It wasn’t until my third friend bought her first house, and what felt like my millionth friend received a much-deserved promotion that I started to think that hey, maybe, I too should have my act together by now. But instead? Here I am, on the other side of my twenties, living at home and splitting my time between local eateries and the gym.
I'm not sure what it was. It may have been the pending decision on whether I should head to a secluded weekend festival, or upgrade my current medical plan that had me thinking – perhaps my version of the togetherness wasn't quite matching that of my age-mates. And that maybe, just maybe, I should step it up a notch.
Don’t get me wrong I’m incredibly grateful for my alternative journey. It came with travel, unexpected, yet rewarding career changes – and of course, friends from all over the world. But now and again, in the depths of the morning, when I'm jolted awake by my anxieties I think – I should definitely have it all together by now, or at least more so than this.
To clarify, by having it together I don't mean reaching unrealistic societal expectations or fulfilling the bucket list of the things I wrote down in my teenage journal. I'm talking about those minute, yet personal milestones I set aside in my formative and slightly more naïve years.
Lately, I've started dreaming differently though. Pinning ideas together planted in my head by too many hours spent scrolling through social and search engine ads which convince me that, yes, maybe I should be in a serious relationship (a lie I tell myself thanks Hinge). Or maybe, I should have more than two streams of income (another lie, thanks to Forex) and that by now, I should definitely have a signature fragrance (Screw you pop culture, screw you, Dior).
And then? I’ll listen to a three-hour podcast, or read a New York Bestseller I got off the self-help section (when no one was looking) because despite what all the memes say, not all millennials read books titled: Maybe You Should Talk Someone (great book by the way). All of which comes together, helping me convince myself that despite what I am feeling at the moment, I’m doing the best that I can.
Besides, if Malcolm Gladwell or Jim Collins have taught me anything, it’s that each journey is different. Each of us is unique, and trying to compare my version of togetherness with the next person would be preposterous because none of them exists in controlled environments. Unless, of course, you're talking about Fortune 500 companies, those are very much comparable.
It doesn't take me long to realise just how little spinning around in circles does, for my psychology or otherwise. I remind myself that it’s OK that I don’t have a go-to designer scent, but mix it up every time I can afford to. And that yes, it's OK that I don't have a capsule wardrobe, follow a weekly routine, or practice Yoga (why is everybody our age doing Yoga?!). I mean, I’m far from having it all together, but I’ve got it together enough to be content. To always strive for more and work towards my best, however, slowly. That should count for something (right?).
If you’re reading this hoping for a cosmic answer or a relatable point on how it’s alright to bend the rules, I suspect you’ve got your answer, and that you already know it’s OK not to have it together so long as you keep trying. If you came here hoping this was a 4-week experiment on how I fixed my life in said amount of time, I’m sorry, it isn’t. Instead? It's about starting somewhere, moving towards something, having a trajectory and keeping on.
Well, so long as I’m moving towards my personal organisation or am trying to, I felt I should end off with what the meaning of togetherness is, you know, a true dictionary definition. It's pretty comforting actually, according to Miriam Webster’s definition that is.
The phrase get it together is an idiom described as:
1: to begin to live in a good, and sensible way: to stop being confused (and) foolish.
"If (s)he doesn't get it together pretty soon, (s)he's going to end up in jail.
Well, here’s to hoping my list of not yet achieved won’t land me in jail – metaphorical or otherwise.