Feeling lost in your twenties

Cocktails & Ambition| Feeling lost  and how to fix it

The feeling lost in your twenties is not a unique feeling. It happens in many stages of life. I felt lost as a teenager, and I have heard stories of people who feel lost in their thirties, forties and post-retirement.

I think feeling lost usually comes from not meeting certain expectations that we had for ourselves at specific age points.

Creating Your Timeline

It feels weird being in my mid-twenties and not having any of the traditional things people expect me to have by this age point. I know when I was younger, I thought by 24, I would be planning a wedding, I’d be married at 25 and by 28 have babies. But upon reflection, I realize that the timeline does not reflect who I am now, or where I presently find the most joy. At 24, I find comfort, gaining new skills, advancing my career and travelling with my friends. These things genuinely make me happy, and I can not imagine being responsible for another human being ( seriously: I forget to water my plants and have currently killed 4 of 7 plants. Do you think I should be responsible for a human?)

The overwhelming feeling of “what next?” does not suddenly evaporate, but I have created my timeline based on what makes me happy, what brings me the most joy and what I value.

Focusing on the NOW and take one step at a time

I have learned to stop projecting far into the future as that is where the disappointment lies (at least according to my counsellor, but she has a point). None of us can ever honestly know how one particular year will go so, how can we see how the next five will be. We make plans based on who we think we will be, and we do not even know who that person is yet. It is good to have plans to give you some direction but please for the love of god do not beat yourself up when those plans do not go as planned or expected.

What Do YOU want?

When you do decide to make a plan, make sure it is based on what YOU want. Its crazy that many of us do not stop to think about what WE want outside of what society says we should want, especially as women. It is not wrong to want a traditional life if that is what YOU want. It is essential to have honest (and sometimes painful ) conversations with ourselves about what we really want from life and if the actions we are taking are bringing us closer to that vision or far away from it.

Create goals and break them into smaller steps

“Rome was not built in a day” (cliche but very real), and you can’t build your entire life in a very narrow time frame. It takes work, it takes dedication, and it takes focus to piece together an experience that makes you proud. So, take your time. Think about what you want and break that broad goal into smaller milestones. Of course, it’s all easier said than done. Some days will be better than others, but on the hard days, I usually comfort myself with the idea that baby steps will eventually add up.

Focus on building core skills

One thing that provides comfort when things do not go the way I have planned in knowing that I have the skill to adapt to new environments. When my friends, who are all brilliant, beautiful people freak out about things not going to plan, I have comfort knowing that they are people competent enough to find new ways doing things.
So, while you are still searching for what you ultimately want out of life, at the moment, make sure that whatever you are doing is adding in some way to your life and skill set. Focus on building important skills like competence, active listening, adaptability etc