When I entered my twenties, I had no idea how complicated and difficult life would become. Instead, I was blinded by the thrills of being a young adult in a world of opportunity.
Culture had told me the twentysomething life was a glamorous adventure and filled with the recklessness of being young and free. But what I wasn’t prepared for was how complicated the twentysomething really life is.
Eventually though, I’ve learned that the twentysomething story doesn’t have to be as complicated as we make it out to be. In fact, the reason our twentysomething life is messy is because, often times, we hold onto misconceptions and desires we don’t need to deal with.
The key is focusing on what truly matters, even if that requires simplifying some typical problems plaguing the twentysomething life. Here are a few of those problems:
1. The Pressure to Have Everything Figured Out
We want to lead intentional lives, but sometimes, we mistake this for meaning that we have to have all the answers right now. If I’m honest with you, I don’t know exactly what I’m going to be doing in the future. I don’t think many of us do.
But guess what? That’s OK.
It’s OK to not know everything about life. This doesn’t make you unintentional. Intentionality is not about knowing where you’re going; it’s about going there with purpose. This means that it’s OK to figure out life as you go along, just as long as you commit to where you feel led.
2. The Need to Cure Loneliness
Being in our twenties can be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. One misconception we have is that to cure loneliness, we have to be in a relationship. This is why we feel down when we see friends getting engaged and or couples getting married. We think it means they have it figured out. But, the reality is, they don’t either.
Loneliness isn’t tied to our relationship status. Being single does not mean you’re alone. It’s not something to cure. It’s something to take advantage of.
To Jesus, singleness wasn’t a sad thing. Singleness, to Him, meant being surrounded with good company. In the same way, we’re not alone if we’re single. We just have the opportunity to make our life ripe with meaningful friendships.
3. The Desire to be Independent
As a young adult, we want to be financially independent, with our own place, car and credit cards. We want to show that we can stand on our own two feet, without much help from others.
But this isn’t always practical. Our twenties is a transition phase, not a time where we instantly drop everything. We might need help, and it’s OK to ask for it. Not asking for help when we really need will just make life harder to navigate.
Accept help when you need it. It doesn’t mean you’re not independent; it just means that you need assistance, because that’s part of life.
4. Constant Spiritual Discontentment
In the midst of complicated life situations, you may feel as though God owes you an answer. Your frustration in His lack of one might cause you to feel distant from Him.
But in reality, faith is meant to grow us. This doesn’t mean it will always make our lives easier. Quite contrary, it may actually make our lives seem more challenging at times. It will stretch us so we adapt to the kind of people God desires us to be. But, that’s what makes all of the difficulty worth it. Knowing that God is there for my benefit makes me feel closer to Him at the times when I would sometimes want to doubt Him.
That’s the spiritual depth I yearn for.
No life is without complications, but there are ways to live with less of them. As you struggle through this growth of your twenties, clear away the complications you don’t need so you can learn what you need to. It just may prove for a better story in the end.