Note: Today is my last blog post until Monday, November 11. Next week is the second Twenties Unscripted Guest Writers Week and I have a bunch of amazing women who are taking over the blog. Show them love and soak up their incredibly strong and talented voices.
It’s 3:13 p.m. and I’m falling apart. I would contemplate going to the garage, sitting in my car and letting out a few good sobs, but I have a shit ton of work that needs to be done. Crying isn’t exactly efficient. I consult my best friend via Gchat and start pouring out disjointed thoughts. This is also probably not efficient given my mountain of work, but the only other option is to gouge someone’s eyes out. I went with the more legal route.
That line in the Kanye/Jay-Z song “H.A.M” echoes through my head. “It was all good just a week ago..”
I reveal to my best friend a thought I have had numerous times: “I feel like a fraud,” I tell her. Line by line I spill out the mounting insecurities I currently have about my 24-year-old life. In summary, I tell her I feel like even 2.5 years post grad, I’m still drowning in quicksand. From my myopic point of view, it wasn’t still supposed to be this difficult. There were supposed to be answers to my cornucopia of questions by now. And, still, there are none.
I used the word “fraud” because I am the kind of person who people mistakenly assume has her shit together. And, yes, that is kind of an asshole statement, but I can only say it because I know it’s far from the truth. I know how often I fall apart. I know that right now my face is peeling from blowing my nose about 250 times in the past 48 hours. My hair is a mess. I need to do my dry cleaning and throw my laundry in the washer. I have a never-ending list of shit that needs to get done before I get on a plane Saturday morning. My cat needs food. My bone-crushing rent is due in two days. I’m performing tomorrow night and I haven’t been able to give my pieces the attention they deserve. I’m feeling discombobulated and disheveled and every other dis you can think of.
I’m wishing I took more time to ride the high I was on earlier this month when all the cards were falling in my favor. I’m wishing I pocketed that sunshine and saved it for today. But, your twenties are the ultimate test in being able to bob and weave against the unexpected punches.
During my Gchat rant, my friend dropped a gem of wisdom she recently inherited from her sisters: “Erase the image of where you think you should be right now and just know that you are working toward being where you need to be.”
I probably sketched that image of where I should be many years ago. I refined the sketch a few years ago right out of college as I looked at the other 24-year-old girls I worked with. I had all of these inflated expectations for how smoothly I should be able to navigate my life at this point. Perhaps now is an opportune time to shred that sketch.
Because, you can’t map out the curve balls. You can’t always anticipate the pit falls. You can’t predict the shitty days. There isn’t any image of how it should be because there are 1,000 things for which you could never prepare. As another friend just told me, “Right now, we’re all just working our asses off for scraps. But, eventually, the scraps become the foundation.” So, you take the lessons in mental and emotional agility and let them carry you through the choppy waters.
Rip up the sketch. Eradicate the image. Let go of the expectations others set for you, or worse, the ones you set for yourself. Breathe. Close your eyes. Remember that life is good. Say thank you for the little things. Know that you are more than fine. Understand that everything could be far worse. Recall that there have been times when it was far worse. Let the tides of life wash over you, refine you and make you that much stronger. Rip up the sketch. It’s only ripping you apart.