I turn 27 next month. Recently I went to a psychic because my personality was changing, my mindset was changing, my outlook on life was different. I had never experienced this drastic inner change and wondered what was going on so I wanted answers and figured “What do I have to lose?” so inside the shop I went. Now, whether you’re a believer in psychics or not, I’ll tell you one thing: she was spot on. She knew and said every single example of what my life had been like the last few months (along with other shocking truths) and she described these changes I was experiences as: Growing. I was growing into a new stage, new person and preparing for the next stage of life.
This got me thinking and reflecting about my 20’s. I’ve learned so much compared to when I first turned 18. Despite all the lessons I’ve learned,even up till last year I thought I know it all. But, clearly I was wrong. I can tell I am growing; I choose my time wiser, I have a different view about topics and life in general and I found time for my hobbies and self-care
Your 20’s are all about transitioning into adulthood. Although I can summarize my experience to: Partying weekend after weekend, making fun memories, making friends and losing friends, changing jobs and struggling to finish college, moving from house to house, traveling as a way to take a break from the stresses of life, watching my bank account fluctuate and pretending things were fine during the hard times. Life is always going to be full of ups and downs, for everyone. The 20’s are especially hard though because we are just setting foot into this big world full of all differents opportunities and all types of people. It’s also hard because during those hard times like breakups, fights with friends and family, mental issued that were passed down genetically and appear in your 20’s… you can feel so alone.
So because I’m in a vulnerable state and I want to share my story in hopes that other 20-something year olds realize they aren’t alone– I’m going to share some of the real lessons I’ve learned during my 20’s:
- DON’T TAKE THINGS PERSONALLY You were made the way you were and flaws included; it doesn’t serve you any good to take to heart pointless opinions.Sometimes we might misconstrue the derogatory comments made towards us; maybe they were just having a bad day or maybe they’re going through personal issues and taking it out on you.. Sometimes people are jealous so they’ll say something in hopes to bring you down. Whatever the reason and whatever they said, don’t give people power over your emotions or over you. YOU have the power to decide if those personal comments will have power over you.
- DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP: Nobody can go through life alone. Humans were made for connection. Going to therapy in your 20’s is the most powerful thing you can do. I use to blame a broken household for my personal vices and faults. The truth was it was both of these that caused me to be who I was. Therapy at 20 might seem embarrassing, but for me, it helped me identify my personal flaws and get me off the self destructive path I was on. Therapy is a great way to reflect on your past in a healthy way and push yourself to be the best version of you.
- BE VULNERABLE. vulnerability is the birthplace of courage. I spent a big chunk of my 20s, pretending that I knew it all, that I was doing amazing, but I was suffering in silence. As I began opening up over the past couple of years, I have attracted wonderful friends, grown tremendously, and was able to connect really deeply with the people in my life. Being vulnerable takes courage and eventually will lead you to be comfortable in your own skin.
- IT’S OKAY TO SAY… “NO”. If you don’t feel like going out with the ‘cool crowd’ or to a party or anywhere you simply don’t want to go; you have every right to say NO and you don’t need to give an excuse. You don’t need to feel guilty. You deserve to spend your time how you want to and setting boundaries is the first step to living a life on your terms. Your time is precious and you should decide carefully how you spend it; especially because no day is promised.
- COMPARING YOUR LIFE TO SOCIAL MEDIA LEADS TO DISASTER: No, seriously. Comparison is a recipe for disasters and bad decisions. Today people overload their opinions, stories about their day and pictures of their great husband/kid/house decor/etc.etc.etc. Social Media can be used as a great way to stay in touch from friends and family who live far. However, usually social media is the new age “popularity contest”. You can buy followers, people can sit behind a blank screen and write hateful stuff to people. What purpose does this serve us? Without being rude, who really has the time to follow and remember every detail of the 579 friends you have posting their foods, kids, vacations, decor, etc…? The bigger problem is the research that has come out that proves social media has a negative effect on people’s self esteem. It subconsciouslly takes up so much of our time that we start to doubt the lives we live because we spent time viewing every detail (or better yet, the greater parts of social media friends) lives. I learned this advice last year and it changed my outlook forever. Don’t ever let social media make you feel less than. I started limiting the time on social media to an hour (if that) and I hardly post on social media anymore. This helps me live more in the present, spend more time with my family, read more and do things I enjoy.
