What your 20s are for

Recently (all the time) I’ve wondered what my life will be like in 1, 5, or 10 years. When/will I have kids? Who am I going to marry? Where will I have traveled? All the “what ifs” can take your mind some place you’ve never been before and you can’t help but picture all the possible outcomes (hoping it’s nothing less than your Pinterest boards plan it to be). 

You roll right into your twenties out of high school and watch everyone split their separate ways. And it’s quite fascinating how people in there twenties can be at such different places in life.

Some people have already popped out kids or become engaged; some people are in college; some people party every night; some people work 3 jobs; and some people are still riding the gravy train with mom & dad.

And that’s okay. It’s okay that you aren’t in the same place in life as someone else. Everyone hits life’s milestones at his or her own pace.

After finishing my first year in my twenties, I’ve reflected on how much I have changed in a year’s time and where I’m at in life. I’ve gone through heartache, traveled to several foreign countries, fed my adrenaline addiction, made it to senior year of college, and acquired some solid friends.

I’ve already attained a lot through my experiences & encounters and here’s what I’ve learned to be what your 20s are for.

Your 20s are your “me” years. A time for figuring it all out and calling the shots how you see them. In your twenties, you’re discovering who you are. Ya know, it’s scientifically proven that you don’t stop growing until about 25. So, it’s no surprise that you’re bound to change a little during this decade.

Say yes to the date. Say no to the 2nd date. Change your major. Quit your job. Buy the plane ticket. Skip the class. Dance to the song. Leave the party. Stay the night. Break up. But do it because you want to.

It’s okay to be selfish. Do what you want. It’s only during your twenties that you have the time to be greedy since you only have your self to worry about and please. Be selfish or you’ll settle.

If going out with your friends for the 3rd weekend in a row sounds like work, stay in and have a night to yourself. You’re not obligated to always say “yes” to plans. Take control of the life your living and make sure your spending your time how you want. Don’t let time be a regret.

Your 20s are your free years. In the beginning of your twenties, you experience a new kind of freedom. There are no standards such as high school and you don’t have to report to anyone. You are free to decide the direction of your life and go wherever the wind takes you.

Try new things and let loose. You have to go through this phase sooner or later or you’ll always feel like you missed out on something. A lot of people call this the “party phase” and it’s a way to get it all out of your system before you settle down. Otherwise you may have a midlife crisis at 35.

It’s also important to take time for yourself. While being the life of the party is fun, don’t let the party become your life. Mandy Hale once said, “Learn to be alone and like it. There’s nothing more freeing and empowering than learning to like your own company”. And I think that’s very true.

Your 20s are not for the status quo. It’s safe to say you can’t compare your chapter of life to someone else’s. A lot of people get stuck with a certain picture in their head of what their life should be like at this point, and that will ruin your twenties.

Don’t try and “do what you’re suppose to” like everyone else. If you want to take a semester off to travel, do it. There’s no rush to grow up. On the flip side, if you’re passionate about something, pursue it. And not everyone has to be a doctor or businessman. The world would be a boring place without artists and creators.

Your 20s are for livin’ and learnin’. In this decade of your life, you’re old enough to make decisions and young enough to make the wrong ones. Learn from your mistakes. Don’t be afraid of failure. Always aspire to try and learn new things.

Be spontaneous because you can. You have nothing to loose and everywhere to go. Your twenties are the perfect time for last minute trips and taking risks. During this time it’s so easy to just go; nothing can hold you back; fall in love, jump out a plane, test your limits, and live your dreams.

Your 20s are for the girls. (or the guys if you’re a guy reading this) Your foundation of life starts in your twenties with the people you meet, the relationships you build, and the things you experience. The exceptional friends that you meet will stick with you through your twenties and the rest of your life.

They’ll be there for you when your heart is broken, you hit rock bottom, you get the promotion, you become engaged, and every other accomplishment or down fall you go through. Find the people you want to do life with.

And don’t spend your twenties looking for love. Love will find you when you least expect it. You have to be happy as an individual before you can become a part of a healthy relationship. If not, you will constantly be disappointed by putting your happiness in someone else. But, when you find that person, you’ll be with them for the rest of your life; so cherish the single years while you have them.

Wise words for your twenties (and life in general):“Balance is key. In everything you do. Dance all night long and practice yoga the next day. Drink wine but don’t forget your green juice. Eat chocolate when your heart wants it and kale salad when your body needs it. Wear high heels on Saturday and walk barefoot on Sunday. Go shopping at the mall and then sit down and meditate in your bedroom. Live high and low. Move and stay still. Embrace all sides of who you are and live your authentic truth! Be brave and bold and spontaneous and loud and let that complement your abilities to find silence and patience and modesty and peace. Aim for balance. Make your own rules and don’t let anybody tell you how to live according to theirs.”     ―Rachel Brathen

One day you’ll wake up and you won’t be 20something anymore. All you’ll have are the memories to look back on. People change. Time goes on. This decade discovers you but doesn’t define you. Be your best self. Be 20something.

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