Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Living In Your 20-Somethings

by: Jillian Greenberg

The other day at nameless retail store, with endless amounts of leggings and work-out tops, one of my costumers gushed and gawked over me after I explained to them I was a dancer. “You must be so talented and lucky to do something you love!” As she reached for my hand she continued, “Gosh, I am 30 and I am still wishing that I had passion for my occupation.” I smiled and nodded in agreement of my fortune.

She went on to tell me to “never give up” and to “keep pushing for my dream,” and after she left the store I was left with nothing but emptiness.  I started to think about what I was doing with my life and if I was so passionate how come my passion hadn’t become my occupation. After selling yoga and swim wear for hours I left the store with a cloud over my head. The worry of being 20 something and not yet storming the dance world with skills as an artist flooded my mind. That woman I helped out was 30 and already the CEO of her company meanwhile I was 20 something, selling her yoga pants and I was the lucky one? In self-pity that night I found myself popping back Resee's Peanut Butter Cups and looking through the archives of my life on Facebook. “I had so much going for me in my good old days,” I muttered to myself before passing out in a sugar coma.

Fast-forwarding to the present, this story still seems to loom in the depths of my mind. No matter how happy I try to be the thought of not actually doing what I want hangs in front of me like a wet rag with the worst odor. This morning I ran across this TED talk by Meg Jay about being 20 something. She spoke of the age  and how our brain gets rewired in this time period for adulthood. Being in this confusing place was part of growing up, an “emerging adulthood” time period in our lives.  In our 20's our brain is still trying to figure out who we are and we are still building bridges between various brain regions.  Knowing that I am still not done growing mentally gave me a sense of relief for a minute, but only for a minute. I was then set into a panic thinking about the career of a dancer. I have less time then the overall population! My body can only perform to its maximum for a set time. How does one mature themselves faster then their mental capacity while struggling to be everything they aim to be and to make ends meet?!

I have been so focused on passion and dedication in the dance field and not only that but how to overcome this 20-something blues and be the maximum artist I can be!
It’s an overwhelming life. This sense of uncertainty and consistent search for more than what I have is exhausting and often feels hopeless. Maybe something lives in this age of being 20 something that is good for me. What if it is turned upside down?  And this time of uncertainty I can fill with risk. Surrounding myself with people that inspire me and portraying myself as the person I want to be rather than who I believe I am.
Each day will undoubtedly be a battle but maybe that lady from my store was right. It is a battle I am willing to fight because somewhere I know its worth fighting, and for those days that everything seems hopeless, well...

 I am just 20 something after all.

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