20-somethings- No longer a child, not exactly a thriving adult-usually. We’re sure that we want to move, but unsure how to or simply cannot move. And given that we’ve technically been an adult since 18, we’re expected to just know what to do, how and when to move and to just suck it up, right. Why? “Because we did it at your age, it's just a part of growing up in life.” *Eyeroll.
This is damaging. How are we expected to leap into adulthood when we literally just stepped out of the nest (or had to build and leave our own nest as kids)? Regardless of how good we appear to be living, we are lowkey struggling, stuck between trying to be Boosie- Bad Azz independent but also needing guidance and assistance in reaching our goals or even establishing our identity.
“You millenials got this! Y’all got all the answers anyway! Figure it out!”
First of all—we don't got this: We know where we’ve been and where we see ourselves for the most part, we know the values and traditions our families taught us- all the prescribed cultural norms, academic expectations, “graduate+get a job+get married+have kids=success” formulas ingrained in us since pampers. We know what “thus sayeth the Lord”— all that. Yet, we don’t know if we want that prescription and if we do, how to even get to that point. Because once you're 21, you're dropped. The community support ends and we are neglected: our mental state is belittled and insulted as weak because our situation is “just apart of growing up”, our fridges are empty or we overeat in our self-aggrandizing attempts to make it look like we are ok when really, we’re trying to reach those prescribed familial and cultural expectations. Spiritually, we are all over the place, floating with the wind and tradition. Financially, we barely have a pot to piss in but make sure to dress it up for the gram— seriously! Just look at Tiffany Haddish’s life story.
The point I’m making is that we are struggling. And unfortunately, it seems like we only have our peers, who are struggling too, to run to. Why? Because we fear disappointing our loved one, we fear rejection, embarrassment and vulnerability, and, really, our pride just won't let us ask for help. We’d rather struggle and battle it out in secrecy than to ask for help or admit a weakness, look weak or be confined to someone else’s ideals. Our safety net—if we even have one— is damaged.
This is not cool. No one, regardless of age or position in life, should feel so uncomfortable asking for help that they would rather exist in Rockbottom than to reach out for help. Humans were created to support one another. No one has all the answers but everyone has some talent, resource or ability to lend to the next person.
SO! I challenge you to reach out and help create a safety net for the “strong” people in your life, especially the “strong” 20-somethings. Ask them open ended questions about life and watch how open and vulnerable they become. ALLOW them to feel safe and exist in that space with you and offer solutions. Gain their trust by practicing discretion. Even more, FOLLOW THROUGH WITH THOSE OFFERS OF ASSISTANCE OR THOUGHTS!!! Don’t tell me you’re thinking about me or that your prayers are with me; PULL UP!!! HELP… ME...PLAYA *in my Kevin Hart voice.
20-somethings: slow down fam! Understand that you do not have all the answers and you can not, I repeat— CANNOT make it in this life alone! Did T'Challa not teach us that, fam?? Find and grab hold to those who genuinely have an interest in who you are, your passions and your wellbeing. And accept that they may not be able to provide for you in the way you want every time, but are usually always there in the ways you need it most—come on, that's a word, Lordt!
I’ll leave you with this: Let’s walk in the philosophy of our ancestors: ”Ubuntu": I am because you are; you are because I am.
A person with Ubuntu is welcoming, hospitable, warm and generous, willing to share. Such people are open and available to others, willing to be vulnerable, affirming of others, do not feel threatened that others are able and good, for they have a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that they belong in a greater whole. They know that they are diminished when others are humiliated, diminished when others are oppressed, diminished when others are treated as if they were less than who they are. The quality of Ubuntu gives people resilience, enabling them to survive and emerge still human despite all efforts to dehumanize them. In other words, #WakandaForever
God Bless them 20 somethings! Good luck on them 20 somethings!
PS. YES, I’m struggling, Yes, I need help. I’ve asked and was left looking and feeling stupid. I’ve had to push through alone plenty of times (and still do) and I hated every bit of it- it led to many depressed nights. But I’ve also learned who truly has my best interest at heart and who holds my safety net. When in need, I know exactly where to go, thanks to the Lordt!! Ooo but I always welcome additional assistance and resources :)