“Twenty-somethings are worried”

“Twenty-somethings are worried. They’re anxious. They’re worried about whether life is going to work out for them. Whether it’s going to work out as well as they thought it would” – Meg Jay

I heard this on my way to church this Sunday morning on NPR. It was an interview with author/clinical psychologist, Meg Jay, about her book, The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter — And How to Make the Most of Them Now. You can read the rest of the article here.

The quote made me stop and think. I AM WORRIED!!!

I am worried that we aren’t saving enough for retirement. Especially when someone gets out that scary calculator that shows you how much a 21-year-old could save by the time they’re 60, and how much I’ve lost in just 4 short years.

I am worried that I don’t really quite know what I want to do with my life. I got my degree in psychology and I want to go back to school some day, but that’s a 5-7 commitment to go into research, not to mention a lot of money that will hurt the savings I don’t have. (See the point above to freak out again about finances). But I also love what I’m doing in the non-profit industry and have recently thought about a master’s in Non-Profit Management. And if I go back to school, when am I having kids?

Don’t get me started on how I am worried about when I need to have kids! Yes, I am only 25, but Carl is 31, I want three kids, with 2 years apart, so you start doing some math. Genetics aren’t in my favor, adoption can take 2-3 years for one child… But how do you know when you’re ready? And how do I know that I won’t end up with a crazy rebellious teenager just like me?

Should I go back to school, should I work to save, should I just have kids now? Should we never have kids and travel the world?

Of COURSE I am WORRIED! But the wonderful news is, after each spiral panic, I take a breath, say a prayer, and ask God to lead me. That’s it. If Carl and I had a baby now, we would be fine and ecstatic. If I never go back to school, it will be because I am doing something better, not because I missed my window. If we don’t end up with millions in savings that’s because we lived life and gave it away. I also know there will be hard days, and panic days ahead, but I know that I’m following a perfect plan.