I’m trapped. Metaphorically of course, I haven’t got my head stuck in the stairs again like when I was a kid – so don’t go calling the fire brigade just yet..!
No, what I mean is, I’m trapped in an awkward stage of my life. Trapped in an age that doesn’t make me quite an adult, or quite a child. Trapped between feeling too old for nightclubs, yet still occasionally having that urge to go out, drink bizarre alcoholic concoctions and dance all night long. Then if I do go out, I’m complaining that it’s too loud, that I can’t hear my friends speaking, I’m tired around 1am and am ready for my comfy pyjamas and a cuppa, longing for my bed.
I’m trapped in a cycle of scrolling through Instagram, enviously checking out what old friends from high school are doing now, and thinking my life seems so boring in comparison, yet logically deducing that they are probably in the same position as I, but are just making more effort on social media (or at least I hope that’s what they are doing..!).
I feel trapped because I feel like I should be young and free, traveling the world on some exotic tour, making some amazing discoveries about myself and the world, yet am working in an office 9-5 and in all reality can’t afford to go on such a trip. At university I had the freedom and time to go travelling, but no money. Now I’m working I am in a position to save up for holidays, but only have a limited amount of days off and suddenly this time becomes so precious. Stupid irony.
Yet whilst longing for exotic trips, I see friends with houses and pets, maybe even children, and feel like their lives are light years ahead of mine. I long for a cute little house to call my own, a fireplace warming my boyfriend and I while our future dog is sleeping in the warmth of the hearth. And suddenly my muddled 23 year-old brain is stuck in a viscous cycle: holidays or house, freedom or family, spontaneity or responsibility.
Trapped between wanting a flat but enjoying not paying rent. Trapped because I like to think I’m ‘grown-up’ but don’t always act like it. Trapped because at work I feel like I’m still in school, and refuse to wear a white shirt with black trousers to the office for fear I look like a school child. Trapped because I want to be taken seriously but don’t know how, and feeling as though I know a few things about the world but don’t know how to express it.
I feel stuck between worrying too little about my future career, and worrying too much. I’m still trying to find the balance. I feel like I’m in a holding ground for confused young people, staring wonderingly through a window at all the 20 somethings who seem to have got it sussed.
My only consolation is that there are people in the holding ground with me. So here’s to all the confused young people. I raise my cuppa to you! Let’s enjoy the now and try not to think about the future. Let’s turn away from social media for a while and stop the comparisons. Let’s enjoy being awkward, and unsure, and appreciate the journey. Here’s to being trapped. Here’s to being 23. Let’s try to enjoy it while it lasts.