Feeling lost in your twenties? We’ve all been there.
At a spot in our lives where it seems like nothing in the world really makes sense. Where we lose our direction and get confused on where to go next.
Maybe it’s because of your new 9-5 job that is sucking the life out of you.
Or a toxic relationship you know you need to get out of, but aren’t sure what steps to take to make it happen.
During our twenties, once we are finally out on our own for the first time, it can start to feel like the world is too much to handle.
Everything is so new, and it gets overwhelming fast. Learning how to pay the bills, live on your own for the first time and work 40 hours at a job you hate is draining.
Staying on top of it all is almost impossible, and it gets really tough when you think you paid all of your bills with enough in your bank account, only to find out you didn’t have enough money and got charged with a $30 overdraft fee.
Even when you think you’re on track and doing everything right, life still gets in the way. And figuring out how to adjust to the hustle of the real world is a tough learning curve.
This is where the emptiness can start to sink in. When you’re stuck going to a job that you hate (and that takes up all of your time!) just to try to learn how to make it on your own.
Part of growing up as a young millennial means we are torn. If you care at all what your parents think, they most likely have the idea that you need to get a secure job that pays well, so you can stay there until you retire.
That’s how they did it. But, in reality the world just isn’t like that anymore! In order to move up or get a raise, the best option is to stay at your current job for a little while and then quit and go somewhere that is willing to pay you more.
I really think our twenties are some of the most challenging part of our lives. Seriously. Even though I can’t speak for people older than me, I do have five older siblings who seem to be much happier in their 30’s.
It’s mainly because as we grow up, we are taught to follow specific rules. Finish high school, go to college, get a secure job, find someone to marry, buy a house, have kids, settle down and be happy.
We care so much about following this status quo, and feel terrible if we go against it.
Only, this is like super old-fashioned thinking. And, millennials are part of a completely different generation. Which means what worked for previous times will not work for us.
It just doesn’t make sense any more to follow that path. Unless you want to be unhappy. Granted, there are some people who are totally fine with this set path they should take. (But they aren’t reading this blog!).
So you follow these steps, and get to the part of finishing up college or being around 24 and try to get your life together. Only to find out that you’re not sure if there is anything out there for you.
None of these corporate jobs fit the bill. And it all feels like there’s something wrong with you. With hundreds of options out there, you can’t find one that you care enough about, let alone are qualified for.
And for feeling this way, we get deemed as the ‘selfish’ generation. And how’s that for making you feel even more confused about your life goals??
Don’t worry, though. There is a solution to all of this.
For the last two years, I was feeling empty. I got into a job I thought I really wanted (an official office job!), and was so excited for the possibilities.
After about 3 months, I was feeling drained. The job was nothing like I expected. But, I held out for another year slowly letting my soul die every month.
I went to a different company to see if it was just a weird place I was working for. But, the new job was even worse than the old one and I didn’t even last two months!
I switched to another company, went through turmoil with toxic co-workers, and stuck it out for another year. Until I decided “enough of this shit”.
I was so sick of feeling lost, empty and confused. I had worked in restaurants previously and lasted 7 years in that industry. Never once did I feel as bad at the restaurants as I did in these jobs.
For a long time, I was too scared to even think of changing jobs. I was too worried about not having any money or not being successful in people’s eyes.
Then I just decided that I was done. Life is way too short to feel so damn sad all the time.
Once the colors in your life start to turn black and white, that’s when something absolutely needs to change.
I remember going on walks on my lunch break, and not appreciating being outside away from the office. Never enjoying the small things in life and allowed my job to take over.
My depression grew strong and I became resentful of everyone I came across. People seemed happy, and I wondered how.
So, I decided to do something about it. Instead of believing there wasn’t much purpose in my life, I started to believe that there was.
And that was only because I knew there was a time in my life where I didn’t feel this way. And that was my motivation to try and find it again.
For anyone out there who is really struggling to find their direction in life, I just want to say that you’re not alone.
I’ve gone through it, and everyone in my life has gone through it.
What separates you from feeling lost and empty to feeling happy and fulfilled is you deciding what you’re going to do about it.
Are you willing to make a change and see what happens? Even if you can’t guarantee it’ll work out?
Life is about taking serious risks sometimes, in order to get out of a shitty situation.
I had to quit my job (without anything lined up) because I was shutting down. I was crying daily, and angry 24/7. I’d wake up and wish I’d never wake up again.
