The Defining Decade: The Twentysomething Identity Crisis

I impulse bought the book “The Defining Decade: Why your twenties matter and how to make the most of them now” by Meg Jay, and in 24hrs I’ve found my mindset completely shift. It’s no secret that lockdown 3.0 has led to pandemic fatigue across the UK. Graduating in the middle of this nightmare, and the elation you’re supposed to feel from achieving another academic notch on your belt, has done little to lighten my mental load. Yet, as I write this, with a bowl of Kellogg’s Krave cereal on one side and a glass of water on the other (for balance ofc), I have to accept that pandemic fatigue isn’t the only thing to blame. I am. After all, having an identity crisis isn’t a personality trait, as much as we all (myself included) would like to think it is.

Sometimes, I think I set myself up to fail by labeling myself as a writer when I was a teen. The expectations, at the time, weren’t as great as they are now. Back then, I only had to prove to myself that I could complete an entire manuscript. Now I feel as if I have to explain why said manuscripts never came to be.

Education served as a placeholder for the goals I didn’t have to follow through with or achieve. And I relied on it. Throughout my Bachelor’s degree, I was content with simply studying writing, contemplating the days where I’d publish books that people would eagerly anticipate and read. During my masters, I was given the time to reflect on whether the publishing industry was even meant for me. But in all of my pondering, I forgot to wonder what it would be like to change course after so many years, or forgo one dream for reality.

When I did do this, I found seven years worth of wasted time come crashing down on me. Two complete manuscripts theoretically shelved in a forgotten file. Countless other stories and ideas written on crumpled pieces of paper, or worse, the notes page on my phone. Several years worth of blog ideas and not so much as twenty posts for anyone to read. You see, what Jay’s book made me realise is that we all have countless choices to make, but to choose none is worse than to choose the wrong one. Sooner or later, you have to step off the treadmill and go outside. You can’t wait for the sun to shine or the rain to stop or the perfect moment to arrive. You just have to do it. Even if you don’t want to. Just before you feel ready.

'We Move' Monday Uncategorized

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