From the moment I wake up I spend the majority of my morning thinking about the nap I get to take later, should I survive the day that is. By definition of age I am a fully-fledged adult, by comparison to others…well, not so much. People I endured high school with have kids, careers; they have fancy cars and mortgages. And what do I have? Other than a museum of obsolete achievements?
Peers are using their degrees and rocketing up the career ladder, whereas of late I feel most of my time is spent working out how to sell moderately priced clothing to the fashion obsessed masses. I get so embarrassed when I bump into someone I haven’t seen in the while and after the standard chit-chat wears away they always ask the dreaded question: “So, what are you doing with yourself?” Quickly, quickly, conjure up a lie. Anything at all. C’mon. Nope? Nothing? Another failure. Most of the time I just offer to buy them a drink and that tends to steer the conversation off course for a while.
I’ve spent most of my twenties desperately trying to avoid reality, which as a teenager I hadn’t learned to completely despise yet. When I was younger I earnestly believed that everything would be fine and my life would turn out brilliant. The naive youth believed he’d be settled down by now, complete with a doting partner and our adorable kid, in a well-paying job and a house, that we owned. What a monumental moron he was. Reality is that since then I’ve just stumbled on, learning harsh moral lessons as I go, hopelessly broken by experience. In truth your twenties are lived out in a godless universe; it’s a cold and brutal existence.
I think the common dominator that causes worry amongst 20-30 year-olds is financial worries. I utterly loathe those who have wealthy and financially secure parents that help fund their every whim. Paying for their rent, cars, trips abroad…Their fucking Instagram posts are nothing more than well-filtered visual reminders that they are rich and you aren’t. Part of me feels aforementioned peeps have a better chance of success because they don’t have to worry about money. That massive strain isn’t crushing down on them. That said, how much life experience do they have in the real world? The world where you’re only fine financially for about 10 minutes after pay-day, before the money is bled from your account by the multiple outgoings you have. A world where it is impossible to save because everything costs money. I can’t think of one activity or daily task I undergo that doesn’t involve spending money somewhere down the line. Reading? Light on, costs money. Typing this post, electricity costs money. You’ve got tooth ache? Better just heave that fucker out, because I can’t afford the dental bill. Walking to the end of the pier to hurl yourself off it? Well that wears away at the sole of yours shoes, probably get your feet wet too, so you’d need to purchase new shoes and socks. Costs money.
Whenever I do have some spare money it’s intermittently used to hose myself down with alcohol, a feeble to attempt to soothe the continuous fucking bee sting that is life and stop my face constantly looking like a corpse’s shoe. Vodka is like a warm hug sliding down your throat, and as adults we all need a hug from time to time. However, just try keep it in check. There’s been a few instances lately where I’ve overindulged and had one night flings with guys that have been as bankrupt financially as they are morally. One night stands are a sort of lottery, a very shit one in which you’ll probably not win anything other than a headache and paranoia about getting an STD. If someone were to document my life for a month it would be classed as poverty porn. Poverty porn is much like regular porn only without the money shots. And has less dignity.
You’re made to feel guilty for treating yourself when you reach the point of the month where you bank balance incessantly mocks you, saying ‘told you so, told you so’ over and over again. But what is the alternative? Just sit in all month and only venture out for work? Cut your social life down? Go to a club and sit there sober as everyone around you takes massive whiffs of each other, like desperate animals looking to copulate. Everything in moderation is fine, but even moderation isn’t in my budget.
During the various stages of adulthood, I’d recommend taking any win you can. Don’t compare yourself to others, or be disheartened by what you’re told you’re meant to be achieving, or have achieved, as an adult. Allow yourself a good time. If you’re paying your rent, feeding yourself, supporting yourself and functioning as a member of society then I’d say you’re doing fine. Unless you’re me, in which case just give up now.