i miss my 20s

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my 20s sucked ass. full ass. yet lately i’ve been finding myself reminiscing. what’s that about ?



Jennette McCurdy

Jennette McCurdy  00:00

I hated my 20s so hard so much. I can’t believe that now at 31 I’m saying you know what I miss my 20s and yet here we are.


Jennette McCurdy  00:36

I hated my 20s Okay. hated those motherfuckers they sucked ass so hard. Like, I just could not believe how bad my 20s were, it felt like I’d get hit by a truck and then I’d like be getting up, just like brushing myself off getting up, and then I’d be hit by another truck. My mom died when I was 21 just like straight out set that decade on fire right off the bat. My beloved dog Fred died. My grandfather died like just profound personal losses on top of I was dropped by my agency once I told them that I was quitting acting, which really just showed how much they believed in me as a as a writer I was trying to become. I also I spent half my 20s drunk off my ass puking 10 times a day in friendships that had expired. It was just shit on shit on shit. All while I’m hearing that it’s supposed to be my best years all I’m hearing Oh God, those are the those are you know, the fun ones, those your best years God what I would give to be in my 20s the things that people say nobody was out here going like, hey, your 20s suck ass, so brace yourself. Nobody was going, hey, you’re going to be so lost and confused only to be more lost and confused six months from now and wonder when it gets better and then surprise it doesn’t. Until 26, then I think that was for me when I started kind of like finding a groove. 25 I started finding groove and then progressively The year started getting better but like, especially that first half of the decade was fucking awful. And then every year after 25 even though things were on an incline, I couldn’t quite see that they were on an incline. Because it felt like a ticking time bomb, I feel like I gotta get this shit figured out before 30 like 30 was the was the red flag finish line for me of like, I had to have my whole life sorted before then or I thought I was a loser. So now that I find myself going, I’m I miss them. I’m also wondering like, is it really my 20s? That what I say really soared? Is it really? Sounds so fucking weird. Is it really the 20s that I missed my 20s? Or is it something? Can I get more specific than that? Is it a quality that I felt like I had in my 20s? Is it a certain experience that I had in my 20s? Is it? Was it a feeling like what is the thing specifically that I missed? Because I knowing the full context of my 20s I know that I’m not missing that or at least I don’t think that I’m missing that. And a part of me was like, Is it is it uncertainty that I miss? Not that there’s any certainty in life ever, sort of the deal. But there was so much uncertainty so much in flux in my 20s, where it just felt like I had no idea where anything was going to land. And at the time, it made me incredibly, fundamentally anxious, but it’s also like did I kind of thrive off of it?


Jennette McCurdy  03:47

Did it kind of fuel me at the same time? Did the thing that made me anxious also have some kind of addictive quality, like I was addicted to the uncertainty. Another thing that I’ve considered it might be that I’m missing is chaos. I was so self destructive, so self destructive. And I’m not that way anymore. And it was by no means fun, I was miserable. Throwing up 10 times a day, you know drinking myself to blackout state like it was all escape. And it was miserable. And I was doing it routinely like like I was taking my vitamins but it was self destruction. But maybe, just maybe I’d like Dr. Seuss whenever I say maybe just maybe it’s not like how they open up the Grinch, maybe just maybe. Anyway, it’s like, was there a part of that chaos that that was kind of just exhilarating. That made me feel alive? I was like killing myself so I know that that’s not true. I know it’s not true. And this is what’s difficult is that I’m trying to I noticed self destruction I know that chaos wasn’t good for me I know that I was miserable. And yet I’m viewing it now with a kind of romanticized like melancholy. A wistful longing, don’t get me wrong, I do not long to make myself throw up again, I do not long to be blackout drunk, but I longed for a certain quality that was there. And so I realized, okay, it’s not the self destruction, I don’t think it’s the chaos. It’s certainly not the anxiety, what is it? And I think it’s this sense of this of like a reckless abandon. throwing caution to the wind, a carefreeness, which actually stemmed from carrying too much so then I’d be addicted to things to try to escape the carrying too much. So now at 31 I’m wondering, is there a way to experience that reckless abandon again without abandoning myself? Is there a way to feel some element of of that charge that aliveness without the destruction? Is there an element of having that invigorating peace without the chaos? Can I have the good and not the bad?


