It sounds so cliché. Feeling lost amid a twenty-something crisis. But when you burst into tears after a friend gets a promotion or freak out when Tesco doesn't have the pretentious buckwheat flour you need to make the pretentious everything-free cake you were sure would prove to everyone that you were an adult, it's not cliché so as much as like, actually happening, IRL.
Like most people, I'd say my early twenties were fine in a shit way. Or shit in a fine way. Whatever (my word du jour back then). I didn't mind the lack of money and employment because I was just out of uni. So cavalier, man. But now I'm in my mid-twenties, and me and my friends can say with confidence (albeit, not much) that life is not fine in a shit way. It's more just, shit.
I don't mean to be so negative. We are lucky to be here, in good health and living a life much nicer than lots of folk. Plus, there are plenty of people who made it through this life tundra, thawed out and had plenty of humorous, being-frozen tales to tell. But that doesn't change how it feels at the time (cold. Really effing cold).
For me, there was no Sim-teen-spins-round-and-is-suddenly-an-adult moment. Things just subtly started to change. Instead of just moaning about being a renter, I actually started to worry about the prospect of never owning a home, which lead to frantic RightMove searches in boring areas that border London, just in case (no point, you still can't afford it). Instead of just saying I was lost, or letting the media tell me that was the case, I actually started to feel that way. You know, what the hell am I doing in life/do I want to live in London forever/will I ever get my dream job/is Dynamo for real?
And then everything tumbled on out, and I was left in this arctic hell, suddenly aware of the friends who didn't really give two hoots about our friendship, and the standstill happening in my career. I became the only participant in a debate over the kind of person I was and the kind of person I wanted to be (not shit). Rent, friends, relationship, parents, money, body, personality, job. All in your face like a mad whirlwind filled with knives and cuddly Nemo toys (to confuse you, see).
It's not a Bridget Jones situation. I don't expect to be engaged, an editor or a homeowner by this age. I'm content knowing that things happen when they happen (at seemingly varying rates, these days). But let us remember, the crisis doesn't recognise acceptance or logic. In fact, it makes you throw yours away. Like actually throw it into the bin. Sad face.
Still, I don't believe that this is just down to 'reaching that age'. 2014 has a lot to answer for. The technology, the pop culture, the new rules. They all lead to confusion and hypocrisy. One minute, it's cool to put a pair of those stirrup leggings on and eat ginger biscuits alone because we're so over conforming and hey, 'if it makes you happy'. But the next thing we know, that's lame, and why aren't you partying with a gourmet hot dog in a underground lair instead of being a grandma? (Although, if you were in fact a grandma at that age, that would be proof enough that you're far from boring). There are so many components to a twenty-something crisis that there's a new article every week on a topic that falls under that umbrella. If we weren't unsure of ourselves before, 2014 made sure that we were unsure.
Hopefully it's something that fades with age. Well, we're freezing our tits off in this tundra.