I am approaching the last year of my twenties and FAST. It honestly is such a strange time of life right now. A decade has nearly come and gone and while certain aspects feel like just yesterday, others feel like a dream or an entire lifetime ago. I almost feel as though your twenties are even more of an intense change than your childhood in some ways. It’s a stage in life where most if not all of us feel uncertainty, pressure, and confusion. Trying to figure out where you belong in the adult world is a lot harder than anything I remember from high school. And if I had the chance to sit down with my younger self..here are a few things I would want to say.
1. A BOY WILL NOT SAVE YOU. I spent majority of my early twenties chasing after boys. I so badly wanted to love and be loved in return. The sad part is for a while I gave attention to pretty much anyone who would bat an eye at me. I was broken and hurt from my past and wanting so badly for my prince charming to come along and glue the pieces back together for me. It wasn’t until I started piecing them back together myself that I met the man that was meant for me. My now husband literally came out of no where and honestly when I least expected it. At that point I may have not been completely healed however I had a far better grasp on who I was and what I wanted. I was more focused on what I brought to the table and knowing my self worth vs. looking for someone who could heal me. It changed the game for me and ultimately changed who I was when it came to relationships. I am so grateful I didn’t settle just because I was feeling lonely or insecure.
2. Girl, CALM DOWN. In my early twenties I was a MESS. I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. It gave me tremendous anxiety and I was constantly battling the fear of failing or looking like a failure to others. While I still have my days where I get anxious about certain things life throws my way, I have been actively working on learning to try and stay calm. I used to get upset about something and I would live in that space for weeks at a time. I would constantly complain about my life or things that weren’t going my way. It just felt like I was digging a never ending hole I couldn’t get out of. When I started to focus more on positives, even if it was something small, it really allowed me to center myself and calm myself down faster during tough situations. Not everything deserves an emotional response…something I still actively work at now.
3. No-one knows what they are doing. I used to think that I was the only one who was lost. It seemed like everyone else knew their path, had a game plan, and were miles ahead of me. I would get really down on myself because I wasn’t in college and I was working multiple part time jobs just to get by. What I have come to realize is that even the people you think are the most “put together” have their own struggles you don’t see. Some people are just better at hiding it. You have to be willing to try new things and put yourself out there in order to figure out your path. So even though there may be people around you who seem like they are doing so much more….they are simply trying something new. Thats it. To see if they are good at it or if it really is the path they need to be on and go from there. No-one actually knows where their direction will end up at age twenty. NO-ONE. Majority of the people I know who went to college right after high school and got their degree have either gone back for a different degree or they don’t even use it! Because once again….NO-ONE at age twenty really knows what they want. So don’t stress so much about where you are going, focus more on enjoying the ride.
4. Your parents are cool. Listen to them and hang out with them more. Over the years I have come to recognize that my parents are actually badass. Not only that, but they honestly know what they are talking about more times than not. I feel like in my early twenties I still had that teenage mentality. I didn’t want them telling me what to do. I definitely did not value their opinion in the way I do now. I also made my friends more important than time with my parents or family which was a huge mistake. Here we are a decade later and 99% of those friends are no where to be found while my parents are still by my side. I know now that my parents are the only people who will ever fully have my back and love me unconditionally. I wish I would have appreciated that more when I was younger.
5. If they wanted to they would. I spent many years making excuses for other people’s shitty behavior. I always wanted to see the good in everyone that came into my life. And while I still believe there is good in most people, I try to focus more on people’s actions than my own “want” for them to be good for me. This applies to friends, family, and relationships. If someone wants to…they will. They will be a good friend, they will respect you, they will comfort you, they will make time for you. There are times where yes, you may experience some distance depending on whats going on in life however listen to people’s actions before their words. Actions always speak louder.
6. Take A LOT of pictures. When my grandfather passed away last year I had a few regrets and one of those would be not taking enough pictures with him. I think that in this day and age pictures are becoming more acceptable however we take more selfies than we do photos with the ones we love. So take pictures OF other people. Take pictures WITH other people. Pictures tell stories and bring back emotions you may have forgotten were even there. Pictures allow you to freeze a special moment in time that you will never get back. Take pictures and don’t apologize for it. Don’t stress so much about how you look or the angle..just take them. And take A LOT of them. Because one day that is all you will have left of the people you love in your life.
7. Change your mind-set and you will change your life. I used to play the victim ALL THE TIME in my early twenties. I would take other peoples negative actions towards me and let them completely over take my mind. I would crumble and hardly be able to function. I was so focused on the negative things that would happen to me or around me that it was all I could see. I spent years in this head space and it really stunted my growth mentally. After a while I got really sick of feeling this way. I no longer wanted to feel like life was happening to me and decided I wanted life to happen for me. I dove into personal development books, podcasts, social media. I surrounded myself with positive thinkers, and doers, and people who uplifted me mentally and spiritually. It is something that to this day is a HUGE focus in my life. I have to take time every week to grow my mindset. It has helped me cope with my anxiety and allowed me to grow in so many ways as a person.
8. Let it go. This one really isn’t anything new, but it’s still something that is important. If you find yourself in a negative situation or circumstance ask yourself..”Will this matter in 5 years?” If the answer is no, you guessed it, let it go!! Holding on to negativity is not healthy nor productive. People are going to treat you like shit, mistakes will be made, feelings will be hurt. It’s okay to feel those emotions, but once you have felt them you need to release them. Or else you will, over the years, continue to carry every negative experience with you and girl that gets heavy. Do yourself a favor and let it go. Not for them but for yourself.
I’m sure I could add more to this list, but these were the most important things I would want to address to my younger self. Or anyone else who may be reading this who is going through similar experiences. As my twenties are nearing an end in a little over a year I can honestly say I am so grateful for the lessons that have presented themselves to me. While some have been challenging they have ALL changed me for the better.
The Maven Life