To Be 23

Allow me to take a minute…might as well take it with me.

Being 23 has been a lot like that. It has been a compilation of me taking a lot of minutes. Minutes that I may or may not have had or still have the most valid of reasons as to why they were taken. As I write this now, that minute I just took was to entirely decompress the surging anxiety of trying to come up with what I would deem the right words that would sum up this post. I have a lot and I have nothing. Being twenty-three has felt like the beginning of life and the edge of death all wrapped up in one scantily bow. To reassure me more than you, my reader, it is best I make it known that this will be a telltale sign of just how all over the place being this age has been for me.

I presume that had I known being 23 would have been like a free fall off a rollercoaster, I genuinely would have been fine skipping through it all together. But we both kinda know that it would have been a failed mission from the start. I am still 23 for those of you who may be wondering and I still have a month and a few weeks to go before I can otherwise say I no longer belong to this clusterfuck of an age. It is in these past ten months that I have felt no better than an invalid whose sole purpose has been to merely exist and fight the reigns of suicidality. And I quote, ‘’ To have no known purpose in life, is to seek a defined purpose in death ‘’. It is at this age that I have sought out a purpose in life but immensely still feel lost in a maze of how exactly to play out the beginning aspects of the said purpose. Just before I began to write this, I have been overcome with an immense fear that maybe what I have mapped out as my purpose, may actually not be it. The thought itself was whether what I think is my purpose isn’t in alignment with what is God’s purpose for me; it is an absolutely terrifying thought to have. At 23, figuring out a purpose is all I seem to have achieved with no laid-up plan on how to begin.

I am a very complex human being. Patience isn’t a favoured virtue of mine. Being 23 has tested this virtue vehemently. Straight out of college and my life, as complicated as it has been this far was meant to have a meaningful trajectory. I was meant to at least have the mental capacity to distinguish between my feelings as a 23-year-old going through a beginner’s life crisis and my mind’s trudge through having a mental illness. To say I still don’t have a distinguishable balance between the two would be putting it mildly. It is quite a dilemma. My sister is often my constant reminder that this part of being at this very age at which life seems not to have a designated direction makes it the most basic aspect of experiencing a beginner’s life crisis. She keeps insisting that it is perfectly fine that I don’t have my shit together despite the fact that I have been spending the last year and a half smoking cigarettes and sleeping at six in the morning; which I should state will be the case again tonight as it is already dawn. It has been hard to contend with my feelings that any part of my routine for the past year, most especially since turning a year older is supposedly normal for anyone in this transition from college. I can’t help but think that maybe my lack of any progression in life has been due to the definite failure of my mind to function in a remotely less ill manner. For me, struggling mentally has become the definition of who I am. I cannot begin to place where my depression and/or anxiety start or where it indefinitely ends. Like I said, a scantily wrapped up bow.

I wish there was a long list of things I could say that being this age has happened for me besides the greatest existential crisis of my not-so-long life. It is now I have wondered just how wrong my mind might be. I pride myself on how in tune I am with the subjective nature of psychology, it is what I will it to be as my purpose in life. It is in this same nature that I can’t help but wonder whether all that I may have thought to be the real underlying issue was actually just the beginning of a very tumultuous journey in my mental health. These ladies and gentlemen are what it is like to be a hypochondriac. To question if you are a sitting duck for an unidentified mental illness that is yet to fully flourish just because you are at the prime age at which it emerges. Again, as I said, I am a complex and highly complicated 23-year-old girl.

And finally, to be 23 has been to experience a deep-sated sense of isolation. Before this age, I wasn’t generally a social person but in the past couple of months, my need to be away from everyone has been incessant. I have intentionally stayed away from friends and family in the wake of very chaotic feelings.

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