Adult life, on fast-forward

30’s the new 20.

They said.

You’ve got ages to start worrying about all that grown-up stuff.

They said.

And I listened.  But over the past week or so, many of my twentysomething friends have seemed to suddenly grow up; they are:

  • moving in with their partners,
  • buying properties,
  • trying to procreate,
  • actually pregnant.

I was under the illusion that these events happen in your 30’s not your 20’s, so why are people settling into adulthood so quickly?

Ignoring the minor issue of not having a devoted partner, I’m not even in the right head-space to share a bathroom with someone, spend a stupid amount of money on a property, go through the agony of having the coil removed or stop drinking for 9 months, have the stomach the size of a netball and have terrible wind.

If all goes well, you’ll likely be with your partner until you die – assuming you’re 20 and live to a decent age of 90, that’s 70 years with one person!!  How terrifying.  I’d much rather wait until I’m 30 and actually have the funds to enjoy being in a relationship (my savings are deteriorating at an alarming speed – but that’s another story).  At least I can spend my 20’s enjoying single life, and having the freedom to be totally selfish and look after me, me, me.

In her TED talks video, Meg Jay (an American clinical psychologist) discusses adult development – a critical time for twentysomethings to enhance their personalities, their career options and their love lives.  She says that by leaving settling into adulthood (career, partner, marriage, house, kids) to our 30’s, we’re really limiting ourselves with the amount of time to tick all these boxes and piling on the pressure at the same time.

Meg Jay offers three key things to achieve in your 20’s:

  1. Get ‘identity capital’ – i.e. do things that enhance who you are or who you want to be.
  2. Expand your social circle – make friends with people older than you and get to know the friends of friends of friends.
  3. Work on your marriage before you get married – make deliberate, considered decisions about your love life.

Although I’m in no position to move in with a partner or think about getting married or having children, I am definitely in a strong position of gaining identity capital, I’ll work on expanding my social circle but I can’t help but be cynical about the third point of carefully selecting my partners.  My friends and family already tell me I’m too fussy about guys – surely if I’m more careful about the guys I see I’ll never have sex let alone start a relationship…

Claim your 20’s – it’s your Defining Decade!

She says.

I think I’ll listen.

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