How to be depressed in your 20s

There are countless articles/ blogs/ books/ songs/ movies and memes about how you really become an “adult” in your 20s. There are also countless movies/blogs/books and songs about how you are the happiest in your 20s. And you have good reason to be: you move out of your family, taste true freedom for the first time; get a job, spend money on useless shit your parents would never allow you to; and you are in prime of physical health, you can actually party all night.

Even the god of all MBA aspirants, Scott Galloway, thinks you are your happiest in twenties.

shamelessly copied from No Mercy / No Malice: Happiness & the Gorilla

But, what if you don’t want to spend your 20s being happy? what if you want to be depressed?

Of course, there are shit ton of things to be depressed about: war, famine, political unrest, climate change etc. But these topics are not really close to your heart and wont keep you depressed for long. Even if you resonate with one of these problems, you might decide to act on it, thus risk finding satisfaction and happiness.

Worry not my friend, I have found a way, a frame of thinking if you will, that is so personal yet so ubiquitous that it ought to keep you depressed for long.

Twenties is not a decade of party, shopping and fun, but it is a decade of disappointments and sad realizations. But I am getting a bit ahead of myself here.

Let me ask you a few questions:

  • What did you want to be when you were younger?
  • What Car did you want to buy as a kid?
  • What all places you wanted to visit when you were a 10 year old?

For me,

  • I First wanted to become a Pilot, then a Astronaut and then a “Space Scientist”
  • I wanted to buy “that car from fast and furious”, then Lamborghini Murcielago and then “that car from mission impossible”
  • I wanted to spend few years exploring jungles of Amazon, visit south pole and Visit all the car factories in Europe.

I still think my goals were a bit moderate. All my friends wanted to become cricketers, actors and models. Some wanted to win “Kaun Banega Carorepati”, others wanted to be on Roadies, and there were some who wanted to be WWE heavy weight champions.

Of course, most of us never act on these ambitions, I and my friends promptly gave engineering entrance exams after school like all good sheep does. And then for some time you kinda forget all your childhood dreams and ambitions. You get set in a routine, go on to live your life a day at a time, enjoying, partying and shopping.

But then one fine day, it hits you. When you see the newest player to join the Indian National team is younger than you or when you find that your favorite actor was born the same year as you or when latest break through in technology is coming from scientist younger than you. You realize that you are never going to make the team, or act in a movie or make any scientific contribution. Of course, you kinds knew that you will not make the cricket team after all you are been studying for engineering for last 4 years, but this was your childhood dream. You wanted to become a cricketer when you were an 8 year old kid and now you know for certain that you’ll never be. As you are writing the MBA entrance exam you realist that you will never be a space scientist and send rockets to the moon and beyond. You will most probably do a 9 to 5 job for few decades and then die.

So yeah. Good reason to be depressed in your twenties.


An afterthought:

A common trope in movies and TV shows about celebrities is that they never grow up. May be, they never grow up because they actually achieve their dreams. They go on to become rich and famous. Probably they never realize what it is like to live knowing you will probably never live the life you dreamt of as a kid.

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