Somewhere in the world, long long ago, some royal douchebag made a list of things that MUST happen in your twenties for you to be considered a cool human being. They then installed this list into our subconscious hardwiring for us to slowly discover as we age. Does anyone in their early twenties, have this list anywhere near completed? No, all we have is the constant fear of not checking it off before we are thirty. So here are my uncensored thoughts on the early twenties checklist:
1. I have to find a boyfriend that will then quickly turn into a husband and has certain “Dad” qualities – that is, if I so choose to go down the baby road. Somehow, the moment I graduated college all my friends are now happily engaged and having babies and posting cute instagrams with rings. (wtf, when did that happen?)
2. I have to find a job that will make lots of money and make me feel like a boss-ass bitch when I tell my friends and family what I do. (This is a nearly impossible task of your twenties, so don’t get your hopes up, most of us just try to make being an “assistant” sound boss-like…we all know its not, but good for you assistants! You have a long-term potentially boss-like trajectory! The rest of us are trying to make selling cupcakes sound boss-like…it never will be.)
3. I have to find a sick-ass apartment. (This comes with so much subtext so hang on!)
~I must find sick people to live with that don’t make me want to repeatedly punch myself in the face when we are home at the same time together.
~Then find sick decorations to make the apartment look like someone sick actually resides here.
~OH, and actual money to afford said sick apartment. Unfortunately there’s no 50% off sales on apartments, or like a Wasteland to get bougie apartments on the cheap, and make other people think you paid more than you did. In most cases, you will pay way more than people think you pay. Ironic. And sad.
~Additionally, I have to find an apartment void of bugs, mold, or free small rodent pets that come with my new home. (In LA this apparently is very common…who knew?)
~On top of all that, it must be an apartment where I can park a car with ease when I come home from a long day. (In LA, this is apparently a GIANT PROBLEM. WHO KNEW? Not me. If you want to find me, I’m the girl circling her OWN home on the daily. 50% of my fellow residents believe I am a stalker.)
~Importantly, an apartment in an area of town where if I need to get ice cream at midnight, I can go out after dark without the fear of the double M’s (you know, being ‘molested’ or ‘murdered.’)
~And don’t forget, I must find friends to come over to SHOW said sick apartment, except now we have to have a “quiet party” because noise complaints aren’t cool after college. HINT: Board games at parties are apparently cool after college? I’m not convinced yet, to be honest.
**If you fail to check ANY of these apartment boxes you will be miserable, so these are golden rules to literally live by.
4. I have to find a new creative way to be in prime physical shape because my metabolism is turning into a snail and trying to f me over every time I ingest anything that isn’t kale.
5. I have to find a cool hobby to occupy all this time I am not spending going to class, procrastinating on homework, drinking with friends or going to Las Vegas.
6. (AND FINAL CHECK BOX) I have to find a good group of friends that make me feel loved and supported, even if I am failing miserably at every single expected check box of my twenties.
~NOTE: This is exceptionally important for when the “panic attacks of your twenties” set in, you must establish friends that you can call when you realize life is a whole hell of a lot harder than it looks in those romantic comedies you’ve been watching your entire life. You have to have friends to call when you realize you aren’t going to simply drop a pencil and the guy of your dreams is NOT going to pick it up and fall deeply in love with you. When you realize you aren’t going to be at a coffee shop and your future husband is not going to be sitting writing on a swanky laptop and stops writing to buy your coffee and fall deeply in love with you on the spot. When you realize that the only hope of finding a future husband is on a dating app themed like bees or fire or sports (for no apparent reason may I add) where your maybe future husband is not going to respond to you because your maybe future husband either A) doesn’t exist or B) is a royal douchebag who can’t even type an “h” followed by an “i” whilst you have been busy crafting the perfect way to grow a pair and type the perfect witty introduction. OKAY. Clearly I am having one of those moments where I should probably call one of those good friends that will talk me down off my ledge. BRB.
KAY BACK. Essentially to sum up that ranting paragraph: you need good friends. Period. You won’t survive on your own out there no matter how many terrible nights you have where you lock yourself in your room and tell yourself you don’t need anybody but yourself. It’s sad but, you do, and you will.
Along with friends comes inevitable drama. If you happen to have any friends that are artists (ie. actors, writers, musicians) you will have exponentially more drama than other friend groups because you have meshed with the most sensitive type of people on the planet. Congratulations! (And don’t worry! I did it too). But here’s the thing about the inevitable “friend drama:” it teaches you who is going to be around no matter what and who you can learn to not hold as close. Friends that fight and resolve fights together by talking it out over ice cream or donuts are friends to keep around. Friends that fight and just let the phone line go dead for months are not worth the trouble. (Essentially, if there’s food involved in your friendship, keep them).
You want friends that will fight for you and beside you. Because as cheesy and cliché as it is, the twenties are a battlefield full of girls trying to get their check marks before you. Since you can’t check these off alone, you want your front line to be full of boss-ass bitches like yourself that will go to war for you (as we all learned from a Taylor Swift music video, not too long ago.) So if those romantic comedies taught you anything, its not about the guy and girl and the big kiss at the end and the promise that she will check all of her boxes immediately after the movie ends. It’s that every romantic comedy has a boss friend that HELPS her check her boxes.
So stop worrying so much! Build a front line. Eat some ice cream. And then try to check some boxes. If you don’t check any this year, eat some donuts, and try again next year. I personally, am not in any rush - because the check boxes of your thirties seem way less exciting (so I’ve heard.)