It was bad.
But, there is hope and there is a way to push through it and find your purpose.
Figure Out What It Is That You Want, And Then Go For It
Every time I’ve ever followed the rules and tried my best to please people, I’ve gotten burned and became resentful.
Every time I’ve taken the road less traveled and listened to my gut, I’ve succeeded.
Which means you just need to listen to what it is that you want to do. Do you want to quit your job and learn how to work for yourself?
Come up with a kickass strategy, and start working your way towards how to make it possible. Set a goal of your quit date, and do whatever it takes to make it happen.
Do you want to travel the world? Apply for that job you’re not fully qualified for? Get a turtle?
You can do it! It’s all entirely possible.
The fun part about being in your twenties is you have the whole rest of your life in front of you. It’s what makes life so exciting and depressing.
Depressing when you are sitting in an office you hate, knowing you’re wasting your life.
Exciting when you find the opportunities are endless, and right now is the time to LEARN anything and everything.
If you want a job you aren’t qualified for, you can get qualified. Ever heard of Google? I’m not just saying this to sweet talk you.
I wanted to be a writer my whole life, and I’d always heard of freelancing but thought succeeding in it was as rare as being a famous rock star.
Now, being a rock star doesn’t seem so far out of reach anymore.
It’s all about putting your mind towards something and trying it. If you have a strong passion towards something that you don’t think would make you a full-time income, I disagree and am telling you it’s possible.
That is what separates us from our parents and older generations… stuff is way more possible than it was for them. Which is what you have to start believing, too.
Do The Things That Make You Happy
For the longest time, I stopped reading books and listening to inspiring music. I wasn’t feeling very inspired, and it made more sense to sulk in my misery.
But, once I forced myself to go to the library and pick out a good book, it changed things for me.
You have to do what makes you happy. Otherwise, it’s so easy to be miserable and take everyone down with you.
Drive around at night listening to your old favorite album. (Backstreet Boys, anyone?)
Hang out with your best friends who always bring you up.
If you’re insanely introverted and have no friends, write out some goals you have. Find a fun video game online that you get lost in.
Get hooked on a new Netflix show.
Just do whatever the hell makes you happy, because you deserve to treat yourself with some self-respect.
If you feel lost right now and empty, and don’t care about much in your life, you don’t deserve to suffer because of it.
The minute you stop taking care of yourself and take away your happiness is when things start to get a whole lot harder.
Taking care of yourself, and knowing your value is something that isn’t easily learned. It just involves you not totally giving up on yourself.
Cut Out All Of The Toxins In Your Life
Usually when I feel empty, it’s because something is really wrong. I either have a shitty job, a shitty relationship or I’m not eating right.
So, cut everything out of your life that isn’t giving you any value. Get distance from those people who take way too much and don’t give anything in return.
Figure out a solution to your job, if it’s slowly making you hate everything. There are options out there, you can even email me if you need advice on this!
And, in a more literal way, swap out food that is making you feel sluggish and weird, for food that gives you energy and helps you focus.
Food and exercise play a huge role in our mental wellbeing. It’s not just a marketing ploy to make you eat your vegetables.
So set up a healthy meal plan for next week and stick to it, and see how much better you feel.
Work On Getting Over Your Fear
Getting to a point of feeling lost and confused on where to go next means you’re probably scared of change. Or doing anything that might make your situation worse.
Fear has a fun way of butting it’s head in situations and coming up with crazy stories about what could happen.
Usually these stories aren’t true. But, they sound so very true.
Like if you were to quit your job you’d run out of your savings, and lose your home, and end up on the street.
Or you cut someone out of your life, and feel terrible and something ends up happening to them.
We can easily convince ourselves that how we have it right now isn’t so bad. And if we try to change things, we might make our situation even worse.
The truth is, it’s just fear talking. Our minds can play amazing tricks. But, the reason why things are so bad is because something has to change.
Write down some of your fears, if you’re itching for a change in your life. Change is scary, and in some instances crippling for some people.
But, in order to grow at all and to see your potential and find your purpose, something has to change.
If you feel lost right now, it’s temporary. Like a cold, even though it’s not affecting you physically. And you know how a cold is, in the moment it feels like it’s never going away.
But it does. And your twenties are just all about trial and error. Trying things, failing, succeeding and learning. Nothing needs to be figured out right now.
What are some questions you have about feeling lost in your twenties? Leave them in the comments below!