As long as you’re green, your growing, and as soon as you start to ripen, you start to rot- Roy Croc
I’m turning 21 in two months and I’m petrified.
I’m writing this lying from a sun-lounger in a glitzy hotel in Miami, funded by the bank of mummy and daddy. I’m going out with a group of friends from university tonight that texted me a few hours ago. I ran down the beach head to toe in Duke apparel that I get completely free from being on the varsity team. But in under ten years’ time I’m going to be thirty.
Society keeps telling me that if I’m not successful by thirty my life is already over. By thirty, I shouldn’t want alright job, I should want a career. I should probably want a boyfriend, not one night stands. Forbes tells me I should be good “at tech”, you know like Evan Spiegel, who at 27 has made it three years onto the Forbes 400.
My mother always tells me that I’m a modern renaissance woman; good at running, okay at writing and always present for a solid night out. She also reminds me whilst I’m typing up my anxieties, that I make a bloody good sugar-free banana bread. But no company wants the girl that can whip up a batch of peanut-butter brownies and run whilst they are in the oven. They want people that bought Matcha Lattes to LA, Soul Cycle to the UK and designed the new sleep-pods in Google’s Office. I’m three years too young to be classified as a millennial but they’ve already stolen all the good ideas; acai bowls, Facebook, shots of ginger and cayenne pepper at yoga raves.
I keep reading about the property ladder and how in a few years I must be on it. But with no money, albeit some for Monday night Wholefoods, I’m not going up the ladder. I’m the girl standing at the bottom hoping that someone is going to lend me theirs; even just to step on it for a while. Property is such a grown up term but I’m not an adult. I still sleep in the same bed as my mother at hotels, even if there is a double bed free next to her.
Are my best years ahead of me or were they behind me?
At 11, I was excited about attending secondary school. My entry into teenage hood was all about batmitzphars and hitching my skirt up a little too high. By 14, I moved away from trying the foam off the top of my dad’s beer and transitioned to cheap vodka at the corner shop using the ID off fakeids.com. At 15, I was excited about my 16th birthday, losing my virginity and all that exciting stuff. At 17, I was excited about my 18th birthday and my gap year. At 18, I was tattooed and ready for university.
Now at 20, I’m on a D1 track team, I’m in a sorority filled with inspiring people and I’m actually enjoying my classes. I like to think pretty well on the male front and I get to write for a number of different publications about the weird world inside my own head.
I’m scared I’m too happy right now and nothing will live up to it.
But here’s the thing, the people telling me to be scared of my future don’t know me and don’t know my generation. My generation are more ethnically diverse than any before. My generation are the most socially liberal and my generation, according to Forbes, favour same sex marriage two times more than my grandparents. They forget to tell us that 16% of the richest people in America were college dropouts and forget to tell us that money doesn’t matter if we aren’t happy.
My generation knows how to code and they know how to write travel blogs. But we also speak openly about our mental health and are starting to realize that our happiness comes from living in the present not fearing the future. Who knows, maybe my ramblings may lead to a column in a leading magazine. Maybe my tropical house music playlist on soundcloud is a prophesy for the beach club I’ll own on the secluded side of Ibiza.
The future is scary because its unknown but the future is also incredibly bright for the same reason.