TWENTY-FLIGHT: A CON OR A CRISIS
In reference to the Twenty’s con (part 1), as the weighty hands of the clock slowly and inevitably indicate 00:00:00. It’s a day usually accompanied by the feeling of freedom, something to look forward to, a new dawn, and so on. This feeling, however, is in reference to clocking the golden twenty. It feels like a Cinderella story, with everything nice and spiced up for turning twenty.
But at the age of twenty-five, I’ve come to realize that is the total opposite. After the initial rush of adrenaline and excitement has worn off, the story changes from a five-minute walk of fame to Beauty and the Beast. Everyone eventually comes to the same conclusion after it dawns on them that they are twenty-five at long last. For some, the day before is a countdown to twenty-five; for others, it’s the opposite. Here’s what happens at twenty-five in a nutshell: The clock chiming 00:00:00 is accompanied by a sudden feeling of nervousness, heaviness, the need to compare, and a myriad of interesting thoughts.
Usually, this is because age twenty-five is the golden thread and yardstick used by many in their future plans to have at least acquired a lot of cars, houses, a settled life, doing something meaningful, being on the Forbes list, and a plethora of other salivating dreams and thoughts.
In this case, for the Gen-Z generation, permit me to say the reverse is the case. For some of us here in Nigeria, if there were any other words other than reverse, I think that’d be the perfect description of twenty-five. For some, they are still serving their country or about to finish service, about to enter the labor market, or worse still, they’re still in the educational system (the majority of their twenties dictated by the powerful hands of ASUU, though this isn’t the case for those in private universities anyway).
In summary, age twenty-five for many of us out here in this cold world is usually a year of choices: Twenty (fine or flight) A con or a crisis—lol, none of the options coming to mind are any better.
Understanding the anxiety that comes with being in your mid-twenties has led me to curate my thoughts and opinions on the interesting spiral journey of finally leaving your twenties behind.
THE SIX CHECKERS (THE TWENTIES GOSPEL PART TWO)
THE SWOT ANALYSIS OR SURVEY
Analysis and surveys aren’t just important tools for any business; they are vital tools for any human being. Conducting a personal analysis, survey, or questionnaire helps to ascertain, dissuade, recognize oversights, comfort zones, and acknowledge weaknesses. This golden rule came out on top of the list because I’ve realized a plethora of us just swim through each day claiming to be sane and “okay” without facts, observations, or proper information about ourselves. One of the ways to make Twenty-five a smoother sail is to have a grasp of ourselves first, in order to have a grasp of our dreams and inspirations. So, the S in the analysis stands for strengths, the W stands for weaknesses, the O stands for opportunities and the T stands for threats.
I don’t think the first two need any further explanation, but I’d slightly dive into the other two. The O in opportunities comes into play after recognizing just what your field of options are in terms of skill vs. qualifications. The T in threats may sound silly, but they address subconscious fears we’ve refused to address and are slightly biting our sanity away. The truth is, the lack of the above analysis always bites us in the butt slowly without us realizing it. I’ve learnt so far that what you refuse to acknowledge would always seem like a mountain and would hold you spell bound, but once you do, you have a clear understanding of what you feel and why you feel that way.
Evaluation of Goals and Dreams:
This second rule is very important in the sense that the majority of the “twentyfivers” are walking, talking balls of anxiety and heaviness. They feel like they aren’t in control of their lives anymore, time is rolling out fast, and their day-to-day consists of slaving themselves away. The majority don’t take time to reassess or re-prioritize. It’s absolutely normal to feel like you’re floating today and tomorrow feeling out of form. But the very one thing that can provide the certainty needed is to ask ourselves: if what we’re pursuing is still what we want? Dreams change, new ideas come in, and new visions persecute you. I have heard cases of people who made their life-changing switch at this point in time. It is pertinent to take this aspect seriously because time will forever be of the essence. The second step in having a firmer grasp on life is knowing if our thoughts are a want or a need based on the present situation and circumstances. At twenty-five, I like to refer to it as “the revealer,” because “your eye just suddenly clears.”
Ships, boats, and bees
Y’all probably thought I was about to give sex and the bees talk. Lol, hell no. This aspect is a very sensitive but important aspect that I need to address, and it’s the place of marriage, relationships, and where to stand. I chose to talk about this next because usually at age twenty-five I hear I’m not married yet, and thirty is around the corner, and so on. And that pressure, plus societal “misyarning,” pushes many young people into what I’d call a “madhouse and not a marriage.”
There’s no rulebook that says you must get married at a particular age or that getting married at a particular age spells a successful marriage or that you must even get married. Yes, I said it. I’m saying this because a lot of us are walking bags of resentment, daddy or mummy issues, narcissism, patriarchy, insensitivity, lack of personal understanding, unaddressed trauma, lack of sexual discipline, in short, a total package of baggage, and we’d so love to join another person’s mess into our mess. It’s fascinating, I tell you.
