If you're 22 you're probably at a crossroads. Whether you've just graduated from school, are starting your first job, or regrouping at home one thing is clear: 22 is the age that some people just lose it.
Graduating from college can seem like an ending to some. You leave your friends, your teachers, your classes and your life to become something different, and different is scary.
Even if you didn't go to college, age 22 is a pivotal one. It's when people stop treating you like a kid and start treating you like the dreaded "adult" you swore you'd never become.
We all want to retain what makes us fun and interesting, but sometimes when we get lost or confused, or we're stuck in moments we feel like we can't change, we get tired and boring.
And boring is not what 22 year olds ever want to be.
When we stop worrying about school or impressing our family it may seem like we're on our own. Lazy days that used to be filled with chance meetings with friends are now occupied by lonely streets and the 9-5 mentality.
Work home. Home work. Work home. Home work. Exhausting.
When we look back on high school or college and we remember the person we used to be, nostalgia can take over. That person, those days, they don't exist anymore. All that is left is the culmination of those experiences and that's not a bad thing. It makes us who we are.
Aside from all of the coping we have to do once we transition out of school and into the so called "real world", there is room for exploration. Life doesn't end after school. It doesn't end once we enter the work force, it doesn't end when we go to sleep. Life will continue whether we like it or not, whether we're lost or we're thriving.
Life does not wait for you to get your shit together, it is the shit you have to get together.
The funny part about all of this is that people prepare you for all sorts of things when you're in school. We all know how to take bubble exams, divide shit by hand, write a decent sentence, have a grasp on the three branches of government, and whatever other bullshit they cram into the SAT's.
What we don't know is what the next 5 years will look like, if we'll find love, how to navigate living on our own. We don't know how to find jobs or get dates or manage our money.
I'd trade all of the standardized tests in the world to even begin to manage my money better.
It is in these moments of confusion when we're trying to figure out which subway car will get us home, that we think about the things they didn't teach us.
We think about the things we missed and the people we've hurt. We think about all the screw-ups and mistakes. We think about our lives as they are: completely out of our control.
Once you accept the fact that nothing, and I mean nothing, is owed to you, things start to seem a little clearer. It doesn't matter if you're a sinner or a saint. You don't get rewarded for just being alive.
The twenty-something haze of Facebook and Tinder, the Kardashians and reality TV is lifted for a moment. We realize that life doesn't revolve around outside things. It's made from the inside out.
If you put your mind to something, people say you'll do it.
I think to an extent that's true. I've always wanted to be in New York, and somehow, by the grace of whatever deity you believe in...I got here. I had some major screw-ups, I lost friends, I made enemies, but I came out the other side.
And you will too. 22 is not the end, it's the beginning.
It was hard work and dedication, working too hard and living too little that probably did it, but aside from that it was fate.
Fate derived from tangible actions put into place while I was sifting through the bullshit that made me who I am.
So when you get lost, just sit down and think about where you are now, not how you got there. The journey is not irrelevant, but it takes a back-burner once the destination is at hand. When you're 22 and losing it, the best thing you can do is look forward, because in the moments where you feel like you're standing alone, the rest of this generation is right there with you.
Because no matter how together someone looks, they're just as fucked as you.
Everyone goes through periods where they don't know where they're going. And those are often the most exciting times of our lives.
We're all trying to find the best versions of ourselves, and sometimes the best is the worst.
So breathe easy, because our generation is full of people just wandering around trying to make sense of it all, just like you.