The pressure to be successful in your 20s is at an all time high in this age where social media narrates everything. I see so many 20 somethings living glamorous lives, driving BMWs, and flying to Europe every chance they get. They have YouTube channels with thousands and even millions of subscribers and many of them don’t work corporate jobs. I’ve started to wonder what the heck I’m doing wrong. How did I reach my mid-twenties without achieving all of my goals?
We’ve all thought this way from time to time and that’s ok because it’s normal.
I’ve been a full time artist for about 2 years but I’ve been practicing my art since 2012. It’s been over 5 years and I just recently hit 10k on Instagram. I work hard and create regularly but I still feel there’s a missing ingredient to my formula. I’ve spent so many years doing this artrepreneur thing and I feel like it should’ve taken me somewhere by now. When I have thoughts like this I turn to my faith and do what mom always told me to… I pray.
I know art is what I’m destined to do but I don’t understand the timeline. If you’ve felt this way, breathe and realize you’re not alone. It would be easier to see that if more visibly successful and/or famous people shared their full stories. From the outside all we see is their fame and glory but some are afraid to speak on how they reached success and how they felt before they got to where they are now.
In my free time I watch a lot of interviews featuring women I look up to or women who’s careers I find interesting. I recently sat for 3 hours watching interviews with Issa Rae, Yvonne Orji and Tiffany Haddish. I’ve been a fan of Issa since I discovered her in 2013 and after watching Insecure last year I became a fan of Yvonne as well. These women are so inspiring for the mere fact that they’re African (born), college educated women who have started to see success after 30.
They had dreams and they chased them no matter how long it took to reach their success. Tiffany Haddish’s interviews really hit me because she is the definition of beautifying your struggle. You’d never know she was homeless and living out of her car at one point by looking at her. Now she’s been in a number one comedy movie and continues to get opportunity after opportunity. After watching these videos and hearing these women speak positivity into their future, I’m ready to get back to work.
Listening to their stories made me realize that 5 years isn’t that long when a lot of women who I view as role models have been in their growing stage for 8 or 9 years. It brings a calmness to me and a sense of relief to not rush my success. I’m starting to appreciate where I am as a 26 year old artrepreneur. I can’t say it’s easy but it’s my reality.
Sometimes we need to put things into perspective and be realistic with ourselves. So, if you’re in your 20s and haven’t hit your success, just know it’s ok. Seriously, you’re going to be just fine.