Today is my 24th birthday, or depending on where you are in the world, it was yesterday, but this means that I am at an age that is viewed as an adult by some and still a child by others. Some people hear my story and tell me that I am so mature for my age, and others tell me, “well, you’re still young.” I don’t mind being told that I am young, but I do mind the negative connotation with which it is said.
As a 24 year old I feel like I am harder on people my own age than I should be. I have always surrounded myself with people older than myself and therefore I feel like I matured faster than others. So many people in their early 20s are still using their parents as a crutch and focusing on anything but the responsibilities of being an adult. When I look at other people my age I imagine the classic Hollywood story of the kid who wishes to be a grown up before realizing that it’s actually hard. It’s not just getting to stay up late and eating ice cream for dinner when you want, its bills and savings, and big kid jobs, and you guessed it, making your own doctors appointments.
Now, the ball is in your court and it’s up to you to do all the things a responsible adult should do. You are accountable for yourself now and at this point should have understood that a while ago. Nobody is going to be bailing you out when you mess up and too many 20 some year olds are failing at this and lacking this mentality and that’s how I got slummed into this gross stereotype of people my age.
Keep in mind I say all this as a 24 year old who still enjoys going to Disneyland as often as possible, and who has a favorite blanket on her bed that she sleeps with at night (Don’t worry, it’s not like I travel with it or anything, but still). Anyways, I feel like most of the 24 year olds today are stuck in the “Yolo” phase of their lives. I know Yolo (you only live once) isn’t even a thing anymore, but I just mean to say that people in my generation are living in the now, or the very near present, without any real plans for the future. So for all those who say, “you are still young,” here are a few things you might not realize before slumping me into the mass majority of the youth.
1. I have a savings account!
I am not some broke kid living paycheck to paycheck or bumming off the support of my parents while I am out partying every night. I am a young adult who has figured this ish out and has plans for the future. I know that I am going to want to buy a house one day, or I might have unexpected expenses come up, and I understand how credit works, so I save and I build for the future! I have been building credit for years and now have the old people bragging rights of an excellent credit score and the ability to sign for leases or loans without the need of a co-signer. I still remember purchasing my car by myself and having the dealer tell me that not many 21 year olds could come in and sign for a car by themselves. I might not be a millionaire but I am financially stable and have been for a while.
2. I am not a dumb blonde
Due to my line of work I am constantly meeting new people who make this assumption of me since they only get to know me for short periods of time and I have had so many people treat me like a dumb blonde girl who has glided through life without any hardships. I have a pretty good head on my shoulders and have accomplished a lot in my time. I have been granted full-ride scholarships, I have landed impossible jobs, and I have worked on building and growing in other areas of education on my own. Opposed to most of the people my age, I would rather spend my time reading, writing, watching documentaries, teaching myself new languages, or strolling through museums instead of out at a bar drinking an overpriced beer to dance around sleazy people for attention. I am not a superficial blondie who hasn’t worked for anything a day in my life. I am a hard-working, respectable, young adult who knows what want without feeling the pressure of social acceptance.
3. I have my own goals
I am not looking forward to the next iPhone to drop, or the hottest music festival to go to (which is fine if you have a budget for it but not when you are spending every last dime you have on it), instead I am looking forward to achieving the goals I have set for myself and not worrying about what others think about them. At 24 popularity STILL matters! If anything I feel like it is worse now than ever before. When I was in High School I wasn’t bullied or picked on, but now I have people daily who act like friends towards my face and gossip behind my back. I have people who laugh and make fun of my blog. I have people who tease me about the things that I like and the clothes that I wear and guess what…it doesn’t matter. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t have a mental note of who each of these people are, but at the end of the day I know that they don’t matter and I continue doing what I want to do. I am lucky enough to be able to travel and see the world, which is just one of my many goals, but also have the determination and discipline to teach myself new skills and develop new hobbies such as blogging and photography. I am confident enough in myself to withstand the mocking and focus instead at the growth of branding myself and the amount of people who have reached out to me because of my work! It’s amazing how many empowering people I have connected with since blogging and I can’t wait to watch that network grow even further in the future.
As year 24 begins, I am sitting watching the sunset at 35,000 feet in one country as my birthday day just begins in another. With my special extended day one, I get an extra 13 hours of birthday celebrating doing what I hope to be doing all year long, and that is blogging and traveling. I know I may not have it all figured out but I feel like I have been doing a good job so far. I am excited to see what lessons the world has to teach me this year and to see all the new directions in which this life leads me! Here is to growth and to being true to yourself every step along the way, 24 is going to be a good year, I can already feel it!