Life: The Awkward Journey

I feel like I’m at a very awkward stage of my life.

It’s not a transitional sort of awkward, like going through adolescence, or graduating from college into “adult life,” or switching jobs. I’m already in adult life, and have been for a while now. I even have a job I like. It’s just that things are … odd … right now.

I’m twenty-six years old, and I’m going to be twenty-seven this year (because, you know, chronological order and all that). I’m too old to relate to the college crowd anymore, but I don’t feel old enough to be taken seriously by anyone else.

And not too old to enjoy lemur puppets

.  .  .

But look how serious I can be!

An example of this is alive and well in my church. There’s a special ministry for “twenty-somethings,” but I don’t go very often; it’s just not the place for me. But whenever I meet anyone older than 30, they automatically lump me in with that crowd. When I attend this ministry’s events, all I see are college kids—and maybe a few young couples—neither of which are groups that I belong to. Not that I’m a big fan of cliques, groups, and labels: I believe they emerge for a reason, but I don’t think anyone really fits any of them 100%, 100% of the time.

The young couples/families all have their groups (“so blessed!”), the singles ministry at my church is targeted mostly toward older singles, and the over-50 crowd seems to treat me like an alien being.

But come on, I know how to use a rotary phone and everything!

Maybe if I got married I’d feel more like I belong in the “adult world,” but I’m not sure about that. Plus, it’s in God’s hands and God’s timing anyway, and if he thinks I’m better off being single right now, then there’s a reason for it. I’m just trying to live my life.

Yes, I’m a twenty-something, but I don’t belong in a group with college kids who still don’t know what to do with their newfound “freedom.” Yes, I’m single, but I don’t belong in a group with divorcees and widowers. Yes, I’m a single woman, but I don’t belong in a group of females who vacillate between man-bashing and whining about how much they want to get married—not only is that toxic, but I do it enough on my own and I don’t need an incentive. Yes, I’m technically a working professional, but I don’t belong in a group that does networking happy hours, because I’m creative, not business-minded, and I still don’t know what the hell I’m doing half the time.

Clearly what I am not … is a people person.

Honestly, though, I would love to find a group of people, church or not, that I mesh well with and feel comfortable sharing stuff with AND have fun with. That is what I still miss about college, really. I know that I should work harder to find such a group—or assemble one—but I tried so hard when I moved to Columbus that I got burned out by the end of autumn. Then I tried the dating pool, and I got burned out again by January. As an introvert, there’s only so much I can take.

Now all I want to do is travel around the country to visit old friends. When I’m in town, I just fall into the habit of staying in my apartment, working, cooking, and watching old movies. It’s a cycle I should break, but sometimes it feels like I just don’t have the energy for it, or the imagination.

See what I mean? It’s an awkward stage, but not transitional.

I’m also restless. I want to travel somewhere, do something, but I don’t know what. All I do know is that I don’t want to move again—I couldn’t take another change of address for a long, long time. Sigh. I just don’t know …

5 thoughts on “Life: The Awkward Journey

  1. It’s crazy how different 20-somethings can be. One one end you’ve got college kids who still play xbox in their parents basement, at the other end are married couples with 2 or 3 little ones. Really hard for singles, and even non-kid couples to find a spot. But everyone over 30 just assumes we’re all the same.

    • Exactly. And that assumption too often falls on the “you must be a young kid” end of the spectrum.

      Thanks for your comment, by the way! I’m only now responding because I just found it under Spam. :-\

  2. I was a misfit for years and years because I was married but my spouse wanted absolutely nothing to do with church (or me, for that matter). So, during my thirties and half my forties, I wasn’t single, but I wasn’t married in the churchy sense of the word, and I wasn’t a senior and I wasn’t a twenty-something. You’d think my situation–married but not really–would have been pretty common, but it wasn’t. It’s tough when you fall through the cracks, but I ended up just taking part in whatever I wanted to and it turned out okay.

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