Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The one thing that all women should do throughout their lives


Yes, I meant to yell at you.

Just stop it. Stop wasting your time with lists that tell you "22 things that all 22 year olds should be doing" or "the 25 things every 25-year-old woman should own" and all that other horseshit.

Yeah, I said it. All of those "articles" (which is a term I use very loosely) are just telling you anecdotes and presenting them as facts. In reality - the only things you need to worry about doing by the time you're 22 is being 22, whatever that means for you. I say this so many times in a week it's almost ridiculous, but anecdotal evidence does not a fact make. 

Now, that doesn't mean I would condone you not having a job and not contributing to society in some sort of way - because I personally think that you can't get away with that kind of crap after the age of 17. Even if you're in school and studying your butt off and volunteering in your spare time, do your thing. If you're 22 with a GED and working, do your thing. If you're 22 and working two part-time jobs, do your thing.

The key here is doing your thing.

I'm 26 and just starting to figure out how to do that and not feel like shit about it. I'm a college graduate. I went to a great high school and got a great education. I live in an apartment with two roommates, pay all my own bills, all that "fun" adult stuff that I have to do. I work two part-time jobs to do it, which totally sucks sometimes, but I'm doing my thing, and not anyone else's.

The important thing is that all those listicles don't teach you anything. Nine times out of ten, they just make you feel like garbage for not having it all figured out, or not having it all together. The person who wrote that list? That person probably doesn't have it all figured out and is just as confused as you are.

There's nothing wrong with being confused. There's nothing wrong with taking the time to figure it out. There's nothing wrong with not having it all together. There is something wrong with doing nothing, though. There is also something wrong with making yourself feel badly because it seems like everyone else you know has it all figured out. (That last bit I'm still working on myself.)

So instead of reading one of those stupid lists and making yourself feel badly, take those 10 minutes and do something constructive with it. Text a friend, call your mom, take your dog for a walk, read some of that book that's been sitting on your bedside table for months that you just haven't bothered with (which are all things I need to be better at, also), but don't waste your time and your precious energy on reading something from some schmuck who really has no place judging you (or anyone else) and then feeling badly about yourself afterward.

All 22 year olds are not the same. No list is going to cover all the bases of what you could be doing with your time, especially a list only 22 points long. No list is going to take everyone's different life into account - those lists are written from a very narrow point of view. there are no study groups, no demographics. It's one person looking at what that particular age should look like through a very narrow lens, then touting it as fact.

So get out there. Do your thing. Make your own list of what you should be doing. No one else can write that list but you.

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