Why being lost at 25 is completely okay

3 years ago, I was 25 and was on my 5th year of traveling the world. Yeah, I was in another place all the time, hopping from one continent to another but I wasn’t completely convinced that I was okay with it.

Everyone thought I already found my way but I didn’t. Although I was away from the usual drama from home, I still had a lot of questions about life that travel couldn’t answer.

Don’t get me wrong — I wasn’t depressed while on the road. It was just too overwhelming that I got to do that in my 20’s. Somehow, something is still not right.

I don’t know why 25 is always important when it comes to life but I learned from my life coach (yes, I am seeing a life coach and you should, too) told me that 25 is the last year of being a child.

Adult age starts at 26 so if your age is below it, you are just like everyone who are struggling thinking they are already old.

I would be a b*tch if I compare my life to the other 25-year olds out there because mine (and everything of ours) is completely distinct.

But for a long time, I received messages from readers and my friends who always told me: “I am jealous of your life. You are completely free and happy.”

But they weren’t right. At 24, I thought I survived a horrible break up — the one that tore my heart into 30,000 pieces but I wasn’t over it until I was 25.

Which led me to lose my faith not just in love, but everything. Although I was completely okay with what and who I am, there are some things from my past that lack closure — that I did not confront because I thought I was living the life I imagined. It was like a selective amnesia.

I struggled just like other 25-year olds who weren’t sure of who they are.

Kids who think they are cool and do drugs; students who transferred from one University to another at the same time shifted 3-4 courses because they couldn’t figure out what they wanted in life; youngsters who have this imagination in their head about the ‘better’ version of themselves.

Versions of themselves that they keep announcing to the world just because it sounds true when you say it out loud.

And when you are saying out loud, it becomes a habit that it turns into something you think that is true.

I was a part of that gang but my struggles were different — it was about having faith.

For a long time, I refused to say yes to every man who will ask me to go out or share a beer. In Peru, I worked in a bar and interacted with a lof of backpackers from all over the world: either wanting to get laid or just wants to show the world they can easily pick up any woman they like.

Every night, someone will approach me and start a flirty conversation that I didn’t buy. I got so pissed I went to the shopping mall one day and bought a deterrent ring. Yes, a fake ring that screamed “I am married.” 

Nice boys came and go. Nice boys that I misjudged of wanting to get in my pants. Nice men who I refer to as ‘boys’ because I believe it semantically takes power away from them.

I always found a reason to not talk to almost 50% of them because I already knew how to read a boy. But I have balance: I also have the gift of knowing the best friend boy type.

I have a handful of them, too. Best friend boys who always ask you to pick up a woman for them. Kind of a wingwoman. I was that woman.

The day came that I hurt someone and that someone was my best friend who I always loved no matter what. I moved in with him in Brasil which was a really bad idea in the first place. 

Was I out of my mind? I was traveling and I know I will get tired of Brasil sooner or later. Why did I engage myself in that kind of situation?

It started fine. Everything was fine. I was kind of a tomboy and his friends really liked that I can easily make friends with boys but can also ignore you if you are being a d*ck.

It was hard for me to ignore that but I learned how to actually live with a boy (again) and just not care about anything. It was challenging.

All I cared about was winning against a boy and then I had to repress that feeling. Then the boyfriend got used to it: he became the macho that he is.

One day, I woke up wild, I got tired of it and exploded: packed my bags, didn’t say anything and left.

I was still not over my previous break up no matter how much I convinced myself that I was. There was no freaking way I wanted to get back with him.

I just had abandonment issues from him that I thought every boy would do the same. My faith in love and relationships was eternal sunshined away.

For the second time in years, I prayed to God: First, I am sorry if I am only calling whenever I am in need. Second, please help me. I feel alone and confused. Amen. 

I went to trek to Machu Picchu. I walked for 4 days to clear my head, step back and think. In reality, my group could’ve done it for 3 days but there was an old couple who were with us so you know what happened.

I was close to the old couple because I was curious why the heck would they walk for days when they can just sit on their couch and sew sweaters for their grandchildren? Nope.

