FAQs For Figuring Yourself Out In Your 20s


Read FAQs Re: Friendship In Your 20s here.

Q: Will I ever figure myself out?

A: “Figuring yourself out” is a cliche notion that you probably haven’t thought very hard about. Think for a second and try to define what “figuring yourself out” would look like. Does it look like enlightenment? Does it look like endless unmitigated joy? Does it look like no mistakes, no anger, no discontent, no conflict? These are not realistic scenarios. What realization could you possibly have that will solve the riddle of your confusion? What golden nugget of wisdom could you possibly construct that will consolidate your emotions into manageable sources of information? What could you possibly do so that you will have a handle on everything, so that you will know everything? It’s tempting to believe that there is an answer, a key to the whole disorganized mess of how you view your life. Some would say that it’s why people believe in gods, heavens. But the truth of the matter is that you are not entitled to having your shit together. It doesn’t just naturally happen. The notion that as you become older, you become wiser — that with your years automatically comes a linear progression in terms of the issues that bother you about yourself the most — is a false premise. Don’t take it for granted. Will you ever figure yourself out? If you really care to become a better person, you’ll start to understand why certain things make you feel bad, and you might eventually stop doing them. But it won’t be magical, it won’t be simple, and it won’t happen over night. All you can do is try.

Q: Am I ever going to be the best at something?

Probably not.

Q: How do I become successful?

A: You have to keep trying.

Q: My casual drinking and drug use is OK, right?

A: Why are you asking that question? Do you feel OK with it? Try to answer definitively.

Q: Will I figure myself out if I backpack the world?

A: See first FAQ. Vacations and geography cannot be relied upon for personal change. Traveling widens your perspective, but if you’re hoping to make an earth-shattering realization about yourself, it’s doubtful it’ll happen in a dirty hostel bed with a bunch of drunk Westerners keeping you awake with their snoring.

Q: I feel like I’m never going to change. How do I change?

A: Close your laptop. Get a notebook. Go outside. Sit. Identify what you want to change. Identify why you want to change. Think about what you’ve come up with so far. Identify what’s stopping you from making the change. Assess whether or not the change is realistic for you. Keep thinking about it. Resist the urge to check your phone. Change doesn’t just happen, it’s created, and nothing will change unless you force it to. Nothing will change if you continue distracting yourself by filling up your spare moments with media.

Q: How come I haven’t found the “right one”?

A: There is no right one. Eventually there may be one who causes you to realize that, and then what’s left is compromise. Maybe you haven’t found the right one because you’re unwilling to compromise.

Q: Am I ever going to become the person I want to be?

A: If you’re focused on becoming an idea of a person, how could you ever become that person? How do you know you’re not that person now? Is it because the person you want to be isn’t as conscious of who he is as you are? Is it because the person you want to be isn’t as conscious of how he isn’t being the person he wants so much to be? The premise of the question “Am I ever going to become the person I want to be” is that you don’t accept who you are right now. Will you ever become the person you want to be? The person you want to be accepts herself. I would work on that first.

All information provided in this article is for reference purposes only.

You should follow Thought Catalog on Twitter here.