The Twentysomething Nursery Rhyme



There was a young twentysomething who lived in a shoe.

She had so much debt she didn’t know what to do.

She interned and hustled, without any luck.

Now she wakes up depressed, working part-time at Starbucks.


Andrea Joseph’s Illustrations – Creative Commons


“My 20’s were not supposed to be like this,” she cried out in bed.

“I was Honors! I was tops! I was going to be a speaker on Ted!”


Lying there that night, hope was dwindling fast.

Her life of success, seemingly a dream from the past.

When all of a sudden from the window came a rattle.

Then a famp, KERPLAMP!

And then a zattle.


“Holy shiznit!” she gasped, as little did she expect

That rat-tat-tatting on the window was Mr. Jeopardy himself, Alex Trebeck!


“Yes it is I, here in your room.

I was summoned from sleep as I sensed such despair, such gloom.”


“Yes, Mr. Trebeck, help! Nothing makes sense in my life.

I thought by this age I’d be successful! Established! Heck, maybe even a wife.

But my 20’s have turned out nothing as planned.

I feel stuck. Without answers. A lost girl in this land.”


“Oh my dear, you see, they forgot to teach you this in school.

But don’t worry. We all go through it. Don’t feel like a fool.

As I always say, you need to find the right questions before you get to the answer.

Because life. Sometimes. Makes as much sense as the lyrics to “Hold me closer tiny dancer


To be found, you must first become lost.

To make a big difference, you must pay a ridiculous cost.

Your 20’s aren’t as simple as receiving an A on a test.

You have to come up with the right questions, and then you live out the rest.

You must ask, “who do I want to be?”

It might seem a silly question, but it’s answer will affect your life most profoundly.

Because most people don’t ask. They just do. And then never get un-done.

They work. And worry. They have little fun.


But life is so fleeting like the petals on a rose.

It is so beautiful, and then poof, there it goes.

So I know things look bleak as you live in this shoe.

But I swear, very soon, you’ll know exactly what to do.


You’ll find your way through the wrong-turns and thorns.

You’ve got too much going to not grab life by the horns.

Just give yourself time. Rome, nor Google, were built in a day.

It takes hours of hard climbing and searching, but you’ll find the way.


Just don’t give up hope. That’s what overcomers do best.

No matter their failures, they rise above the rest.

Because the key is perseverance. It’s not sexy, but it’s true.

And I swear, very soon, you’ll know exactly what to do.”


  1. Dave

    I can’t even express how much I love this!

    • admin

      Thanks Dave once again my friend. This was a fun one to write 🙂

  2. Christy

    This totally reminds me of Dr. Seuss’ “oh the places you’ll go”, except timely re-written in the tune that a late 20-something can hear through all the stresses of life.

    • admin

      Thanks Christy! Yep, definitely been reading a lot of Seuss lately. Joys of having kids — being re-introduced to old friends.

  3. K

    Thank you for this and your blog. It makes me feel more sane and less alone when I read it.

    • admin

      Thanks K! So glad to hear that

  4. Matt

    Holy Shiznit! Best twenty-something nursery rhyme I’ve ever read. I sent it to everyone I know.

    • admin

      Ha! Thanks Matt. You’re awesome.

      I’m guessing this is the only twentysomething nursery rhyme you’ve read, but still, I’ll take it 🙂

  5. Sarah

    Love it! I have no idea what I’m doing in life 3 years out of college but its good to know I’m not alone!

  6. Kelsea

    This was brilliant! Loved it. Definitely made me smile and I’m glad to know I’m not the only one out there with these questions.

    • admin

      Thanks Kelsea!

  7. Megan

    I really enjoyed this. I come back to it from time to time, and it reminds me that I’ve only begun. That part of the joy of the destination is the journey. That makes it a little less frightening.

    • admin

      Thanks Megan. “the joy of the destination is the journey.” Definitely!

  8. Lily

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, and a thousand times beautiful. Thanks Paul, you do know your thing. This is exactly how I feel at this exact period of my life, as I’m approaching the 1st quarter of life on Nov 1st!

    • admin

      Awesome Lily! Happy birthday. Thanks for the kind words.


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