of it. They don't understand how hard it is to graduate from school, get married, build a business, question everything about myself and what I'm doing, have multiple crises every day, and "not be too hard on myself" through it all. 

People like to tell us what to do and what to think. It makes them feel better. It's easier to say, "Oh, you're only 22. Give yourself a break." than to go back and say, "I remember. I remember how hard it was and all the terror and joy that I experienced. I remember what my own time was like. Tell me what your twenties are like for you." It's harder to share in someone's experience and hear what they have to say, knowing there's nothing you can do to fix it (and accepting that maybe nothing needs to be fixed anyway), than to tape over things with a "you're so young" bandaid. 

And that sucks. It sucks to be misunderstood. It sucks to be silenced and to be bandaid-ed. It's hard not knowing what's going on or who to talk to or where to go or what to do. But you know what's harder? Continuing to look for the answers outside of ourselves. Because the beauty of all of this, is that no one needs to understand. No one needs to really know or accept or love or embrace the raging hell (and ethereal paradise) that is my twenties. That would be nice, but the only person in charge of me, is me. So the only person who needs to understand, accept, know, and love me, is me. I have my answers; I have my mission; I have my heaven and my hell.

I'm only 22, but I'm the best-equipped person to live my life. 

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