MY BIRTHDAY GIFT TO ALL 20'S TODAY

Our 20s are an incredibly important time in our lives. It’s the time we decide the person we are going to be for just about the rest of our lives.

Your 20s are when you are supposed to get your life on track and begin to build a life for yourself you can be proud of. Unfortunately, you managed to make it all the way to the end of your 20s and still can’t manage to get your sh*t together.

It’s a unique experience, to say the least. Maybe you can relate:

1. You’re already working two jobs… but trying to figure out how you could squeeze in two more.

Money seems to always be an issue — you never imagined life could be so damn expensive. You’re working in two different restaurants as it is, looking to pick up a couple extra shifts here and there, and still find it difficult to pay for rent and utilities. It’s as if you have a hole in your pocket and money is just falling out left and right.

2. You have a diet that consists of coke and Noodles and 60 naira bread.

Sometimes you manage to sneak in a proper meal — usually when it’s free or when someone else is buying — but more often than not, you survive off what could only be described as edible plastic. You’re not sure for how much longer you can keep this up, but there’s a good chance you’ll die from malnutrition before finding out.

3. Your friends have managed to get their sh*t together, and it sucks.

They all make it seem so easy… Of course, you find reasons as to why they managed to get their lives together and you haven’t. They either got lucky, have wealthy/important parents, went to an expensive school, or took “the easy way out.” You know you’re just finding excuses to make yourself feel better, but these friends of yours are starting to shift away from your life as your life is no longer compatible with theirs, so it doesn’t really matter.

4. Half the time you don’t know what to do with yourself, so you do the only thing that makes sense: indulge in debauchery.

If it comes in a bottle or a bag, it’s dessert. You came to realize that although finding food to eat can be difficult at times, there’s always a way to get a couple of drinks. You lead a stressful life so you tell yourself it’s OK, you need this outlet. Of course, removing yourself from your reality isn’t helping your situation… but you’re afraid of how sh*tty your life will feel if you stay sober for too long.

5. Committing to dinner plans is hard enough as it is — committing to a life plan? Ha, good one.

Commitment is difficult. What if you’re making the wrong decision? What if it turns out the life you thought you wanted to lead ends up being a huge letdown? The truth is you never know the outcome of anything until that outcome makes itself known. You can keep finding excuses not to commit yourself, but without commitment, you can never make progress.

6. You always feel like sleeping, but when you have the opportunity to do so, you always manage to find something “better” to do.

You work all day, maybe even late into the night, so when you get off work, the last thing you want to do is sleep. You know you need to get some rest because you haven’t slept in… dammit, you can’t even remember the last time you got a proper night’s sleep. You’re stuck in this awful cycle of not wanting to sleep because you feel sh*tty and feeling sh*tty because you don’t sleep.

7. You’ve graduated from college and realized your life didn’t get easier, but more difficult.

Where did it say that in the brochure?! You were always taught that after high school, you go to college, and after college, your life makes sense. When is it all going to start making sense? You didn’t want to go to college in the first place, but got lured in by the certainty that was promised. Now your life is more uncertain than ever. Except all that debt you accumulated — that you certainly still owe.

8. You’d like a boyfriend or girlfriend, but you know you aren’t ready to commit.

You’re not sure why you aren’t ready. You tell yourself you’re waiting to meet the right person or waiting to get your life together, but the truth is you’re in your late 20s and can’t imagine settling down. But who can blame you? Commitment is a scary thing. If only you weren’t so lonely…

9. You spend most of your time daydreaming about the life you wish you had.

You’re tired of the way you’re living your life and prefer imagining a reality in which you wake up each morning, smiling. You spend most of your late 20s picturing your ideal life, with your ideal career, ideal apartment and ideal partner-in-crime. Your life is difficult, but you have hope.

10. You’re rarely ever in a good mood.

You wish you could be — you really do. You can’t, however, just choose to be all laughs and smiles. Your life is a mess and you can barely hold it all together… what is there for you to be smiling about? Of course, you do have your good days. Some days are brighter than others, but others much darker. Your late 20s are a bit of an emotional roller coaster — worse than when you hit puberty.

11. You have a knack for making poor decisions, but how much worse could it get?

You may not have hit rock bottom, but you’re not too far off. You make poor decisions because poor decisions feel good — at least in the moment. You regret just about all of them afterward, but you’re still young. You can make the mistakes and bounce back from them.

12. You have arguments with yourself regularly.

You’re stuck in a place between wanting to feel good and wanting to have a good life. You thought it was one and the same thing, but after making it through most of your 20s, you realize they are very different.

The older you get, the more you argue with yourself and try to push yourself in the right direction. Eventually, you break through that barrier, see the road you need to travel, and decide to break free by taking a leap of faith. Your 30s are supposedly your new 20s, after all.

By paul hudson and aniebiet dan

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