They say your teenage years are one of the most difficult times in your life, but I couldn’t disagree more with this statement. As a Millennial, I feel that our 20s are the most important years of our lives- the years of self discovery and exploration. Sandwiched between a different collective of thinking between the young and old, adapting and adjusting to new experiences is quite difficult. In our early 20s, we learn autonomy and how to think for ourselves as young adults. Some learn faster than others where we venture outside of our homes and learn more about our personal identity. Often this is misconstrued with having to know what you want to already do and accomplishing it, but face it, what do we really know when we turn 20 except four walls, a lack of responsibility, and not having to worry about anything except school and what was on TV the night before? Being a teenager had its own issues, but in our twenties, it’s our time to make mistakes and learn from them. It’s in these years we look back and laugh at what we were doing and what we were thinking at the time we passed so many different phases.
With that said, I feel as if people rush this progression. Don’t get me wrong, I believe everyone has their own reasons for the choices they’ve made and are quite happy with what they have done, but I feel times have certainly changed. Wed lock and online dating, the two things that once held heavy stigmas to their names, are now readily accepted and have become a social norm ( by the way, what the heck is this new thing about “Netflix and chill”?). The people I’ve gone to school with are, for the most part married because they decided to marry right after college or because of wedlock. Others are waiting until late thirties before considering and venturing into family establishment. There is nothing wrong with the choices they’ve made, but the transition from what was traditionally accepted to what happens now is so radical. Parts of my mindset adhere to tradition, but other thoughts come to my mind. Perhaps it may just be my mentality, but why would you want to get married so early. There is time to do that after exploring life, the world, establishing a career, and learning how to become more stable. At times, I envy people for being able to have completed all that by their thirties, but another part of it is that this rocky experience has taught me a lot more than straightforward stability and traditional progression. Parts of me want to regret it, but at the same time, part of me is thankful for this roller coaster of life.
As I’m nearing the end of my twenties, I’m forced and pressured by older generations to establish a fully committed relationship and establish a family, but I am not ready. I want to challenge myself more and establish myself more before getting to that stage. Albeit I’m sure there’s no perfect time to do so, I want to prepare as much as I can and do me first before the whole “we” thing. I get that as we get older and as women, our biological clock is ticking, but that’s why we have alternatives. Must we be fettered and constrained by our physical attributes that we simply cannot change? I joke with my mom that I’ll freeze my eggs if I have to if I am starting to hit the age of fertility decline, but this added pressure is not necessary, it’s frustrating. Maybe things for me are weird, but right now at this point, establishing myself and my career, owning my own place, and exploring life is first and foremost. If love comes, let it come, but until then why must I wait or pursue? I’m too darn busy to follow these trends. Although I’m nearing the end of my twenties, I feel like my life is just getting started. As a millennial, I think the new mentality with women is to establish family later in life.
To all my millennials out there… It’s okay to take your time, it’s ok to be single after you’re thirty. It’s ok to not buy into pressure. It’s OK to do you first.
There’s so much pressure from every corner of our millennial lives, especially when you find frustration in your friends having children already, people getting engaged or married left and right. It makes us figure what the heck is wrong with us? Nothing is wrong with us, absolutely nothing. Why is enjoying the pleasantries of our life so difficult ? Such is the life of us millennials- defying that which society has planned out for us prematurely. The struggle is real.