I just sat down and watched the entire HBO series Girls. I’d seen it mentioned enough times in all the hipster news sources, so figured it was time I gave it a go. Rather than talking about the series, though, I’d rather reflect on what it’s like to be a 20-something myself—trying to figure out a life while living in a big city.
When I was growing up I always imagined I’d move to New York City a la Friends or Sex and the City. I’m certain that I’ve romanticized life to a point I do wish I could squeeze myself into a sitcom, but by the time I had the actual chance, I didn’t take the risk. Instead I lived in Boston—a big city in its own special way.
Boston was (and I’m sure still is) a great city for 20-somethings, but I didn’t start taking the big risks in life until I gave up that whole spiel and moved abroad. In the Girls series, the main character, just out of college, is already starting to figure out her life—trying to live her dreams. Why didn’t I take the time when I was that young to live worry-free and take the big risks? I was more worried then about having a life plan, life goals and a retirement plan than I am today.
Now I’m not saying that I didn’t try to live my dreams in Boston, but by the time my mid-20s rolled around, my dreams were completely different. Instead of wanting to live in America’s epicenter of cool, I went off to shake things up on a gap year. My longing to still live in a big city with big-city friends, parties all the time and a sitcom lifestyle never died. Mix in my intense desire to live abroad, the many challenges of getting a work visa abroad, and wham bam thank you ma‘am, here I am living in über-hip Berlin. It’s not the world’s biggest city but it just may be the most fun. And certainly the most hipster.
At the ripe ol’ age of 27, I’m living that 20-something life I always wanted in a big city: interesting friends & acquaintances, invitations to parties, dealing with bureaucracy, worrying about dating, about relationships, about finding jobs and making enough money to sustain life…the list goes on and on.
I’m young and I live in Berlin. Berlin-freaking-Germany. Life really is great for me, I know that. But as a 20-something from Generation Y (God, I really hate labels), I’m constantly searching for meaning. This can be daunting for a boy who sits behind a computer all day (and night). I like very much what I do, but sometimes I worry it’s still not what I really want. What do I really want? I don’t know. When will I know? I don’t know.
Then again, maybe I’m just thinking too much. And not working enough. But what is life if there’s no time to wander—whichever way I may go?