8 Stages of Your Twenties As Told by F•R•I•E•N•D•S

1. Blind Ignorance

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Finally – my twenties! These are going to be the BEST YEARS OF MY LIFE. I’ll have a career, a fiancé, a swanky apartment, and my very own 401k. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna’ go stock up on $80 pencil skirts because #adulting.

2. Adorable Optimism

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I didn’t plan on living at home this long – or, like, at all – but this is great. What a wonderful time to cherish kith and kin. Oh, Taylor’s getting married? Good for her! I’ll RSVP for two. A lot can happen in four months!

3. Quarter-Life Crisis

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Ohmygodohmygodohmygod. I’m already in my mid-twenties. What?! Conner just bought a house, and Jessica has the nerve to get pregnant – on purpose. Time for a change. Something bold and drastic. Something that says, “Despite all appearances I’m totally in control.” I’M MOVING TO BELGIUM.

*Skips dinner (again), browses Zillow for six hours*

4. Complete Apathy

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Belgium is a stupid country, anyway. Maybe I can just cash in my Beanie Babies. Didn’t Buzzfeed say the Princess Di bear was worth like $500? Next month’s rent: done.

5. When Netflix Keeps Asking If You’re “Still Watching”

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DID I STUTTER?

6. Attainable Goals

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Okay. So I wasn’t elected the youngest president of the United States at 24. Whatever. But maybe I could get a job working for a senator or something. Oh, that’s super competitive? Oooooooor maybe I’ll just start a political blog or something. Yeah, blogging sounds good.

7. Growing Up

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JK. You might have some goals now, but you’re still a hot mess.

8. Secret Happiness

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Your job’s a joke, you’re broke, and your love life’s DOA – but maybe it’s not so bad. You’ve got some pretty awesome friends, a paycheck, a new blog, and a lot of dreams left to dream. Looks like you’re doing alright after all, kid.

 

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Someday When My Kids Are Grown…

As you all know, I don’t have any children – hey, I’m only 24! Still, as more and more of my peers settle down, I like to imagine the kind of world my own future children will inherit. What will matter to them when they’re my age, 20 or 30-something years from now? What will they enjoy, pursue, fear? Which of my favorite shows will make it to TV Land? What will the world look like someday when my children are grown?

This is a collection of my thoughts. 

Someday when my kids are grown…

I hope they read about civil unrest in books, not the news.

I hope “Adopt Don’t Shop” is the norm.

I hope they never saw me complain about stretch marks or wrinkles.

Someday when my kids are grown…

I hope that my daughter is called by her name, not Mrs. Husband.

I hope that my son changes diapers and vacuums like a boss.

I hope they find a spouse who will watch Friends on TV Land.

Someday when my kids are grown…

I hope I’m there to see it.

I hope my grandkids aren’t little turds.

I hope the world is worth a few more birthdays. 

Someday when my kids are grown…

I hope social media is outdated and cell phones obsolete.

I hope the garter toss is no longer a thing because it’s awkward and just why.

I hope all the teachers haven’t moved to Texas yet.

Someday when my kids are grown…

I hope that in a casual culture they make some things sacred.

I hope they love their body because I probably made it, and I’m good at crafts.

I hope that seeking therapy doesn’t have to be a secret anymore.

Someday when my kids are grown…

I hope they know how to shoot a gun but never need to pull the trigger.

I hope Disney World is still the happiest place on Earth.

I hope tolerance isn’t confused with truth.

Someday when my kids are grown…

I hope they come to visit.

I hope they know the difference between joy and happiness.

I hope they chase meaning.

Someday when my kids are grown…

I hope my children walk with Christ, the reason I hope at all.

Stuck in the Middle

Nobody’s favorite part of the movie is ever the middle, because the middle is something you sit through begrudgingly for the big payoff – the final battle, true love’s kiss. The middle is when you slip out to pee, answer your mother’s nagging call and grab another popcorn because ‘Merica. The middle is dull. The middle is blah. The middle is perfectly passable.

If the film of my life, I’m entering the middle: almost through with college, no wedding on the calendar, no buns in the oven, no dream job to run to and no future in some trendy metropolitan. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change a thing. But where is the life ABC Family amd romcoms promised me? You know, hip young twenty-something in a refurbished loft with a glamorous job, decked in high-end fashion (at a discount, of course). I have no refurbished loft, I work at a museum and I shop at Target.

What gives?

If my life were recorded on VHS, I could simply fastfoward through the days of penny-pinching, indecision and slurping Ramen noodles in the car. I could trade all the confusion for premium cable, real leather and a solid sense of self. I could even leave behind past failures, as unsalvagable as my Craigslist furniture. Best of all, I could shed adolescence without a single growing pain and cut straight to the happily-ever-after dance sequence.

But I wouldn’t.

What good is a glass slipper if Cinderella never even danced with the prince? Who would have cared if Frodo finally returned the ring were it not for 10 grueling hours of butt cramps? So what if Clark Griswold makes it to Wally World or if Harry Potter defeats the one who must not be named? Would it even matter that Romeo and Juliette died if they had never (way too quickly) fallen in love to begin with? Without the middle, does the story even matter?

The middle is either everything or nothing to you – and that makes all the difference.

Every mundane moment of every regular day will someday be your greatest treasure. You’ll look back and tell your grandchildren (or seven sweater-wearing cats) about life as a broke college kid, shopping at Target and working at some museum while living in a second-rate apartment with no overhead lights. Now, I don’t know what you’ve got planned for 2014, but I know what I’ll be doing. I will be cherishing today, tomorrow and every single ordinary day in this short but wonderful life.

Because someday, I know I’ll give anything to be stuck in the middle again.