So, I’m 20 years old… and I’m not sure what that means.
If pop culture has taught me anything about being 20, it’s that I should probably be partying at college right now, making irresponsible decisions. Or else, working insanely hard at a prestigious internship. Maybe I should be backpacking across Europe, learning French and playing my guitar on street corners.
Some days, I can’t help but wonder if blogging about blueberry pancakes is a part of any normal 20 year old’s lifestyle… and if I shouldn’t just buy a one way plane ticket to Paris and leave this peanut butter company CEO craziness behind.
So, it was truly excellent timing that I recently stumbled across an article in The New Yorker about “twenty-somethings”, and the unique dilemma this generation faces.
The article describes how we enter our twenties torn between the daunting (and vague) task of “finding ourselves”, or forgoing more youthful adventures in order to get a jumpstart on our careers.
For our generation in particular, this sense of confusion is compounded by the wide variety of options visible to us in our world of social media. The article describes this feeling as smartphone-induced “choice overload and comparison anxiety”.
I experience this myself all the time. Even a few idle minutes on my iPhone provides me with constant reminders of how others are living their lives. My peers are all going so many directions right now — from graduations and promotions, to marriages and international voyages. Sometimes it’s easy to feel as though I am just standing still… blogging about blueberry pancakes.
Sure, this seems irrational. I have a job, one that I absolutely love. We’ve had incredible growth in our company in the past year, and we’re constantly marveling at how amazing it has been to be a part of Wild Friends.
And yet, I still crave that next opportunity, the next exciting step — however hypothetical. Even though I won’t be renting a room in Greece any time soon, or accepting an internship in New York, I still love to browse Craiglist postings and daydream about job interviews. You know — in between responding to emails, tracking inventory numbers, and taking photos of peanut butter cookies.
Though the obtuse conclusion of the New Yorker article didn’t do anything to curb my angsty Craiglist browsing, it did provide me with some lasting sense of comfort: I’m not alone in my fears. We all wonder if we’re doing the right thing, if we’re in the right place, if somehow everyone else knows what they’re doing. This article was another piece of proof for me that there is no road map for all us twenty-somethings.
So, I’ll keep living this peanut-butter-company-running, blueberry-pancake-blogging life the best way I know how: with as much enthusiasm and honesty as possible… and of course a little bit of angst thrown in there for good measure.