The Slow Class, The Missing Road Map, & Other Convoluted Metaphors About My Twenties

In a recent conversation with a girlfriend, the subject turned to the HBO show Girls (as it usually does in 2013 when two 18 to 25-year-olds wander within earshot of one another). I told her it was starting to become a sad show, since all but one of the characters seemed to be flailing. The others have no goal, focus, or purpose. My friend said, “but they’re in their 20’s. Does anyone know what they’re doing in their 20’s?” I replied, “I think most people do. Maybe you and I don’t, but I have a feeling most people have their shit together.”

I wonder now if that’s true? Do I even want it to be true? I suppose it’s because I’ve been feeling lately that my lack of progression isn’t the usual youthful search for one’s self. I think I’m of a lower percentile. My subgroup is particularly stunted in their personal development. Everyday we see “what we wanted to be when we grew up” slipping further and further away into the distance. So let down by our circumstances and ourselves, we resign ourselves to “muddling through.” It’s as though we lost sight of our dreams in the darkness and now we wander, hoping those dreams will find us, or at least reveal themselves and illuminate that right path.

You know what would be great? If someone would just tell me what to do. If I knew what to do, if I had the road map to this thing, I promise I’d follow it. Making the wrong decisions just to feel like I’m making any decisions at all… doesn’t get me anywhere.

It could be I’m mistaken. Maybe those people I consider headed down the path to success are, in fact, just better at screwing on a happy face than I am. It wouldn’t be the first time that’s been true. (I’m not great at “happy face.”) It would make sense because we’re in a recession and college debt and jobs and blah blah blah… Still, it seems to me I’m missing something. There’s a key element to adulthood that others possess and it shows. It comes out in the way they walk, the way they hold conversation, the way they chew, the way they dial a phone. It’s more than confidence, because it shows in even the most timid of people. I don’t have the words for it. But those who have it just give off a have-their-shit-together-ness that I envy. I’m sick of being in the slow class. I want my shit to be together. What am I missing?

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