Jennette McCurdy  07:01

I remember my 20s there’s one time I was I was like, drunk, and then I did some molly took some molly. What see, I don’t know how people talk about drugs I don’t know. And I gone to like a carnival thing. I blew somebody I left their house, I fucked somebody else. Yikes, right it was horrifying. I couldn’t decide whether it’s a horrific or horrifying. So I settled on some weird version of both. It was, like awful it was awful. And yet, I’m like God, but she was wild that that girl woof. I’m like looking back on it. And now it would be fucking crazy if me at 31 went and did this shit that I was doing like 21, 22 it’d be outlandish. It’d be scary. So the 31 year old version of it is, is I’m going should I travel? Maybe I’ll travel the world like, maybe I’ll go to Norway, it’s sad, it’s sad, but not because what would really be sad I say sad lovingly and jokingly because of how boring life should be at 31 I feel you very well might completely disagree, but that’s what I how I view it.


Jennette McCurdy  08:31

So it’s like, I don’t know, maybe I will book that plane ticket to Norway. Maybe I will travel to some places. But that’s not reckless abandon, you know, it’s just not and also the things that actually might constitute reckless abandon are like skydiving or rock climbing and those sound awful to me are like a cage shark cage you know listening to music and like dive into the ocean in a cage and sharks can come at you like that in no way shape or form sounds fun to me. Or like the kind of reckless abandon like it doesn’t feel like it’s falling into the same category wouldn’t hit that same spot and now I’m kind of wondering like what would be my 20 something year old selves advice to me now? And yet even as I say this out loud as I asked myself, you know what, what advice would my younger self give to me now to kind of access that reckless abandon? I’m seeking. There’s no response like there’s no fucking answer. Because the truth is, I’m so far removed from that version of myself. She’s gone, she’s like nowhere to be found. It’s it’s it’s a little scary. It’s a little sad, it’s a little muddy. So strange, I was just so desperate to get out of those years.


Jennette McCurdy  10:05

Now here I am trying to trying to tap into or trying to understand one aspect of them and it’s just an aspect to be doubly triply clear, just that one aspect of reckless abandon nothing else. I’ve been thinking to what I what advice I would have given my 20 something year old self as an exercise of like, just as an exercise in not, not over romanticizing those years being realistic about them. And yeah, just kind of viewing them with clarity. And I think I think the advice I would give my 20 something year old self is to, or absolutely, it’d be like kick that fog and bulimia as soon as you can kick the alcohol issues as soon as you can. And honestly, I’d probably say don’t, don’t enter into relationships too quickly. Have as much sex as you want, with as many people as you want honestly, like, get it girl, you know, I would tell myself to not be so fucking stressed out all the time. To not be so anxious, like, everything’s gonna be fine. I just put so much pressure on myself. And just, I mean, always, and I just I wish I could have like lightened that load, lighten that burden off of myself. I would have told myself to spend more time with my grandpa. I miss him a lot. And wish I’d seen him more in in his last couple years. There were also months where I had financial anxiety so bad that I would just, I would like eat ramen every night for dinner for a month because I’d go okay, if it’s a 33 cent ramen packet, then I’m only spending $10 a month on my dinners like crazy level of budgeting and financial anxiety I’d tell myself, you look at ramen when you want it because I know you like it, but you don’t need to you don’t need to eat it every night. And I’d also tell her to ditch those fucking hair extensions. I got hair extensions that were they were so bad. You could completely see where my hair ended and the extensions began. I did not have the patience to style those things so it just looked it looked so tacky and I just would absolutely wish I had never done them, that’s all for now, bye.


Jennette McCurdy  12:43

If you want more Hard Feelings, you’re in luck, you’ve got options. On Apple podcasts. There’s bonus content for subscribers with Lemonada premium you can hear me answer exclusive questions from listeners. on Spotify. You can talk to each other by leaving comments on each episode and on Amazon music you can listen ad free with a subscription to Amazon Prime. I’m Jeanette McCurdy, the creator, executive producer and host of Hard Feelings. It’s produced by Lemonada Media in coordination with Happy Rage productions. Our production team is Kegan Zema, Aria Bracci and Brian Castillo music is by Hannis Brown. Steve Nelson is Lemonada’s Vice President of weekly content. Rachel Neil is Lemonada’s Senior Director of new content. Stephanie Wittels Wachs, Jessica Cordova Kramer and me. Listen ad free on Amazon music with your Prime membership.

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