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Why we are “happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time”


Taylor Swift’s songwriting is on cue when she talks about her fellow twenty-somethings in her latest single, “22”.  In the tune, she sings, “We’re happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time. It’s miserable and magical…”  This got us thinking – is Taylor Swift the only twenty-something feeling this way? The more I sat down with the idea, the more I realized: all of us twenty-somethings are in fact happy, free, confused… and lonely (at the same time).  Why is this so?

We have many reasons to exude happiness in our twenties.  Maybe we’ve graduated college and are no longer stifled by the endless late-night study sessions (yay!).  Perhaps you’ve just moved out of your parents’ house and into your own place for the first time in your life (congrats!).  Or, quite possibly, you’re in a happy place in your life, without a specific reason.  Whatever the reason may be, twenty-somethings have many moments of happiness, whether we choose to see them or not.

While some of us are freer than others, twenty-somethings are the freest of the free in many ways.  If you’re not married, you’re probably free from paying for a home to live in and free from supporting a family.  If you’ve just graduated from college, you’re free from paying your student loans back for six months (thank you, grace period).  However, maybe you’ve always lived your life in a free way.  Being free doesn’t mean that you are carefree – it means you enjoy life and can handle everything being thrown at you and that you can live without serious responsibilities, at least for little while.

The twenties are also a time of growing confusion.  We’re confused about which career path we want to pursue.  We’re confused about where we want to live one day.  We’re confused (and stressed) about how we’re going to afford our dreamed up, Pinterest-infused lavish lifestyles.  Overall, we’re confused about life.  We know what we want, but we don’t always know how to get it. We don’t know what we want and we’re oddly okay with it. Yes, we are definitely confused. I think this is what our girl Tay meant when she said it’s miserable and magical (with more emphasis on the miserable part here, obviously).

What’s even worse than being confused is being lonely.  Who wants to feel lonely?  Quite possibly, you’re lonely because you’re: single, live alone, or don’t put effort into the friendships you have.  Instead of going out, you stay at home with your cat and watch episodes of Friends on repeat.  This doesn’t have to be the life you lead.  Get out of your lonely slump by getting up and out.  Your cat won’t hate you for leaving the apartment (just don’t forget to feed her on the way out). There are also the times where no matter how many people you are surrounded by, you still can’t escape the feeling that you are completely alone. We’ve been there, and trust us, those moments will pass.

 Now is the time to enjoy your life – be happy, free, confused, and lonely… but know how to rise above it all. Hey, I don’t know about you, but we’re feeling 22 (at least until June)!

About the Author

Gina Kirby

Gina is a Co-founder of GenTwenty. She graduated from the University of Maryland University College with a B.A. in Communications. She currently works at IKEA as a Social Media Specialist.