The Roaring Twenties is a time in history, and a decade in the lives of most people that are famous for reinvention. In 1926, the world welcomed Miss Norma Jeane Baker. She was a simple girl who lived a stereotypical existence. Tired of her life, she decided to make a change that would go down in history. Around the time of her 20th birthday, she decided to reinvent herself into the woman we know as Marilyn Monroe.
Psychologists call it a quarter life crises, while others say it is the awakening on the path to finding yourself. For Ms. Monroe, as well as Ms. Hughes, often the woman found at age 30 is a total stranger to the innocent girl the world knew at 20.
Why do we decide to let go and change? Is the quarter life crisis much like the midlife crisis where we just tire of the person we are and life we have been living? Twenty-somethings may not be out buying sports cars or taking on inappropriately-aged lovers (not most of us as least) but they are making huge life decisions and changes.
The quarter life crisis generally happens after people go out and get a taste of adulthood. Soon enough, they lose their innocence about the way the world is supposed to be as previously told by Hollywood and high school guidance counselors. A person begins to doubt the decisions they have been making up until this point and start to feel empty in their present day-to-day lives. For Norma Jeane, she decided the simple life wasn’t for her. She dyed her brunette hair platinum blonde and decided to become Marilyn. For me, I left a long term relationship, quit a dead-end job, found my voice and went on a two-year bender of questionable decisions and unforgettable life experiences.
I decided to live my life by my own rules. I burned a lot of bridges along the way. I let go of many toxic relationships and made a few toxic choices of my own. Do I regret it? Not one bit. It was an awakening. I learned a lot about myself, who I was, who I wanted to become and how to get there. I got tired of waking up every day and feeling like my life was stuck. I would constantly think to myself that life wasn’t supposed to be like this. One day I just Monroe’d up and did something about it.
I was no longer a Norma Jeane. I got tired of being jealous of the decisions people around me were making while I was trapped in a cycle of monotony. I had to start my own path and bring myself to life. Do I wish I made more money? Sure. Do I wish I could buy the biggest house and drive the fastest car and see the seven wonders? Absolutely. Can I look at my life, as is, and be content? Without a doubt.
I now have clarity. I have stability. I have me. I faced my 20s head on and have lived to tell the tale. Maybe being Melissa Hughes isn’t as glamorous as being Marilyn Monroe, but like her, I found a voice and a purpose.
I found me and I love her.
Girl Talk began in 2012 as a telltale horror story of the city’s most epic dating disasters and has evolved into a column about love, life experiences and growing up. Melissa also has a weekly Girl Talk TV segment on PA Live, WBRE, and a radio segment every Wednesday on 98.5 KRZ.