2 min read

I’m turning 22 in a week and I find myself dealing with numerous feelings that seem to converge into one overwhelming sensation: I don’t feel like I'm where supposed to be. This sentiment, I’ve noticed, resonates deeply with many young adults routing life, especially those in their twenties.

Currently serving, the reality of financial strain looms over my head like a dark cloud. Everything seems to carry an expensive price tag, essentials, outings, basically, the cost of living wants to kill the living. Thankfully, my parents don’t make me pay for a lot of things but I know my time is coming, I doubt I can keep being a freeloader forever. This feeling began to cement itself in my mind when my parents told me my 22nd birthday is the last birthday they’d be funding, so my Jordan year is all on me. Apart from my birthday, a lot of other frivolous expenses are now on me, this blog domain included.   

Yet, that’s just one aspect. Loneliness is creeping in, gnawing at the edges of my consciousness. The physical distance that separates me from my friends amplifies this sense of isolation. Most of them live far away, leaving me feeling alone in a sea of unfamiliar faces. As much as I would like to make new friends, it’s really not that easy and I do miss my friends. It’s no longer as easy as walking up to their rooms and having a laugh or calling them up to disturb the streets of Lagos. Everybody is busy adulting and the luxury of time is not something we have anymore, especially the accompanying costs.

But perhaps the most crippling feeling of all is the constant sense of inadequacy that nags at the back of my mind. I can't shake the feeling that I'm behind, that I should be further along in life by now. The comparison game, fueled by the highlight reels of social media, only intensifies these feelings of inadequacy. Scrolling through carefully curated feeds, it's easy to fall into the trap of measuring my own progress against the seemingly perfect lives of others.

It's important to remind myself that it's okay to feel lost in the middle of this chaos. It's normal to accept the doubt, anxiety, and uncertainty that come with this phase of life. The journey to self-discovery is sometimes a complicated one, full of obstacles and diversions. Even if it might seem like everyone else has it all figured out, the reality is that many people are struggling behind the scenes on social media with similar uncertainties and fears. This isn’t me sharing bad energy, it’s something I’ve discovered. Someone out there thinks I’m so happy with the way I post on Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok. I don’t think anybody knows what’s really going on except me and my notes app.

The development of self-compassion is vital, especially during times of sadness. to understand that making errors, stumbling, and going off track are all OK, a hard truth I had to teach myself to deal with. Every setback presents a possibility for development, learning, and evolution, even if it’s a difficult thing to see. Even while everything seems overwhelming, it is paved with countless opportunities just waiting to be discovered.

Amid my loneliness, I came across this YouTube video by Tam Kaur called "Watch This When You Feel Lonely." Tam talked about flipping the script on loneliness and embracing it as solitude instead. She encouraged viewers to see it as a time for self-discovery, a chance to get to know ourselves deeper. I started viewing those moments of solitude not as something to be feared, but as an opportunity for growth. I began to relish in the quiet moments, using them to reflect, journal (my notes app has suffered), and explore my own thoughts and feelings. It was a game-changer, turning what once felt like a burden into a precious gift of self-discovery. So, to anyone feeling alone, I highly recommend giving Tam's video a watch. It might just change your perspective like it did mine.

Above all, it's important to remember that life is a journey, not a destination. There is no predetermined timeline for success, no one-size-fits-all formula for happiness. Each individual's path is unique, shaped by their experiences, aspirations, and setbacks. And though the road may be fraught with challenges, it's these very challenges that ultimately mould us into resilient, compassionate, and empathetic beings. At least that’s what I tell myself.

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