What Happened To Being Poor in Your Twenties?

Jealousy is a seriously dangerous thing, people.

I seem to have this superpower allowing me to attract peers who appear to have it all. Or maybe it’s just that our generation is spoiled? Or maybe I’m seeing what I’m choosing to see, which wouldn’t be surprising since jealousy tends to cloud one’s mind. Either way, I find myself alone a lot of the time in this “young adult” struggle.

She gets to go to New York and South America and Europe in one summer.

He gets to focus on his classes and party on the weekends because his parents only require him to work 10 hours a week just so they can tell friends and family he has a job.

Better yet, his friend Joe doesn’t even have a job.

Bob, Jack, and Jill all just got brand new cars.

Sarah gets to go to an amazing college with total piece of mind because her parents are paying every cent.

And of course, it seems almost everyone I know has their insurance, phone bill, rent, and every luxury gadget they own covered by Dad’s bank account.

It gets to me sometimes when I’m stuck working 40 hour weeks so that I can pay for the things I need to survive and do fun things on the weekends I have off every so often. I find myself disliking those around me because of the things they receive, the free time they have, and how apparently easier their lives are. And I get consumed in this idea that I am disadvantaged. This is why I try to remember a couple things.

  1. Everyone struggles differently. While I may be financially struggling, someone who seems to have the nicest clothes, car, and vacations may be seriously struggling with identity or family issues.
  2. Self efficacy is a thing. I am extremely proud of myself. I could whine and beg my parents for money and let myself fall short by claiming I cannot support myself, but I choose independence because of the lessons it has already taught me and my ambition to build a life for myself away from my parents. I choose to take on the life I live because I believe in myself. You can work and go to school. You will make sacrifices. You will not always have money to go out to dinner or drink with your friends. And that is okay, because this is a normal stage of development.

I get disappointed in myself when I give in to this millennial mindset that the world owes you a super fun and easy life, just because you live in it. The other day, my dad told me with the fullest sincerity that he was proud of me for everything I’ve done for myself. My parents will never know how much I appreciate the blessing of being raised to be a strong woman who knows how to prioritize desires and needs. That is far more satisfying than having my phone bill covered every month.


Cover photo found here.


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