Love is amazing. Hell yeah, it is when it is done at your own pace, time and in a sane state of mind. In fact, many of us are more of a liability than an asset, and we’re thinking of marriage. I laughed in Chinese.
The point is, it is okay to marry at whatever time you’re certain that you’re ready for it because if you “in quote listen to mummy and daddy’s rants plus that of society after the wedding festivity, they’re going to leave you with the man or woman you’ve welded yourself with.” One of the words I hear around twenty and thirty-somethings is the word “regret,” and it is usually in line with “marriage.”
Oh! You’re twenty-five and single. Well, good for you. Enjoy it. We are all in this boat together.
In conclusion, you want the “dream man or woman with the Cinderella wedding and the white picket fence”—good for you, do it at your pace. And, if you aren’t on the marriage bandwagon, good for you too. Embrace it.
The brakes and the accelerator
i just started my driving lessons, so don’t blame me too much, yeah? Anyways, I love to liken the circle and cycle of life to a journey towards where you decide. This rule is equally as pivotal as the rest because it preaches the rule of balance in everything. Before and after twenty-five, it’s either we “under do” or overdo, but it is pertinent to know when to hold on and let go. The bitter truth is that as the age of twenty-five gets nearer, there are a lot of things you’ll be letting go of, and that’s okay. The trick to knowing what to hold on to and let go of is listing out your principles, values, what you hold dear, what you’ve unlearned, and what you can never compromise on or off. Let go of things that make you compromise important values and things you swore never to compromise on, because our values make us who or what we are. So, when you compromise and hold on, there’s a price to pay, and that is yourself, your personality, and your sanity. Life is a simulation of debit and credit. For everything, there’s something that must give way. I don’t know if this analogy is it, but just accept it.
THE EFFECTIVENESS OF YOUR YES, NO, AND OKAY
This fifth Gospel is very important because at twenty-five, it is an age where, for some reason, societal buzzes enter into your ears, mind, and mental barriers more often than we care to admit. Because, deep down, we’re like peacocks, and we like to know what people are saying about us, how to prove them wrong, “pepper them” and show them that they were wrong about us, and so on.
The more our ears and mental barriers hear these things, the more they somehow rest in our subconscious during the day and start whining loudly during the night. The power of the YES, NO, and OKAY refers to recognizing that the sole power is yours, not your friends’ perception, or society’s opinion, but you. You actually make a damning decision on a trip to hell or an unsure decision on a trip to paradise. It’s okay to make mistakes. Be fine with it and be responsible for it.
You want to do something. You’d like to pursue something. Well, now’s the time because the final card to jumpstart lies with you. The earlier you realize it, the better for you. It’s okay to accumulate memories, it’s okay to revisit painful memories, it’s definitely okay to face your past and not suppress it with a momentary smile, it’s okay to be “uncool” and it’s okay to know and acknowledge your place in people’s lives.
Therefore, use your “No,” “Yes,” and “Okay” wisely, people.
CURATE YOUR DEFINITION OF SUCCESS
This last gospel is of the utmost importance because, like I said, at age twenty-five, for some reason, it can be likened to a “car wiper.” It makes blurred images clearer. A few days ago, I was telling an aunt whom I respect so much to put her feelings for her husband as a wedding gift. Love is something, but it becomes more pronounced and more meaningful when you find something to at least qualify it.
This analogy is the same for success. The truth is we all have different perceptions of and attitudes towards success, and it’s high time we either re-define it or we re-discover it and then accept our discoveries. Success doesn’t have to be “four billion in your account at age twenty-five or purchasing a Porsche.” To be honest, it could be anything. It could be sunshine and rainfall, or finally finishing that book you haven’t read, doing well in the next game of COD, or even arriving at work early. As long as it’s solely you and is meaningful to you. You’re “Gucci.”
Conclusively, I urge you to make new memories, laugh loudly and without care, remain limitless and make wise decisions. I leave you with a parting gift of “The Twenties Con (Part One”) and, of course, a little something I picked up from a book of poems.
“And I rose in the rainy autumn and walked abroad in a shower of all my days.” Dylan Thomas
A DIARY OF WORDS
You’re Gucci — a slang term that means “you’re good or you’re great.”
Your eyes go just clear—a Nigerian phrase (in pidgin) that means things are becoming clearer.
Lol—an amusing phrase or an abbreviation for laughing out loud.
Laughing in Chinese is an exaggeration, which simply means to laugh.
Misyarn, or misyarning, is a Nigerian slang term that means to speak out of context or to derail a conversation.
What do you think?