Up All Night: Why We Waste Our 20’s

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“What have you done with your 20’s?”

We Are Young is such a great song by the group FUN. It has so many meanings, but one sticks out to me. How much time we actually waste in our 20’s as we come through this decade is what I have gotten out of this song. It’s right in the chorus of this song, “So if by the time, the bar closes, and you feel like falling down, I’ll carry, you home, tonight.” That line brings up so many memories for so many young people who spend their 20’s bar hopping and hooking up. In your early 20’s, you are typically a college student. Study and attend classes four days out of the week, maybe hold down a part time job. Then from Thursday through Sunday, you party it up. Because then again, C’s get degrees.

Once out of school, you get a day job, working five days per week, eight hours per day. On Friday, you go out with friends, and lounge on Saturday because you’re too hung over from the night before. Hell, you might even go out Saturday night because when you’re young, whose thinking about church Sunday morning. Then Sunday night, hopefully your weekend hangover is wrapping up for the daily grind come Monday morning. Then, as you are nearing the end of your 20’s, life sinks into your brain. You go, what the hell did I do this entire decade.

The whole time you spent hooking up with random people and partying. But you never ceased the moments to pursue your career endeavors. Ten years is a long time, but from 19-29 years of age it goes by fast. This is why at the age of 20 I spent the next four years figuring out my three important keys to success in my life: what do I love, am I good at it, and can I sustain myself financially down the road. So at the age of 24 years, I decided I love writing/film making/producing; mainly screenwriting and novels, would be my career goals. So here I am at age 29 years old the end of this month, having spent the past nearly six years learning, working my craft.

Now I am in the process of building my audience: posting my daily blog post, pre-production for my next short film, and as well as finishing up my first novel and first book of short stories. All the while holding down multiple part-time gigs to support myself along the way. I look at my life and go, what did I do with my 20’s. I look at my crappy apartment and cheap clothing so monetary expenses can go toward more productive goals. I think to myself, “Wow, you should have just partied with everyone else.” “Because financially they are ahead of you.” True, but also false as well.

Having spent the greater portion of this decade putting in what is know as my 10,000 hours, my writing slowly paying off. Don’t get me wrong nothing is guaranteed, but the work is being put in in preparation of. I think to myself why aren’t more people in their 20’s putting in the time to pursue their career interests. Then it dawned on me that they don’t have any. Some would say that is a lack of drive and ambition, but not necessarily in your 20’s. Yes athletes and some entertainers who are 22 and 23 year old global brands are not the norm. Because they have usually spent from elementary school until their 20’s on their craft.

And that is what it all boils down to, purpose. There was a very well known book called, “Purpose Driven Life.” What is your purpose driven life? A lot of young people don’t know their purpose driven life. At the age of 24 years, I decided I would be a storyteller. I wrote down ideas and I am currently in the execution process of these ideas. Starting with my first novel, book of short stories, and my first short film that I wrote, directed, and produced; which I uploaded on YouTube. Scary thing about purpose, is that some people will live their entire lives not knowing their purpose on earth.

Why me at my age? Why did I figure this out so young? I don’t have life figured out, but I know to a great enough degree regarding my career. Is it chemical, how ones brain is wired? Or better yet, maybe it’s divine intervention. There are so many reasons that bring us to purpose, but my reason for coming to writing initially was internal. Writing was an escape from personal issues I faced. Started at age 22, and only did it become a viable career path once I hit 24/25 years of age.

So in the end, we don’t maliciously waste our 20’s, it’s a time you don’t know much about yourself. Your self awareness is not strong, so you can’t see your full self worth. I saw my worth and potential at such a young age, which is why I started before everyone else. But hopefully everyone else will as well. Because if your life revolves around living just for Friday and dreading to wake up Monday morning, you are not living a full life.

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