As a millennial twenty-four year old, I try my hardest to be unswayed by the generic expectations of life and society. The romantic parts of the media may tell you that this is the time to be confused and reckless and indecisive, to dance in the rain and to go on crazy spontaneous road trips searching for the best sunrise. Other more reality-driven ones may say that now is as good a time as ever to be securing the foundation for the rest of our lives, especially in terms of bank accounts and careers, and would you like to buy some insurance while you’re at it?
But while I do believe in the “Struggling Twenties” which is all about the “hustle” (wow, really trying to show off my extensive knowledge of youthful jargon here *immediately loses all cool points by describing the younger generation as “youth”*), I also believe in making the most out of this uncertain limbo era. Half of my friends are getting married, working their dream jobs and bearing children; the other half of my friends are still walking around in a daze, looking to land jobs that aren’t available and spending money that isn’t theirs.
Everyone is either set or scrambling on for dear life; me, I like to think I’m sitting on a steady cliff. I’ve got two legs dangling off the ledge but my hands are solidly planted on the ground I’m sitting on, ready to hoist me up for good at the first sign of mental fatigue.
But in your mid-twenties, the only person you have to answer to when faced with the consequences of your actions is… Yourself.
I don’t blame some people for thinking I’m foolhardy and in denial for stalling the impending doom of adulthood. And if I do turn out to be one of those elderly women on dance floors in a feather boa and blood orange lipstick on my teeth, then full points to you for your spot-on forecasting. Some nights I can’t help but also agree and think that I’m way past my sell-by date. Perhaps if I wasn’t such a late-bloomer, then maybe I would also be working a stable, government job and on the steady route to motherhood and a promotion, instead of falling asleep while drinking melted takeaway ABC at four in the morning and waking up with a mouth still filled with chewed corn kernels.
It scares me because some days I wonder if I’ll ever outgrow this frame of mind or if there’s a possible future lying ahead of me where I’m fifty and still hashtagging my captions with #YOLO and #fire and digitally categorizing my circle of friends as #squad. It’s weird being rebellious at this age because to rebel against something, there has to be an opposing force. Back then, it used to be my parents or teachers or some of the other girls at school. But in your mid-twenties, the only person you have to answer to when faced with the consequences of your actions is… Yourself.
Hence, leading me to the ultimate million dollar question, echoing the familiar philosophical thought, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”. So, “If someone rebels against a social construct and no one is around to oppose it, is it really being rebellious?”.
However, at the end of the day, unswallowed corn or not, I do believe that I am on the right path somehow. Everyone has their own pace, mine just happens to be taking the scenic route on the way to the beach to catch the sunrise.