If you're in your 20s, know anyone who's in their 20s, have ever been in your 20s or peruse the internet regularly enough, you've probably come across "Fuck! I'm In My 20s," a Tumblr of drawings about confusing relationships, shitty jobs, and other Millennial issues. (Posts range from "Space Allocation Guidelines For My Bed" to lessons on fake friends.)
Until recently, most "Fuck! I'm In My 20s" fans knew little about the blog's author; she was just another aimless, emotional Hannah Horvath type (albeit way more productive). But now, thanks to today's New York Times profile, we know that the 24-year-old behind the blog, Emma Koenig, isn't actually having such a bad year. The paper would like us to believe that Koenig is "typical of her generation: bad jobs, duds for dates and an assist from her parents, whose house she recently moved out of." But in reality, Koenig is living the Girls-generation dream: she has a book coming out at Urban Outfitters, a pending deal to write her own television series, and a boyfriend with whom she lives AND collaborates with on viral videos. (Also of note — her brother is Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig. Small world!) The Times reports:
AT 24, Emma Koenig has amassed all the accouterments of her generation: an expensive college degree; a string of low-paying (and no-paying) jobs, including coat-check girl, cashier at a sandwich shop and intern at a production company, the drudgery of which was punctuated by a series of degrading pseudo-romantic encounters; and the lease on an overpriced, undersize apartment in the East Village stuffed with a rotating cast of Craigslist roommates, which she eventually gave up to move back in with her parents.
And now that those days are gone, she's unsure how to measure success:
"Is it making money?" she asked. "Is it tons of hits and fans? Is it making work I like or surviving for that week?"
It'll be interesting to see whether Koenig stops illustrating 20-something strife now that she doesn't necessarily need to be angsty to "survive." We hope she doesn't, though, because she's one of the few bloggers on the planet able to depict 20-something issues in a accessible but not cliché or cringe-inducing way. Her posts are emotional — at times hysterical, even — but they're also short, sweet, and anonymous; she never yammers on about her personal life, which sets her apart from most Millennial bloggers and makes readers feel okay about relating to her drawings.
Maybe she could teach the New York Times some tips on depicting 20-something life before she gets too famous? Way too much of this profile is spent rehashing the stale trials and tribulations that it's safe to say we all know women Koenig's age face. For example, this "expert" quote adds nothing new to the conversation:
"What's specific to this generation is that these are the most uncertain years they will ever live, and that did not used to be true for that age group," Dr. Jay said. "What's also unique is the new technologies. It's a lot for the 20-something brain to manage all of this information, all of the comparisons in terms of how everybody's life looks on Facebook compared to how their life looks, hanging out on the couch in their sweat pants. ‘Why do I only have 314 friends and so-and-so has 1,500?' It's 2 in the morning, and they are not at their emotional best, and maybe three drinks into a Saturday night looking up their ex-boyfriend."
Blah blah, pour me another glass of whiskey as I cry my way through my Minifeed.
The article closes with this annoyingly cutesy kicker: "What's terrifying her these days, she said, is driving on the freeway." (Koenig recently moved to LA.) But this is what I want to know: is Koenig nervous that her success will inspire jealous backlash à la Lena Dunham? It wouldn't be Koenig's style to draw about her feelings re: driving on the 405. But she did post this recently: "When anything very good happens to me, I can only enjoy it for so long before I think: Countdown to people resenting me: 5! 4! 3! 2! !"
Wash That Blog Out With Soap [Penelope Green]
(Images via Fuck! I'm in my 20s.)