Your early twenties are an exciting time in your life. There’s fun to be had, money to spend on stupid things, goofy friends and usually this is around the time you fall in and out of love.
The truth is though, most people do not take a whole lot very seriously. Because of this our relationships, job, bodies, and well, a lot of other important things suffer. Not only has your brain not fully developed, but you have not experienced enough to really consider yourself an expert on anything. You are just getting started and trying to figure things out in this crazy world.
Think back for a moment to the days of being in your early twenties. (Maybe you are there now) Think about all those things you used to do (or do now), and your perspective on life, love, and your personal well-being. Has that changed? I bet it has!
If you are in your early twenties now, all I have to say is, embrace it, make good decisions, have fun, play it smart, and learn every lesson life tries to teach you (the first time). When you get to the other side of 25 things are much different.
When I was in my early twenties, I was focused on parties and surrounded by shallow friends. I spent the majority of time with people who were untrustworthy and self-consumed. The majority of my friends were unreliable, and the habits I found myself in were unproductive and a bit harmful. My dreams were foggy. And like many people in their early twenties I was unsure what I wanted to do, where I wanted to live, and if the man I was dating was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
So I moved around; I traveled to different places, I dated other people, I made a bunch of crazy decisions and lived on the edge. Why? Because I was young, dumb and unafraid. I found many struggles professionally and personally that I desperately wanted to overcome but the voice in my head whispered, “In Time.”
It was not until I turned 25 did I realize what my dreams really were and I put them into play. My boyfriend and I of 6 years broke up for good after being that insane “on again off again, wait, um, back on again” couple. I took a 365 day solo journey to let go of everything that I knew before, and to find new meaning to life, and discover who I was as an individual. This journey did not end at 365 days, that was only the beginning but that year taught me more than I ever thought was possible. One of the most important things was to live with fierce; be bold, be brave.
I traveled to Hawaii alone (where I celebrated my 26th Birthday alone), and without knowing a soul, or having ever been there before. I began to go to the movies and dinners alone. Things that I didn’t try doing alone before my 365 journey I tried many things during that time and still am almost a year later.
Maybe the reason, in many ways, life is better on the other side of 25, is because we are better educated and self-confident. With these things comes respect. As we get older we (if you are lucky) acquire more responsibilities and that is a good thing.
Since I’ve turned 25, I have taken solo vacations to Miami, Atlanta, and Hawaii, met interesting people, and experienced many things that were outside of my comfort zone. I now have loyal friends that I can trust, and I’ve got a family that supports me and helps guide me in the best direction. I’ve got a job that provides me with the ability to live on my own, pursue school, help people in need every day, and work on writing projects; which I love.
And, no way would I want to be in my early 20’s again. Sure there are memories, and moments that were so amazing I would love to put them on repeat, and feel those same feelings, and have those experiences again. Right now the days are quickly approaching that I turn thirty. Okay not really, but I am turning 27 (OMG!) this summer, and I’ve got to tell you it makes me feel excited, because I know life is only going to get better and better.
I don’t think anyone should rush the aging process, and I say this all the time, but I seriously mean it: EMBRACE IT. Your early twenties are a time to be free and enjoy life without a stack of bills and responsibilities. It’s okay to make mistakes; just don’t forget to learn from them. It’s okay to bounce around from job to job trying to figure out what it is that you want to spend life doing. It’s okay to date a few people before you find the one you want to marry. And don’t worry it’s okay that the world doesn’t take you seriously or listen to you. All of these things are going to change on the other side of 25.
XO. XO. XO.