How To Tackle The Crises That Might Hit You In Your Twenties
Being in your twenties isn’t nearly as easy as everyone says it is. Sure, you’re young and fancy free, and a lot of the time you haven’t settled down with a family and kids yet, which means that you’re free to do pretty much what you want. You can travel, you can move to whatever part of the country you want to in pursuit of your dream job, and you’re absolutely young enough to start over. But the fact remains that there are a lot of things that make being in your twenties less than perfect. Here are some ways to deal with them...
Shifts In Family Dynamics
One of the saddest things about getting older is that your family members are getting older as well. A lot of us have parents who will remain healthy and vigorous until we’re well into our fifties - but some of us have older parents and if that’s the case with you, you’re probably already noticing some changes that might be happening. The first time as a child that you realise your parents are imperfect sends reverberations through your world. Maybe they let out a curse word when another driver cut them up on the road, maybe they yelled at you in a moment of frustration before admitting their mistake to you and apologising. But the next step after realising that your parents are imperfect human beings is realising that they are not, in fact, immortal.
The first time you realise that your parents are getting older can be deeply upsetting and alarming and the truth is that yes, things may change - you may have to look after them a little more, you may have to watch out for them and make sure that they stay in touch with you, that they go to the doctor when they need to, and that they keep you informed of any health problems they might have. Make sure that you stay involved in each other’s lives and remember that even though things may have changed, they’re still the people who care for you more than anyone else in the world does.
Moving Away From Friends
As you get older, you’ll change - it’s inevitable and it’s also important that you grow up and that you develop as a human being. You won’t have as much time for all your hobbies so you’ll probably end up dropping a few of them (you’ll probably realise why older people tend to listen to a lot of music from when they were young - frankly it’s almost impossible to get into new music scenes when you’re working full time unless you really dedicate yourself to it). Changing is important, but it also means that your social scene will change too and you’ll realise that your friends aren’t all friends for life.
This can come in various forms. Sometimes you might fight, which can be disconcerting, upsetting and incredibly unpleasant. It can be even more upsetting if you end up simply no longer talking - that first unanswered message can lead to a whole host of questions that might upset you and make you feel bad about yourself. Why would a friend ditch you? Are you a bad person? What did you do to deserve this? The answer is often simply that your friend hasn’t ditched you on purpose - they’re busy too, their inner world is just as vivid and absorbing as yours is, and their life is just as hectic as yours is. Sometimes friendships grow apart and you have to deal with that and remember that it often isn’t personal. Some friendships are for a time and a place and made out of convenience and having things in common like the same English class or a shared apartment or a love for cold Chinese food the morning after going to rock shows, and once those things that you had in common are no longer there, the foundations of the friendship are much more shaky.
If your friendship comes to a natural end, don’t beat yourself up about it or get mad at your friend. Be happy for the good times that you had and the happy memories that you still share, and move on. There will always be time to make new friends - people will come in and out of your life and part of growing up is learning how to deal with that.
One of the things that you should get taught more often in schools is how to deal with your finances. Money is a complicated subject that not many people completely understand and if you’re like a lot of other people your age, you probably feel like you’re paddling along on a body board with the absolute knowledge that if there’s a big wave you’ll get swept off and flung into the dangerous ocean. It’s important to feel as though you’re the master of your finances instead of simply surviving.
The first thing to do is work on paying off any debts. It can be easy to run up huge debts on your first credit card simply because you can but once you can afford to, get those debts paid off as quickly as possible. If you feel overwhelmed by it, it’s a good idea to talk to a debt management service to figure out how to get them paid off as quickly and easily as possible. Once that’s done, it’s time to start saving money. Save as much as you can every month, and bear in mind that your savings basically mean that you’re more free to do what you want. If you start a new job and your boss is unbearable and you hate it, if you have enough savings you’ll be free to quit when you need to, and spend a little time looking for a new job. If you go on vacation and your hotel is terrible and feels unsafe, you can check into a new one without worrying too much about financial repercussions. Saving money means that you’re free to move around, keep yourself safe, and do as you please.
A lot of people go through break-ups in their twenties. Many of us find partners when we’re at college, but once your paths in life go in different directions, you may find that the relationship comes to an end. Even if you’re the one who ended it, you may still find that you’re much more upset about the split than you expected to be. Grieving for the end of a relationship is more than being upset about missing someone you were dating - it’s about grieving for the future that the two of you had planned together, and being afraid about having to make your own decisions alone.
If you’ve recently gone through a break up then it’s time to get off social media, first and foremost. Online stalking your ex is absolutely not the way to go - it will only upset you. Likewise, the whole ‘the best way to get over one man is to get under another one’ isn’t necessarily something that will be emotionally healthy for you. Rather, do your best to feel comfortable in your own presence and company and focus on doing things that you love: stretch out luxuriantly in bed at night, eat food that your ex didn’t like, and get in touch with the interests that you haven’t had time to do for a while. Now is the time to get lost in a book or join a soccer team or start painting again - do what you love and remember that you should be your own top priority.