Trick AND Treat: A Twentysomething Perspective

Being a twentysomething is all about gaining perspective. Granted, life in general is all about gaining perspective. As a thirty- and forty-something and beyond, I still hope to be gaining new perspectives because that means growth.

One perspective that has hit me particularly hard in the twentysomething phase is acknowledging the gray area. Or in other words, not everything is going to be in neat little packages. Life is rarely all black or all white…there is usually a little mix of both. Oftentimes, it is in this weird middle area that is undefined and a little bit messy. Undefined. Outside the box. And that is a difficult perspective to grapple with because we, as humans, like to fit everything into these neat little boxes. We categorize because it’s easy and makes us comfortable. Yet being comfortable doesn’t allow for growth.

Another part of acknowledging the gray area is realizing that there are always multiple perspectives: there are at least two sides to every story. Because of this, the word “or” has basically been removed from my vocabulary. Life is a spectrum of opposites and all the spaces in between. Happy or sad? Good or evil? Trick or treat? The reality is, the answer is probably a little bit of both, meeting somewhere in the middle. Most days, I’m mostly happy, mostly good. But I think there’s always a little in between, a little gray area.

In the spirit of yesterday’s Halloween holiday, being a twentysomething is no exception to this gray area rule. Being a twentysomething is not a matter of Trick or Treat. It really should be Trick and Treat. Because to be honest, it’s full of tricks, but it’s also full of treats.

Here are my top ten Trick and Treat twentysomething moments.

  1. Paying for laundry is definitely an inconvenience, but clean clothes are nice.
  2. Grocery shopping and cooking meals is time consuming, but having the choice to eat whatever I want, whenever I want, is incomparable.
  3. Having to work a full-time job is, no surprise, a lot of work. But the full-time paycheck is a nice incentive to keep going.
  4. Making friends as a twentysomething is more difficult, but the friends that you do have are some of the best yet. Quality over quantity.
  5. Being single can feel lonely, but there is no better time for self-discovery, exploration, and improving your sense of self-love and self-care.
  6. Having to take on new adult responsibilities can be overwhelming, but the new-found sense of independence is worth it.
  7. Figuring out who you are and who you want to be is one of the most complicated things you will ever think about and try to execute, but you have an incredible sense of self-worth after you re-work through your own identity and your own values.
  8. There seems to be little to no time for anything “fun,” but when you do have the time, it is the most glorious part of your day.
  9. There is no longer a “norm” for how to live your life, but the freedom to live your life however you want is extremely liberating.
  10. Although life can seem challenging at times, it will all come around. Some times are worse than others, but the gray area shows that no matter how tough it is, there is always a little spot of light just around the corner.

The important thing to keep in mind, especially when you’re in a rut, is that there is always an “and.” For example, I might be feeling really awful about something one day, but I need to keep in mind the “and.” The gray area. I might feel the tricks, but I also need to acknowledge the treats.

So what are your tricks? What are your treats? And how do you find the balance in between the two?