To create a vibe, lets play the song that SZA so gracefully gave us in 2017.
This vibe will be a moment for pause, as we so often are so on the go that we never give ourselves just one moment. Only one (this is where you pause, so close your eyes now). Ok open.
“20somethins” here is going to be the phrase used to refer to the ages where we have taken 20-29 trips around the sun. During these trips earth is not the only thing rotating, but so is the hand on the clock, where we are racing against time, to just do stuff. This stuff can be getting degrees, working jobs to save for post grad, working jobs to pay for school, going to school so that we wont become our parents, or going to school for our parents. Stuff can even be doing these things because we want to and that’s our business.
Being in this 20somethin age group has shown me many things. Looking around at my other 20somethin peers, I am sure that we can all relate to the feeling of having to work so hard that we do not let anyone down. “Work hard now, relax later”, is often what we are told, but when do we get to breathe? When do we get to take that one moment to consider how we feel about things, and how we deal with them. Self-care is so much deeper than a facemask, or cucumber eye covers. The breadth of things we experience in our 20somethins can leave everlasting imprints in the sands of our mind, only to later resurface causing us to act in ways we may not understand. This is why our generation must “normalize” (as twitter says), pressing pause. It is okay to NOT have it all figured out. This is coming from a newly turned 22 year-old who also does not have it all figured out. Just as much as my hearts yearns for your peace, this is a letter to myself requesting for permission to just. press. pause.
The difference in opinion amongst generations when it comes to thoughts on Gen-Z often will lack the consideration of many things that we face that were not an entity in the past. Social media, a global pandemic, and social media again. The existence of social media can also aid this “just keep swimming without coming up for air” mentality. From influencers to the “do it for the gram’ers” , our generation sometimes will begin to paint pictures of our lives that are not the ones we wish to live, or are really living. Trying to keep up with the standard of what everyone else our age seems to be doing can take away from the things we could be doing to truly make us happy. How do we combat this? This is where the pause comes back in. It is important to take the time to self-assess and find where our true happiness lies. If that is somewhere between I don’t know, and I don’t have a clue, then that is OK.
During my sophomore year of college I found that these overwhelming moments arose frequently. This is when I began to assess the true value of pausing. My mind could not thoroughly process the categorizing of nominal and ordinal data for math 220 when I was worried about if I was good enough to be at the university I attended. This feeling of not being good enough or deserving of your accomplishments is said to be called “Imposter Syndrome”. Often prominent in the 20somethins crowd as we are working to achieve new goals, positions, and chapters in life, this sense of being an imposter haunts us because we do not pause to look at how far we have come.
Who are we trying to impress? The other 20somethins, our parents, professors, ourselves? Why is this of importance? Yes it is great to be organized and to have a plan, but it is also okay to not know what you are doing an hour from now. Being in our 20s can feel like a race to the perfect life of adulthood, but when the pedal is to the floor, when will you be able to take in the scenes on the route to our destiny? Easing your foot off of the gas for only a second, can allow you take in things you may have never seen before, it can allow you to learn things about yourself that no one else can teach you.
Your 20’s are your selfish years. Old enough to make the right decisions and young enough to make the wrong ones. Be selfish with your time – travel, explore, fall in love and out of love, be ridiculous and silly, stupid and wild
We are in the midst of a pandemic. We are battling racism, classism, sexism, and a list of other isms that want to dismember our sanity. Our world around us may seem as if it is crumbling, but us 20somthins are resilient. Choose you first. In the midst of the turmoil, hug yourself and PAUSE. We are not in a race, but only on a journey to create our own happiness defined by what makes us smile. Every individual can warm their own heart by taking the time learn our personal love languages outside of hitting “submit” for class assignments at 11:58pm. (now that is a love language) We to need to remember that we are humans. We feel, cry, laugh, and hurt too. Staying busy 24/7 will not make the feelings go away, only pause for a second. So, you do that too. Pause for a second and reach into the abyss of emotions only to pull one out one at a time and face it where it stands.
I too will be doing this with you. We can pause together. Ready?