They’re not the old couple that you think who worked to save money for as long as they could then travel the world. They were in their 70’s and just started dating each other. They just met and they wanted to do some crazy stuff before getting married!

From then on, my faith in love and God came back. Even just a little. I realised I should not be worried about being 25 because life resets every day.

It happens and there is nothing that we can do but ride with it. We will experience different chapters in life and who knows: maybe at 40 I decide to be a lesbian?

Maybe at 30, I want to be pregnant? Maybe at 52, I will still be traveling the world? Maybe at 60, I will go back to school? Or maybe at 72, I will attend my 4th wedding? I was 25 and lost and I realised that it was okay. The old couple made me feel it was just fine.

No matter what age we are in, we will always experience difficulties in life because it’s made like that. But remember, there will be glory days, too.

Now, I am almost 28, back home from traveling and still don’t know where I am going. But I know it’s not going to be boring! (All hail David Bowie!)

Whenever people ask, “where are you going next?” I will always counter attack with “let’s talk about you” and they liked it.

At one point, I became the person they are comfortable with because they have knowledge that I am just embracing life and now okay with who I am.

Some friends my age have kids now. But they never attacked me with “When will you have kids? We’re getting old.”  They already know how I understand and see life.

We may have aged physically but if you embrace life, your soul will always be young.

I leave you with the “life is short” sermon: So don’t waste it. Do what you want. Be a child for a day. Be a person full of love. Live like every day is the first day of your life.

Choose your battles. Enjoy silence. Learn how to keep quiet. Accept defeat. Learn to forgive. Have a little faith. Even just a little. And I promise you, we will all come out alive.

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  1. I enjoyed reading this. Yeah true life is short and do whatever you want to do. When I was your age I was having the time of my life but now I am happy with my twins. As I look back I still think I’ll do a lot but having kids opened a lot of possibilities for me and makes me see other traits that I didn’t discovered yet.

  2. Trisha. I dont know if you remember me, but I was in Bali with you and you inspired me with your enthusiasm about life. I didnt know who you were then. I chance upon this , read it and cried. yes. I cried.
    I am 25years old this year and you have no idea how lost and alone i feel.
    Reading this made me realize that I am not alone. And it gives me hope. Like you, I enjoy travelling alot. I went on my first solo trip to Spain, met amazing people. Did things I never though I would do.
    Thank you for this little inspiration. Hope we cross road one day
    take care.

  3. Such a great article! We decided to travel with our kids so we didn’t waste our lives working away and not really enjoying their childhood.

  4. At 25, I had just started working and got married. At 35, I had 3 kids, was divorced, and was President of a consortium. At 50, I migrated to America, married my second husband, and became a university professor. At 60, I retired, married my third husband, and wrote a book about our travels! Life resets as many times as you want it to!

  5. Inspirational read. Being lost is kind of fine, especially at 25. There’s so much road ahead, but, yes, life is short and we must take advantage of it!

  6. At 29 at the very most I know where I am trying to go next, but there is definitely not a grand plan. I definitely agree that there way a big difference between being 25 and 26.

  7. Wow my life has been so different from yours! By 25 I was definitely an adult. I was married and had a child, and I couldn’t have been happier. Now that my four children are grown and I have five grandchildren, I am traveling a lot! To each their own!

  8. That is a really beautiful post, raw and honest, and I thank you for sharing your story with us. I have daughters close to your age and I tried to tell them from a young age that you will have your heart broken several times before the right one comes along to safeguard it. Those are the things that make us who we are and the best advice I ever had in life was truly that the good memories go along with the bad but we are free to choose which ones we dispel and the ones we hold dear to our hearts. I wish you all the luck in living life to its fullest with no answers, no plan or agenda, just enjoying whatever comes your way and coming out of it with a smile on your face.

  9. I can relate to this, at 25, I had to start over ( in many ways) but traveling healed my heart. Many years later, here I am, hearing all my friends being established and as for me, unsure where I am headed, but am I happy? Yes, I am.

