Realizations in Your 20s

November 15, 2021

by Jeremiah Agonia

When I was a kid, still blind to the reality of life, I used to be so excited about experiencing being an adult. Picturing the kind of freedom that I want makes me giggle as I imagine myself in my 20s. The age where I could finally bring myself wherever I want, buy things without hesitations, and do everything that interests me. But, little did my younger version know, “adulting” could be very exhausting. When I reached my 20s, it is not about freedom, fun, and games, after all.  My fantasies and expectations were  never met. Instead, I was bombarded with multiple responsibilities and life-wrecking situations. As I figure out myself in the midst of this adulthood, here are a few of my realizations in this voyage.

First, it is inevitably possible that you will lose some of your friends in the process. While we may have promised our childhood or high school friends to stick with each other no matter what, this phase will offer us the reality that we may no longer have time for them. Focusing on our respective battles will occupy us as we now have our different priorities in life. Thus, losing contact with each other can happen. However, I realized that this is totally fine and outgrowing people is part of adulthood.

Second, almost every responsibility in a typical household will now be part of your lifestyle. From paying the electricity bills and doing the weekly groceries to processing your family business papers, everything is now expected to be fulfilled by you. These responsibilities are even doubled when you know how to drive a car. You are expected to be running errands most of the time instead of going out with your friends or enjoying yourself at home scrolling through your social media.

Third, investments become your best friend. You now see things as either a liability or an asset, the part where you hesitate to spend your money on worthless items. While this may sound laughable, this is the truth behind adulthood. You are now more attracted to the things that could benefit you in the long run. Investing in gold jewelry, securing yourself a condo unit, putting up a business, and enrolling yourself in an insurance package, are just a few of those things that matter to you now.  It’s funny how you will shift from worrying about what pair of shoes you should buy next to scrutinizing where to invest the 5000 pesos in your wallet.

Fourth, staying at home is now a definition of fun for you, as if your body got tired from all of the partying that you did in your teenage years. There could be days where you would prefer to spend your time alone than go out and interact with different people. Exposing yourself outside is now draining for you. In this stage of life, you would rather enjoy yourself at home with a big cup of coffee in one hand and a book in the other.

Lastly, everyone will always have something to say, so you might as well do the things that make you happy. When I was younger, I used to depend on people’s judgment around me. The question “What are they going to say?” used to be the measurement of my choices. However, as I aged, I learned the value of not prioritizing the opinions of others. If it makes you happy, go for it as long as it does not hurt anybody. Your happiness should come first before anything else.

Looking back on all of these realizations, it is certain that my younger version would be disappointed with the fantasies and expectations that she had. I may have gotten the freedom I always imagined, but it comes with multiple adult responsibilities. This transition might have been challenging, yet it molded a wiser version of me who can withstand every truth that this life gradually unfolds.