- DON’T WAIT FOR HAPPINESS, FIGHT FOR IT: I had it all wrong. “If I had a big house, I’ll be happy”, “When I move, I’ll be happy”, “When I land straight A’s, I’ll be happy”. Happiness brings you success, it makes you more productive and it is the foundation for everything in your life. In this way, I have chosen to make happiness my life’s starting line. You deserve true happiness. It doesn’t always come easy, you have to fight for it. It’ll be the best fight you ever had to pursue in your life though
7.IF YOU DON’T PRIORITIZE YOUR LIFE, SOMEONE ELSE WILL: I finally learned this after living a chaotic life that felt meaninles at times.For me I choose about living purposefully. It’s about living with direction and priorities instead of letting life happen to me.What drives you? Why are you here? What drives your actions and decisions? Don’t chase a job just for the money; you spend over 40+ hours a week there. You should enjoy what you do. Don’t make so many obligations for others that you forget to take care of yourself. I learned these lessons first hand. I had to start prioritizing my life or before I knew it, I’d be living a life that I had none of my aspirations and dreams in it.
8.WILL YOU REGRET THIS? I’m not talking about the nights out with our friends where we barely remember the mornings. That is part of living our twenties. Do you remember that saying, “Parents know best”. Well, sometimes their is some major truth to that. I’m all about living in the present, but I do regret neglecting to think before making decisions about my future. For example, my Credit Score. They don’t teach you that in school. However, you have to have a good credit score to buy almost anything valuable and for a good price. If I could have a do-over, I’d invest more time on making decisions that will better my future and not decisions I’ll regret. Sometimes parents do know what’s best!
9.BE HAPPY WITH WHAT YOU HAVE, WHILE WORKING FOR WHAT YOU WANT: You were born to live a life that makes YOU happy. I’ve learned early in my twenties that people mold into the people they are hanging around.I would say “yes!” to things I did not want to do. It took me a few years to learn that I had nobody to impress but myself. I am enough. I don’t need to feel unnecessary pressure to live a life my friends are living or the life I see on Facebook. I want to live the life that matches my values and morals. That’s filled with my hobbies and people and things that make me happy. You do not have to impress anybody, but yourself. And when you start being happy with what is in front of you, it makes it clear on what you want your future to look like
10.PEOPLE WILL BETRAY YOU, AND THAT’S OK.
Betrayal was a hard pill to swallow when it first happen to me. Our twenties are filled with of a lot of unnecessary drama that stems from being stabbed in the back or lied to by someone you trusted. Your first instinct (if your like me) is to be mad, upset, enraged. That’s just wasted energy. Being stabbed in the back sucks, and it will suck again when it happens– but it says a lot more about you if you can build up the ability to move on and deal with it with dignity. Taking the high road with dignity will fill like a huge weight lifted on your shoulder. There are good people out there; loyal people and than there are bad people; untrustworthy and unloyal. It’s just the way the world is. Learning how you respond to these issues will make it that much easier.
11.LOVE ISN’T ALWAYS RAINBOWS AND BUTTERFLIES, AND THAT IS WHAT MAKES IT AMAZING. Those romances we watch that leave us in tears and always have a beautiful happy ending are far from reality. Instead, we learn in our 20’s that true relationships take compromise on both ends, they require effort and constant growth. I let go of the notion that true love happens effortlessly without any hiccups or roadblocks. I learned early on though, after dating my highschool sweetheart whose now my husband, that true love comes with challenges and obstacles and you face them together if things are going to work. Only the strong will survive. However, it is an amazing feeling to be with the love of your life who becomes your best friend and someone you can count on. Keep in mind, you don’t want to put yourself in a relationship that’s not healthy either. Verbal and Mental abuse can be hard to recognize and even harder to swallow the truth once you realize it, but remember you deserve to be happy and nobody had the authority to treat you otherwise.
12. FRIENDSHIP: IT’S QUALITY OVER QUANTITY It’s better to have 4 quarters than 100 pennies. I’ve found such value in friendships with substance. It’s always great to have friends you can go out with, get lunch with, etc., but it’s important to have friends you can actually connect and converse with. Have substance in your friendships. As you get older, surrounding yourself with individuals who are motivated and supportive will benefit you in the sense that it will keep you on the right track. Be with people who want to make you a better person. You do not want to have a point in your life where you feel that you have no one you can truly bond with. Do life with someone who cares about who you are and want to be.Get yourself true, long-term friendships instead of thinking the more friends you hang out with it. It’s the quality of those friendships, not the quantity of friends you have.
I hope some of you can relate to the experiences and lessons I learned. Be Kind to Your Mind and remember, love yourself first & Formost.