Restlessness: The Problem of Twentysomethings


Have you ever felt lost? Anxious? Uneasy?

Yes, we all have at some point in our lives. Nonetheless, the troubles that follow a young adult are far beyond the normal stage of restlessness.

After college, twenty-something adults have two options: find a job or continue your studies. In either extreme, it is important to note that whatever you end up doing you will feel lost and insecure. Graduate students feel uneasy as they watch their friends step into the corporate world and young professionals focus on building a career. Nothing is well with either spectrum, but the need for a joyful life is still there.

As a new Midwesterner, it is far more easy to dread the day. Through the harsh winters, I face the cold reality of everyday: waking up early,  walking to work in the negatives, taking graduate courses, working another job, ministry at Church and so on. But… what happens when all of the things that occupy your time are not enough? What happens when you feel like you’re not enough?

The problem is that we spend our days making connections to the past in order to illuminate the problems of the present and anticipate the potential future. We worry about unimportant, unnecessary baggage. We are “connected” to others, but can hardly find the time to establish a real connection with a human being.

Our current constant search for validation is unubiquitous. Twenty-somethings trap themselves behind the number of likes, favorites and comments we receive while we relive our memories on the vagueness of a well-executed selfie.

This is not okay. This is not enough.

However, the intense desire for something more is still there. The longing for true companionship, meaningful friendships and that something more leaves us dissatisfied with our daily lives. The restlessness of our everyday life perdures and agitates even the happiest of twentysomethings. What can we do to change this?

There is no obvious solution.

Sometimes we spend so much time focusing on our past mistakes that we forget to live in the present. Instead of pursuing the path laid out for us, we are determined to focus on superficial needs. Then, when we realize that we are immensely dissatisfied we digress from our lives.

In the search for the next something shiny, the new best date or the new “best friend”, we forget to build strong connections with the people around us. We focus our eyes on the seen instead of turning our eyes to the unseen

Our restlessness is built on lies and superficial things. It will only fade away if we persuade ourselves to believe that there is a higher, better plan for us…if we forget about our past mistakes…if we forgive ourselves and others. As soon as we do these things, we can begin to grow into young, joyful adults with hopeful eyes instead of weary eyes.

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