I am in my late twenties and I’m having a crisis, or at least at some point, I am pretty sure it will turn into one. I will turn 27 in February which means I’m only 3 years away from the big THREE-ZERO! I always thought that I would be the one not having a problem with it. I always said that it doesn’t matter how old you are. What matters is at what point in your life you are and if you achieved the goals you had set for yourself. If you are living a satisfying life, you shouldn’t care about how old you are. Right now though, I am not seeing any of it and deep down, I’m starting to panic. I feel that right now, I have two options. Get married and start a family, which would be applauded by those who still haven’t made it to the 21st century, or find a job and start a career. The thing is, no matter which option I would choose, I couldn’t make any of it happen, right now. The fact that everybody has an opinion about what is best for me doesn’t make it easier. I am so tired of explaining to people why I prefer a career over a husband, a house, two kids and a dog. But whatever anyone thinks, whatever I think, the problem is there and it has to be solved.
Currently, I am working as an au pair and I though it was a great idea. Not everyone I know agreed with me but I had my reasons and I just always do I want, anyway. But now I’m in the States and I’m seeing all these people in my age having careers, working, starting a grown-up life and suddenly I feel like a loser. Sure, I have a degree from university but still, I am working as an au pair. So right now, I catch myself questioning my plan, even though I am having a great time. I am telling myself that the educational system in America is just different from the one in Germany and that the situation is different because people graduate much earlier than we do. Furthermore, I know sooo many people who are older than me, who are still at university and don’t really show any ambition to grow up and start a real life. I probably shouldn’t overthink everything, but that is just what I do. I don’t want to be the loser without a job, who sits at the singles table at weddings and has nothing interesting to say. I think my problem is that I always had my head full of dreams, plans and ideas and now, I’m not sure about any of it. I still want a job in journalism, but I am completely panicking when trying to figure out how to get there. Maybe I am finally realistic. Maybe I am just not patient enough. Maybe I should just stop worrying before I even really started looking. I just feel so under pressure right now. Everyone expects you to do something and everyone expects you to be successful because “if someone can pull it off, it’s you.” But that’s what you get for always being over-confident and for always believing in yourself and letting others know that you’re the real thing who has it all figured out. I mean, it’s not that I have completely lost faith in myself, it’s just that right now, I see nothing clearly. I am overwhelmed by the thought of getting started and I am frightened at the thought of failing. Truth is, the highest expectations come from myself and that can be very scary at times.
About two weeks ago, I had this conversation with my best friend, telling her how everyone thinks I am the mother of the baby I am taking care off. I just go with it because the real story is none of anyones business, but I don’t feel like a mother, at all. I always sit there thinking about how it can be possible that people see me as a mother. I feel that I don’t even look like a mother. I know it’s nonsense but just the thought of it freaks me out. The thing is, I like kids, I am pretty good with kids but that doesn’t mean I want to have kids. Of course this can change, but for now, at least I know that this is something I don’t want. My friend told me that people she just randomly knows have asked about her husband. She’s not married and she definitely doesn’t feel like a wife. It might be silly because they’ve been together for many years but I totally understand her. Of course I could be a mother and she could be a wife but it is just a thought that we can’t handle. But here is the problem: What do we want? We’re so sure about what we don’t want right now, but we just can’t figure out what to do with our lives.
I know that I still have some time and that there are sensible reasons why I chose to work as an au pair after finishing university, but this phase in my life just sucks. I don’t feel a clock ticking when it comes to finding a man and having children, but I do hear it ticking when it comes to building up a career, and it freaks me out. I know that I am not alone. A lot of my friends are struggling with this situation in all kinds of varieties. Some graduated and can’t find a job. Some have a job and are not sure of how to pull off starting a family. Some have a family and think about the chances they didn’t take. And they are pretty much all in their late twenties. There are so many options but which is the right one? We are not 20 anymore and can’t just try out all kinds of things. We have to find our place in life and in the best case, one that satisfies us.
I have hopes, I have ideas, I have plans, I have dreams and I have a huge ego that wants all or nothing. I don’t want to compromise my life, I want to live it. I want to be successful and I am willing to work hard. But right now, all I want is a perspective, the right plan, a chance. I want to know what to do with my life. I don’t want to stress out about time flying by while I am just too slow to catch up. I am part of the all or nothing generation and I want ALL. I am sure that life has great things waiting for me – for all of us. We just have to find a way to get there and that makes our late twenties just so damn hard.
What does my future hold? What does yours have in store for you? We should work hard, have faith and never give up. Life has a lot of surprises waiting for us, we just have to be patient.