Gettin' Real

Nobody Likes You When You’re 23

Looking back on the past year of my life, it’s been put into perspective how much has truly changed. Some of the people I absolutely adored a year ago have nearly turned into strangers today, my priorities of cramming for tests and deciding which of my friend’s clothes I was borrowing for the night have turned into making sure I get to bed before 10 and making it through my work day without crying, lol. Life is different; the inevitable changes of post-graduation have set in, and god only knows a year from now life will do another 180 just like it does every 365 days.

Lately, I have had this overwhelming feeling that I’m not where I’m supposed to be. That at 23, I’m very, very uncomfortable in the place I’m in. I’m in this weird, in between period of life where one spectrum of my friends are getting married and happily working jobs that fulfill what it is they want to be in life where on the other end, some are still finishing college, just figuring out where they even want to take their first step. I feel stuck in the middle, like I have all these dreams and ambitions but not all that sure of myself in where to start or if I’m doing what I’m supposed to.

The other day I was out to lunch with a few of my friends and the waitress asked us the question, “so what do all of you girls want to be when you grow up?” To be honest, I kind of laughed at first because more times than not, I’m mistaken for any age range between 17-20 a lot of the time lol. It’s funny though because as my friends answered her question I realized that what “I am” in this “grown up” period of my life is not really what “I want to be when I grow up” and that maybe I’m not as “grown up” as I thought I was. To be completely honest, I realized in that weird moment at lunch that I’m not, and don’t have to be completely “grown up” right now. I’m twenty-fucking-three, and as much as I would love to say that I’m exactly where I want to be right now, I’m not, and that’s alright. Life is short, yes, and we need to think logically, and try our best to not be a fucking idiot in the short time we have, but I think I need a reminder right now and maybe some of you do too, that we still have a lot of time to fail.

Yeah, I said it- fail.

This is the time in life where we’re allowed to make big decisions that lead to stupid mistakes, to fall in love, just to fall out of it, to take jobs to for the experience, not because it’s the desk we’re making a home out of for the next fifteen years. Just because we aren’t poor college kids anymore doesn’t mean that having a diploma we earn is a one-way ticket to success and contentment.

No one is going to have it figured out right now, because if we did, what the fuck else would we have left to do for the next 50 years?

Myself, and probably a lot of you people need to remember how young we still are and stop holding these unrealistic expectations of perfection above our heads that we create in order to make ourselves feel a little less small in this huge ass world.

Lately, I’ve felt very rushed, like I need to move out of my parents’ house tomorrow, like I’m supposed to be working my dream job next week, and like I needed to find the love of my life like, yesterday. Sure, I would love to wake up tomorrow to a job offer at Cosmo, find a listing to a sick ass studio apartment in New York, and meet the person I’m supposed to spend the rest of my life in some cliché spot in the city, but honestly, I would rather mess up now. I would rather make mistakes now, and be stupid as hell now, than to completely, and permanently establish my life at this age just to come off as “impressive” only to wake up ten years from now and realize all of that isn’t what I really wanted.

Stop rushing fate.

Stop rushing the timing of life, stop rushing to meet the expectations of what someone else told you you’re supposed to be doing right now, and stop rushing your life along.


I’m sick of feeling small in this world just because my timeline of life doesn’t exactly line up with everyone else. I’m not afraid to admit that I’m still in a state of “in progress” and that I don’t have it all figured out right now. I’m not afraid to admit that during this state of evolving, I’m still figuring out which people are worth my time and which aren’t, I’m not afraid to say no, to say yes, or to say maybe; I’m not afraid to let go anymore, or to let people in, and I’m no longer afraid of change.

One day I’ll have it all figured out. It won’t be today, or tomorrow, or probably this year, but until I do, here’s to enjoying the ride, while I’m still young and dumb enough to do so.


Carlie Bradshaw


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