How I Imagined My 20s
When I entered my 20s, I was halfway through my college years and transferred to a university out-of-state, but during my late teen years I admit I was a bit naive about what was to come. I imagined graduating in four years, having a brand new car, living in a metropolitan city in a gorgeous condo on my own with an amazing job as a staff writer at the publication of my choice.
And then I woke up.
By 2008, the journalism field had changed tremendously. Print publications were folding left and right and internships at major publications are hard to come by unless you're in major cities such as Los Angeles or New York City. Luckily for me, I took initiative and wrote for my alma mater's newspaper for the two years I spent at TSU in addition to editorial assistant positions along the way. I'm at a point where I can't afford to continue to write for free for major publications with no compensation. "Exposure" is no longer considered compensation to me, especially since I have my own space online to create whatever I want when I want with no boundaries. I get that you have to "pay your dues" to earn your bylines, but bills need to be paid first.
Five years ago, I wouldn't be caught dead still living at home at 25-years-old. Well, life happened. A terrible economy and no guarantee of a job and place to stay happened once I graduated so I didn't have much of a choice. I've had my bouts with being back home, but I'm grateful I have a place to call home. Most people my age are forced to fend for themselves after college, so I'm grateful my parents have given me that option to live at home so I can prepare myself first so I'm not living paycheck to paycheck once I do decide to live on my own.
It's been confusing and frustrating, but things have gotten better. I may not be exactly where I want to be right now, but I've learned that it's a process. Patience and tenacity are essential during your 20s. As bad as I think I might have it, I have to count my blessings. I'm single with no children. I don't have other people depending on me and that's a blessing, 'cause Lord knows I don't need that added stress. I still don't know how my mom did it with two little girls by the time she was 25, but hats go off to her. Granted she was married, but it's still a lot to take on once you're a wife and a mother.
I'm at a place in my life where I'm allowed to be selfish and figure out what I need to do to make myself happy and become a better me.
Now let's hope I can get it right by the time the big 3-0 rolls around.