The 1920’s was a transitional decade for America. The economy was booming, jazz music was born, the Prohibition came around along with Art Deco, and need I mention Coco Chanel? If the new cinematic interpretation of The Great Gatsby has taught us anything – other than the fact that Leonardo DiCaprio is, was, and always will be Jay Gatsby – it’s that the 20’s was an age of extravagance, pandemonium, and metamorphosis.
I have a longstanding fascination with this decade. In 8th grade I was a flapper for Halloween. I was also a flapper for Halloween my freshman year of college, and yes, I wore the same costume on both occasions. For my 21st birthday earlier this year, I threw a murder mystery 1920’s themed party called Murder at the Juice Joint for which I created a playlist on Spotify of 1920’s jazz music and also attempted to learn the Charleston. No such luck.
Recently, I’ve come across many articles dealing with the “top things to do in your 20’s.” And as a twenty-something, these have got me thinking that there is more hype to this time in a person’s life than she might have previously guessed. I thought thirty was the new twenty anyway? According to the likes of Elite Daily and Thought Catalog, a person’s twenties are (or at least, should be) an interim period of self-development during which one learns how to dress, keep quality friends, take care of one’s body, and ultimately support oneself. To a college student about to enter her senior year, that last one sounds pretty scary. But I guess not having a clue what to do after college is half the fun…
I’ll get back to you on that once I have a job. But for now, I’m wondering if there isn’t a correlation between the 1920’s and a person’s twenties. Are both representative of a decade of evolution and maturation? Are both of these bound to unravel in the mind of a twenty-something?
When I think of what matters most to me right now, I think: family, friends, close friends, doing well in school, doing as many fun things during the weekends as I can, reading, writing, staying in shape, and eating well. When I think of what should matter to me a few years down the road, I think: paying bills, being well-established in a job, cooking really good meals, and dressing professionally (bye to my Doc Martens…) But what about the rebelliousness, the insurgence of the 20’s as a decade? Should this recklessness carry throughout my twenties?
I’m inclined to say it’s got something to do with balance. I think this decade, more than any other, is the chance for twenty-somethings to be as selfish as possible with respect to doing things one loves to do, being selective about who one spends her time with, and experiencing the exciting and unfamiliar. As told by Elite Daily and Thought Catalog, a person’s twenties are a time for chasing dreams and not settling. So, maybe recklessness isn’t the right word.
I’m going to call it trying. And as a twenty-something on the verge of getting an undergraduate degree, possibly considering graduate school, and majoring in Philosophy and French yet interning in the marketing department of an IT company, I’m just trying. To make it.
image from: http://valeriegolightly.buzznet.com/photos/generalinspirations/?id=68015182