U is for Understanding Yourself
If I had to sum up what the twenties are really, truly about I’d say it’s a phase of discover, a time to really understand ourselves. The quarterlife crisis, and a large part of the stress all stem back to the issue of discovering our identity. For me during all of my young years I felt so certain of who I was and where I was going. Then one day it was like someone flipped a light switch and all of these new areas were visible for me. The last few years have been a time of discovery, a constant search for who I really am.
I’ve had this discussion with many of my close friends. In fact, I’ve had this discussion with complete strangers. It seems that this topic of discussion is regularly revisited with one particular friend of mine. She is more than a friend, she is like a sister to me. We have known each other our whole lives and consequently we both really understand each other. Sometimes, when you are searching in the dark to find yourself, it helps to reach out and find someone there who really knows you. This person for me is Julianna. Julianna is a personal trainer, a freelance writer, and is currently taking large steps that I know will soon land her in Hollywood. She is co-directing, producing, screenwriting and acting in a production about one woman’s discovery of herself — Five.
I remember the day I woke up and realized I had to make something of myself without anyone’s permission but my own!
I soon realized and began to understand what it meant to NOT feel invincible; that I could literally drive straight into a brick wall and be dead! That was my first, OMG, who am I? and Why the heck am I here?, awakening as woman in her clueless 20’s.
I was no longer thinking about what movie I was going to see with my boyfriend that night or concocting some sort of clever excuse to tell my step-dad when I didn’t follow his ridiculous 2 a.m. check-up call. I didn’t have to wake up for class or even eat breakfast that day if I didn’t want to.
I didn’t have the option of spending my days lounging by the pool with my friends with a magazine in hand dreaming of what I would being doing ten years from now; That ten years had passed and the magical question of “what do you want to be when you grow-up?” turned into a ahhhh, what the eff do I want to be? I was in complete panic mode! I mean, what am I good at? What are my passions? And why didn’t anyone tell me about this step? I got the fancy SMU degree and figured I could do something with journalism but I didn’t know what yet…
I began to see how powerful or powerless I could be. So I started reading inspirational books, going to church and reaching out to what was once so familiar and comfortable. Without my morning call to my Mom I wasn’t sure what do to with myself that day! But she acted so different this time “You need to figure out where you’re going to get a job, Julianna because your Dad and I are getting ready to cut you off girl!”
I began to understand what it meant when they say “independent woman!” “What now?” Ok, I spend most my time at the gym, so I guess I can become a personal trainer, live in my parents house until I can save up enough money to move-out and in the meantime figure out what I really love and could do everyday of my life!
Months went by, that felt like centuries, and I was still at square one until one day I woke up, glanced in the mirror and thought to myself if she could do it why couldn’t I? I was going to make movies, write books and travel because I said so…
This is the story of me in my 20’s transitioning from girl to woman overnight and me beginning to understand what my purpose is. So, if you, by chance are in this same transition in your life, I would love to hear if you have a better understanding of what it means to be in your 20’s.
For Julianna her day of wondering what she was going to do hit right after she graduated from college. My day of waking up and wondering “what am I doing” didn’t happen until about 2 years out of school. I spent a few years in my career and really started to question if that’s really the direction I wanted my life to go in. Was there a defining moment, or day, when you really started to reach and question who you wanted to be?March 23, 2008 in ABCs-20s, guest