Broke, Alone, And Stressed—Is This How My Life’s Going to Be?

Being in your 20s is soul-destroying at times. I’m trying to move gracefully into adulthood and build an amazing life, but sometimes I’m totally overwhelmed by just how hard it is. Is it ever going to get easier?

I’m afraid of being alone. When I was little, my uncle told me to have two children so that when their parents die, they won’t be alone. As I get older, I’m realizing there’s some logic to that. Being on my own sucks, and as much as I say I value my independence, I sometimes feel like I could die from loneliness. I have some great friends and a supportive family but I still struggle when I’m totally on my own.

I never have enough money to do anything. I want to buy a new phone or get some new clothes—simple enough stuff, but stuff that requires cash. I’m happy to work for things, but I’m not at the stage of my life where I have a high-paying job, which means my money goes towards bills and other necessities and having money left over is a rare occurrence. It’s kind of depressing to be forever broke.

I’m too busy to do anything fun anyway. There are too many books to read, too many countries to visit, too many restaurants to eat at. Even if I had an endless supply of money, taking care of adult responsibilities means I wouldn’t have time for any of it anyway. I try to prioritize the things I do in my spare time, but there’s so little of it that I don’t really get to do anything fun anyway.

I’m a control freak and I don’t know how to take a step back. I know it’s a terrible quality to have, but I tend to dismiss other people’s capabilities. I live by the motto “if you want something done right, do it yourself.” I’m smart enough to know that delegation is key to accomplishing more and that I’m not the only capable person out there, but I still struggle with taking a step back and letting people get on with things. Learning how to let go is easier said than done.

I shut down when things get real. That’s how I deal with problems that stress me out—I totally shut down and then I regret it later. Doing this always has repercussions because it means that while I’m trying to ignore my problems, I’m avoiding my responsibilities too. I haven’t figured out how to confront things head-on without totally breaking down. What’s wrong with me?

I have so much going on that I often lose sight of the big picture. If I’m thinking logically, I know that my life will work out fine in the end. I’m smart, capable, and driven. I’m also kind, caring, and have an amazing support system. How can I fail? Of course, that feeling of certainty is nowhere to be seen when I get caught up in the minutiae of my everyday life and let it overwhelm me. I wish I knew how to stop.

I don’t really even know what I want. Do I want a husband and kids or an amazing career that will pay me enough to buy a mansion in Italy? I keep waiting for some stroke of genius to hit me, to tell me what to do with my life, but it doesn’t work that way. I’m still just floating along, trying out random stuff and hoping something sticks. Is this how everyone lives?

I’m basically having an existential crisis. I know that these moments of frustration, confusion, and self-doubt are basically par for the course in your twenties, but I experience these feelings pretty much every day. I haven’t figured out how to remedy this just yet, but I do try to take steps to quell these feelings by sitting down and making a life plan so that I have some solid direction and focus to push me forward. Hopefully, someday I’ll feel more confident in myself and the life I’ve built.

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