  10. Yes, yes and yes. I am older but feel like I’ve been lost several times. I feel grateful to have had reminders and reality checks to force me to focus on the present moment and living in a way that helps me be my true self. (And yay for seeing a life coach! I’m actually in training right now to get my certification and love it!)

  11. Hmmm! Maybe it is different for men. I can’t recall going through much or all of what you described, but life is indeed a continuous lesson and like you said, every day is a new opportunity. You get a new canvas which you can create a work of art on or … well … just throw the bucket of paint on it, and that is OK as well. Eventually, we do get there.

  12. This is such a great post! Obviously, you know I went through a similar, age-related issue just last month but what you don’t know is that I had one at 25 too. A lot of what you said resonates with me because I felt the same way back then. You seem to have your head on straight and be very aware of yourself so I agree, being lost at 25 is completely okay. You have years ahead of you to “figure things out” but I can tell you from experience, having it all figured out is completely overrated!

  13. Life resets so many times during a lifetime. I’ve had so many resets, I’m not sure I can remember it all. It all started when I immigrated to NYC from the Philippines and from there; there’s been numerous changes, that’s life. Like you, my faith in God gets stronger at every fork in the road. Great post!

  14. Hi Trisha, I don’t know how I found this post but it doesn’t matter because this article touches me so much that I’m so proud of you that you have become who you are now. I don’t know you personally but reading this just inspires me(again).

    As I’m turning 25 this year soon and I have so many doubts in my life and seeing everyone is going into their path doing what everyone should do makes me feel that I’m awkward. I am always lost for all of my life and never get anything “right” but that is how it makes me who I am today.

    You’ve grown out of the broken relationship and dealing with it better and better. I’m so happy for you, I really do hope I can meet you one day!

  15. I loved this article, and especially love the way you ended it! You “life is short sermon” is full of wise advice! Keep loving life and enjoying what it has in store for you. 🙂

  16. Inspiring! Life is short, very short. It’s also what you make it. So give it your all and make the best of it! There’s always an adventure that needs to be done somewhere out there!

  17. I can totally truly relate… I’ll be 25 in almost a month from now and yes I am struggling, not because I think I am that old (age wise) but because of the notion that “I am 25 and yet it feels like I am still “nothing” yet” that I am being left behind :(..and with this post I felt like some invisible burden years ago lifted off and felt that I am not alone. This article really touched me to the deepest of my core and with that I wanna say Thank you for sharing such an inspiring piece.

  18. I just turned twenty six and I always feel and think that I’m going to die at the age of twenty seven (in less than a year-weew). I enjoyed reading your article and I feel more inspired to live life to its fullest. Thank you for sharing your stories.

  19. I rarely leave comments to articles I read. But I think this should be an obligatory comment to tell you that this made me cry. It was like a big stone was thrown at me and reality starts to creep in. I’m 25 and experiencing quarter-life crisis. I resigned from a very stable job and still not sure what to do with my life after my last day at work next week. But this article made me realize that I am not alone in being confused about where I want to be in and what I want to be. Thanks for sharing.

  20. I love this! It’s so timely for me to read this article now because I’m turning 25 this year. Sometimes I get worried about my future because I’m still far away from achieving my goals and sometimes I get lost and confused as to what I really want to do in life. It’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one who feels this way. Thanks for sharing and inspiring! 🙂

  21. Whenever I feel sad (or sadder), this will be my new best friend. I am hoping to see you these days at a nearby Starbucks shop in Cebu and personally hear the coach in live action. This post is too lovely and your life experiences should be written in an inspirational cover for the world to see. The love that you’ve had was a blessing in disguise.

  22. Hi trish! Been reading your older posts again and again. I got curious about “life coach” where do I find one in my city? I mean, how do I look for this “life coach”? I am also “lost” right now. Somehow, I’m not sure if my current life makes me happy or not. Last year was such a whirlwind of events, so much drama. I could really use a life coach. Problem is, idk where to look or how to look for one.

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