23, The Year of Purgatory
Today one of my coworkers asked me how old I was.
As I replied, the number echoed in my brain, for hours, along with an abundance of annoying questions.
Why haven’t I graduated?
Where is my life going?
Am I too young to be worrying?
Am I too old to not worry?
As the number resounds in my head, I find myself getting a headache and worrying about things that I just don’t want to have to deal with.
But alas, I am trying to be a big-girl and just move along with my life.
But it’s just so frustrating when hald the people I know are stuck in a solitude of not having gone to school or still struggling in community college, a fourth of the people I know are still stuck in a state school that won’t give enough classes, just as I am, and the other fourth of people I know are going along with their careers, getting engaged/married and having children.
And yet, here I sit, caught up with all the ups and downs I’ve gone through in the 23 years I’ve been present on this Earth and feeling as if I have never accomplished anything.
Let’s look at what I’m currently up to today.
I’m still in school, I still work at a sandwich shop, and my photographic highs last for such a short time.
However, lately I have been presented with vast opportunities, the kind that only come once in a lifetime and that other people never have a chance to have, and yes, I am extremely, eternally grateful, but I also feel as if I’m still no where.
I’m so torn in between what I want to do, what I need to do, and what every other 23 year old is doing that I can’t properly clear a path in which I can follow.
As my younger sister is graduating in May as an RN and having my older sister graduate from UC Berkeley in Psychology, it sort of sucks to be the sister that didn’t graduate in four years and won’t graduate for awhile AND the sister that was always rebellious, has lots of tattoos and piercings and would rather pick up pencils and brushes and keep my head up in the clouds more than keeping my head in a book.
It makes me feel like such a failure but at the same time, I sure as hell would not want to strip my talents away and sell out my dreams, rather I’d like my family and friends to understand and support me in what I want to do and who I want to be.
It’s a terrible feeling knowing that people think that the path I want to go on is just a hobby and will never get me anywhere.
At 23 years old, I want to be sure of something for once and I just can’t be.
Yes, I know, I’m still young and I’ll figure it out, but you know as much as people say that, they’re still looking down at me and saying, Oh goodness, is she ever going to figure it out?
I may not be where I want to be yet, nor am I where my family wants me to be, but I for sure know that I am ready for whatever life is going to bring me.
23 is way too old to not have anything figured out, but still way too young to have everything figured out.
I’ll get there soon, I’m just stuck in purgatory.
I just need to trust my instinct and stop trying to let my peers and family (sorry) influence me.
It’s my life and I know myself way better than anyone else.
I can and will live my life the way I want.
Even if my 23 year old self feels like she can’t do it just yet.
Looking back at my old, scene, 13 year old self, I would have been screaming Blink 182’s bold lyrics, "Nobody likes it when you’re 23," and it wouldn’t be until 10 years later that I realized that I would have never heard a statement more true than that.