Being a 20-Something: Part IV

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I’ve decided to do a real talk-life series here on my blog since this is my space to write whatever I please. I’ve done similar things before but I want this to be a little different, a little more honest. As I have said, I am a 20-something fresh off the college mill so I’ve decided to write about those experiences as they come, whenever that may be.

Twenty Something

Dynamics – a pattern or process of change, growth, or activity.

Time is always changing things. Whether that’s making the transition from a mimosa to a mid afternoon cocktail or the transition of living at home to moving out, time causes change. Time causing changes also causes a change in dynamics. Every major decision in your life is going to alter the dynamics of the relationships around you. As you grow older your thought process changes, your opinions change, your beliefs change. You as a human being change, hopefully for the better.

Relationships have always been the number one priority in my life, almost to a fault. I’ve chosen people and relationships over other things in my life that have affected my decisions; sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. But even when it’s for the worse, I always choose my relationship over whatever other card is on the table. My view is that if you don’t have strong relationships with the people who you love, what’s the point of anything? At the end of the day, life is about the people around you and if you don’t sustain your relationships with them, what else can you say you do you have?

Recently I’ve had a realization that the dynamics in some of my relationships have changed drastically in the past few months. Graduating college is a big change that affects not only me, but many of the people around me. The term “college grad” almost becomes synonymous with getting a job. The first dynamic this affected was the one with my family. They want me to be happy with a job I love (which I am so grateful for) but at the same time I need to make money to continue to survive. Every time I think about that, the scale tips back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. Our generation, the Gen Y generation, was raised with not settling for less than you’re worth. We grew up being told you can do anything you want, be anything you want to be. Partly because there are countless new types of jobs opening up with all of the new technology and media evolving around us everyday. “The possibilities are endless.”

My fellow college grads and I are all pretty much on the same starting level: college degree and a few semesters of internships. Enter: The Employer. He/she comes around with a job (yay job!) and you want to say yes because duh, it’s a job. But there’s a part of you that wants to say no. Why do you want to say no? Better yet, why is your gut telling you to say no? You want to say no because you know you’re better than what they’re offering you, you know you’re capable of doing something bigger and better even at just the start of your career life, you know this isn’t what you’re meant to do. Enter: The Dilemma. Do you take the job because you need the money or do you hold out because you know you’re worth more than what the job is? I still don’t know the right answer to that one. The scale tips back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

———–

The other major dynamic I’ve been struggling with is my relationship with myself. I’m a 20-something and I want to act my age just like most 20-somethings. But most of the time I feel older than I actually am. I feel like I’m 21 going on 28 with the way I go about making decisions about my future and the way I have to talk to people in a “professional environment ” But the reality is, all I really want to do is eat mac & cheese and jump around in a bounce house and eat fruit popsicles. The world has a few stigmas of what a 20-something should act like. So should I go with stigma #1 and be enjoying my youth and going out and meeting new people? Or should I go with stigma #2 and be focusing on my career and staying in? Is there a happy medium that makes everyone happy? Should I care about making everyone happy?

I re-read that last sentence and start laughing because I know for a fact you can’t make everyone happy. I’ve already tried doing that for a good portion of my life and it’s a huge waste of time. So that’s not going to happen anymore. I made that promise to myself a while ago.

Dynamics used to be a fun thing to play with when I was younger. Even as a kid, I was able to notice how the energy in a room shifted when someone new entered the room, how the current people in the room shifted for said new person depending on who they were. Now it’s different. Now, dynamics are a part of a much more delicate tower and if you pick the wrong block to remove or change, the whole thing could come tumbling down. Kids can rebuild and restructure their towers in no time because they love making new friends, it’s their job to socialize. But as people get older, they are less and less inclined to rebuild their tower with you.

They key is to find the people who wouldn’t mind rebuilding their tower with you, even if you mess it up a few times. Maybe they even let you repaint it too.

-S

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