At the age of 23, which is like the paragon of your early 20s no one gives you life. Life comes to you and contrives you to take it in. When life you’ve always pined for suddenly becomes yours, you realize that nothing is too easy or too hard. Everything is just too bewildering. If it’s too easy, there is a catch to it. If it’s too hard, you lack the diligence to wait and sweat it out. I am talking about growing up and upheaving from the world of dependency which is a mind trip to a world of adulthood and independence. That’s why it is without doubt that: I am not talking about being 18 and being able to do things that you visualized doing like going to the club, traveling the world, having sex, legitimately having a boyfriend/girlfriend or deciding whether you want to go to school or not. I am talking about being duty bound to every action and every decision you make.
That’s the one time you realize that you can only stick with yourself because everything about you, depends on you. Mom and dad did their finest, it’s now your turn. A lot of young people often yearn for independence and when they get it, it engulfs them. I am talking about being an adult emotionally and psychologically. That golden age when no one can love you enough. Not even yourself. That’s the golden 23 when everything is blank and your fires are burning the brightest and most days you feel like they are burning out. You feel like people don’t appreciate your earnestness.
Those are the years you also feel like you’re chasing flagstones in a blotchy way. You have so much dreams, so much ambitions but you feel like you can’t quite give the world enough. In fact, you feel like everything you do, could have been done better by someone else. At 23, most people just graduated from college and they are confused on whether they did the right course, chose the right partners, if they should continue studying or get a job where getting a job becomes a necessity because how else are you going to pay for the bills (Student loan, rent, transport, food and possibly further studies.) A few of us get good jobs and settle down. Others don’t get jobs and temporarily hate their lives. The rest decide to give up and wait out on fate. Most of us do whatever it takes to survive and most days, it kills our spirits.
At 23, you don’t doubt your beauty. You question it. You try and wonder if there’s more you can do with your brain or your body. It becomes a debate. Does my body work better for me? Does my brain work better for me? And most days, it pains you so much to realize that you don’t quite know yourself or your true potential. Everyone keeps telling you, “you’ll grow up eventually” despite the fact that you think you’re grown. You wake up every morning telling yourself that you love yourself and you end the day not quite sure about yourself. And when you’re a single mother or a single woman, you get to go home every evening questioning your entire life. You wonder if you’re happier or people in a relationship or marriages are happier. That answer, you never get no matter how many domestic violence videos you see, no matter how many marriages including your parents marriages break. Because in the evening, all you have is your demons and you’re too much used to it.
This is the age where social media has a greater influence in your life than your friends and parents. When the stats boom, you’re loved no matter what anyone said before you noticed that bit. If people follow you on your favorite social media, you’re doing something extremely right or wrong. Then stress kicks in and you wonder if there’s something you’re missing. So, at 23 when you decide to go and do some activity like play chess, you’re just doing it to feel good about your life choices for a minute.
At your early 20s, no one likes solitude when going out. This is the time you get to be best friends with someone for a night and don’t talk to them until the next time you’re in need of a good time and a hangover. At 23, you try and forget your mistakes and you try so hard to carry yourself to safety every day. At 23, you’re at your youngest mind. You feel like the world owes you something but you work so hard to prove to them that you can be the fire the world needs. That’s the time you realise no one really cares. Everyone is busy being 25, 30, 40 , 50 and worse 18 and you start wondering how it feels to be them. You know how it feels to be 18 but you remember you were 18 ages ago. Things must have changed. At 18, if you had the self esteem you have at 23, your life might have taken a better path or a worse path. So, you start day dreaming about the past rather than the future sometimes. Then you try and imagine how 50 will be for you. Most of it involves building castles in the air. No one ever pictures their 50s as a homeless guy with a drug problem. Everyone wants to be a millionaire. But, this is the time after campus you have no job, no email replies, you’re either overqualified or way under qualified. This is the time you also realize you have no talent, no hobby and every dream you have doesn’t make a logical sense.
23 is the time you ask yourself. Am I chasing stars or chasing pavements and did I waste my teenage years being an escapist ?