I’m a sucker for list posts. You know the ones I’m talking about…
25 things you should do before you’re 25
Clickbait cocaine for twenty somethings in need of some life coaching and motivational porn *cough* wisdom. I get it, I work in digital marketing. List titles are a good way to get people to read your posts… I’m looking at you Thought Catalog, Life Hack, Buzzfeed etc.
These lists of “things you should be doing” feed on our insecurities about whether we’re living life the “right” way. We’re completely addicted and we can’t stop clicking even though we know half of it is bullshit.
There should be a group for us – the mid-twenties men and women going through a life crises.
We’re having to come to terms with a lot of things you see, like the fact that:
1. It’s not easy to have a career and travel
*Please note that a career and earning an income are two different things
Ignore this point if you live in a European country OR have a job that takes you around the world OR somehow get to work, earn enough money to buy all the things and have time off to travel.
I live in South Africa where the currency is at an all time low and travelling is pretty damn expensive. Wanderlust is a real thing and all I can think about is how short this life is… why am I sitting in front of my computer for 8 hours a day / 5 days a week???
And then of course you get these annoying posts called “How I can afford my life of constant travel” and “Why you should quit your job and travel around the world”. I actually refuse to link these blogs on principle.
My friends who travel a lot are probably reading this and saddling their high horse. Well giddy up because not everyone gets to have their cake and eat it!
2. The 90’s are over
At least we have something to be nostalgic about, but man do I miss the days when photos had to be developed, puppy in my pocket was R5 a pop (and just generally 1000x better than they are now)… and ok, just read this full list for a good ol’ dose of 90’s music, movies, cartoons, tv series and amazing paraphernalia that we grew up with.
3. We’re not going to live the same lives as ours parents
Yep. The reality is that life has changed since our parents grew up and raised us – we saw the last of the “golden age” when we were 90’s kids. I haven’t married and had two kids like my mom did when she was my age (thank my little pony about the kids part). I haven’t bought my first house yet and I’ll be incredibly lucky if I get to stay at home with my babies when I eventually do decide to have them. Now I realise most of these examples are all very white and privileged of me… but I’m pretty sure every twenty something reading this can think of a few reasons of their own.
4. Finding a life partner is HARD
Apparently it is an urban legend that there are about five single women to every single man in Cape Town (of which 1 in 3 are gay) – making the odds very hard for all the single ladies in Cape Town looking for men to call their boyfriend. But then again, none of those statistics even matter when we’re all so freaked out about sharing feelings and commitment. We’re so untethered, Houston would call us a “space disaster” if we were astronauts.
Read “Why Modern Dating Makes Me Want to Punch Myself in the Throat” for more on this point.
*Disclaimer 1: those ratios are thumb sucked to make a point.
*Disclaimer 2: if you really couldn’t be bothered whether you have your very own flawed person to love and be loved by (legitimately and not as a defence mechanism against loneliness and being stereotyped)… respect.
I should conclude by saying that I don’t hate all the motivational posts and life coaching being published by my favourite digital publications, but I certainly don’t take them as the gospel to living life well.
If you’re in your mid twenties and you’re in a bit of a weird space – you’re not alone. Go do all the things, keep dreaming but be present.