“Life got hard.”

For nearly four years, this is what I told myself was the reason I stopped writing. It wasn’t.

Way back in 2011 on some random weekday in March (literally thirteen years ago. THIRTEEN), I created Forever Twenty Somethings. I had graduated from college eight months prior to this and was annoyed that I had not yet sold a pilot to a television network or taken over the world. Because I was 22, I couldn’t comprehend that my entire life was ahead of me. Instead, I was convinced that if I didn’t do something NOW, I would do something NEVER. So because I had no money to do something bold and insane, like move to Los Angeles on whim or go to space, I did the next best thing: I started a blog.

Although the blog never became my full-time job, in the span of a couple years, it took off enough for it to take over a large part of my life. The website quickly became a fully functioning online magazine with nearly 100 contributors located all over the world and millions of pageviews.

For a long time, I spent nearly all of my time before work, after work, and on the weekends running this website. I had volunteer editors helping, as well as interns, but the work seemed never ending. On top of the website, I was also working on a book that I was trying to figure out how to get published.

Introducing: Burnout

By the time I sold my book, I was about to turn 30. Because I was aging out of the Forever Twenty Somethings demographic and I was spending all of my time on book stuff, I wasn’t paying as much attention to my website anymore. The seemingly endless amount of time I had to work on it in my early and mid 20s was gone. I tried to revive the site numerous times. I made promises that I was “officially back” every time I published a new post, but then I would disappear again.

My book was published in January 2020, and I vowed to promote the shit out of it. As part of my promotion strategy, I decided to leave my 20-something persona behind and go all in on “average.” I changed my website’s Instagram handle from @20somethingproblems to @averagepeopleproblems and said I was going to launch averagepeopleproblems.com along with it. But, like many of the other things I’ve said I was going to do over the years, I didn’t.

Less than two months after my book was released, Covid happened. For most, Covid was front and center during this time, but for me it was just white noise. Not long after the pandemic started, I had my right ovary and fallopian tube removed due to a super rare disorder that had been making me sick (so random!), and I had to do rushed “fertility preservation” AKA IVF to freeze embryos in case my remaining ovary had to be removed as well (life hits you fast lol). And then someone close to me got sick, and I had to care for them. And, of course, I was working full-time, too.

It was around this time that I stopped checking Forever Twenty Somethings and missed that a virus was redirecting all the pages on the website to a Viagra website!!!

When things finally got less chaotic, I was tired—and when I discovered the virus, I didn’t have the mental capacity or energy to fix it. Prior to Covid, I feel like I hustled for 25 hours a day (yes, I know that math doesn’t math). I didn’t have the energy to go back to how I was before.

I wondered how I found the time, never mind the energy, to run my website back in the day. Did I sleep? Did I relax? Did I enjoy it? I never sat around doing absolutely nothing in my 20s like my peers often did on Saturdays and Sundays, so after I got my first taste of a hangover-free lazy Sunday in my 30s, I found that I actually enjoyed it. I also barely slept in my 20s, and while it’s true that I wrote some of my most viral and favorite articles between midnight and 3am on weeknights, I didn’t want to write and work during that time anymore (at least not on a regular basis). I wanted to sleep. And after becoming a parent, I really wanted to sleep. There’s not a single bone in my body that would go back to the insane schedule I stuck to in my 20s.

The Aftermath of Burnout

Lately I’ve really struggled to determine what this says about me. Have I given up? Did I lose my ambition? Am I just not cut out for writing or “content creation” in general anymore? Or am I just a normal fucking person who realized that spending an obscene amount of time working on something indefinitely 25/7 is not okay for one’s mental health?

For years, burnout hit me so hard, I was basically mentally paralyzed. Sometimes I still feel like I am, but I’ve been slowly digging out of it, at least I think. Sometimes I wonder if I overdid it so much for 10 years that I will never come back from it. But I know that writing makes me happy, and I miss running a website! So why haven’t I just done those things to the best of my ability over the past couple years?

I guess part of it has been not knowing what the fuck I should write about anymore because I feel as though all I do is work and go to Starbucks.

But, in all honesty, my biggest problem has been not being able to accept good enough, which is funny considering the fact I literally wrote a book on why good enough is GOOD ENOUGH. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had failed at so much, and that plus the exhaustion from life knocked me out.

For a long time, I felt like if I couldn’t run a website like I used to, that meant I couldn’t run a website at all. But eventually I realized fuck that. If 22-year-old me had this mindset, I would have never started a blog in the first place. I mean, I wanted to do SO much more than run a little URL on the Internet back then. I had dreams! Not SEO knowledge! I love that I worked my ass off in my 20s on my little (or maybe medium sized?) “side gig.” I don’t have the time to do as much as I used to do on the “side” now and that’s okay. I can—and will—do as much as I can, instead, though. And that’s why I’m launching this website.

Meet Forever Millennials: An evolution of Forever Twenty Somethings.

A website for any millennial (or for anyone really!!) who is nostalgic for Teeny Beanie Babies, Furbies, and The Spice Girls and is a pro at canceling plans while also complaining that they have no friends anymore. A website for any millennial who feels personally victimized by the 11 year olds shopping at Sephora for retinol. A website for any millennial who has ever felt behind and like they’re not where they’re supposed to be in life right now because… this is actually where you’re supposed to be, bitches!!!!!! Wasting away on a blog like it’s twenty fucking eleven. LET’S DO THIS. But also let’s sleep this time?

Author

Hi! I'm a 30-something mom who is part of the SPICE GIRLS GENERATION aka an older millennial. This is my new website Forever Millennials! I’m the author of Average is the New Awesome: A Manifesto for the Rest of Us, a humorous self-help book that was published in 2020 by Seal Press/Hachette, and the person behind the Instagram account @averagepeopleproblems. Before launching this site, I ran the website Forever Twenty Somethings for many years. My work can be seen on Parents, USA TODAY, Women’s Health, HuffPost, Cosmopolitan, Reviewed, Seventeen, Good Housekeeping, and more. I live in a suburb outside Boston, MA with my husband, toddler, and 300 pounds of clothes I have been saying I need to post to Poshmark for the past 3 years.

Write A Comment