You are not unique.
Sure, I don’t like how this sounds one bit when taken out of context. When I say “you are not unique” I don’t mean you are not special or one of a kind. Because you are! I mean, that most gut wrenching experiences you will have in your mid-twenties and beyond…failed relationships, dead-end jobs…you are not the first or the last person to experience these things. Disappointment, just like happiness, is a human experience, not unique to oneself. Find comfort in knowing you are not alone.
You are not alone.
Moving out on your own for the first time can be an exhilarating experience. The freedom! However, it can also come along with the occasional dinner alone and bills eyeing you from their home on the kitchen counter. Even though house phones are a thing of the past, calling Mom, Dad, a friend or sibling is not. Pick up the phone and talk to someone. There’s nothing like a fulfilling conversation. Even at your loneliness, remember you are not alone.
Admit if you need help.
Humans are prideful. Even if you are embarrassed to admit it, always ask for help if you feel you need it. Parents are always parents. Friends and always friends. No matter how old and mature you’ve become, everyone at one point or another needs the helping hand of someone who cares, even if it is just a hug or a shoulder to cry on. Do not put on a façade while everything around you seems to be crumbling. They don’t always need to understand or relate to your issue, but they need to know you are having one. Holding it in will not release the pain and stress that may start to develop. Eventually instead of asking for help, you may be screaming for help. It’s easier to tackle a mole hill than a mountain.
You can always come home.
Whatever the reason. Whatever the time. Sometimes you need to come home, back to your start, in order to find yourself again. Sometimes you need to take a step backward, to make that leap ahead.
Friendships: some will evolve, and some will dissolve.
You may have had a lot of friends growing up or you may have had a few close friends. Either way, these friendships are bound to change as people take on careers, serious relationships, and eventually children (gasp!) Talking every day may turn into conversing once a week, if that. A good friend of yours may move to Australia to find love or Colorado for a primo-job opportunity. Embrace this change. All of you in your circle will grow from this and without realizing it, you will learn how to love each other just as much from a distance and maintain adult relationships. If a friendship does not survive, you are allowed to be sad. Make sure you put in your half of the effort, and if you have and it still dissolved, appreciate the memories and the lessons.
Trust your gut (and your heart.)
You’ve grown up with parents telling you what to do, teachers telling you what to do, while battling peer pressure. You are your own person now more than ever. Even if everyone in your life is telling you to “take the job” or to say “I do,” if it does not sit right within yourself, do not do it. Only you know what is right or wrong for you when it comes to momentous decisions like that. Only YOU will have to go to that job every day. Only YOU will have to live with that other person every day of your life. No one else. You will learn to trust yourself, and go with your decisions, while still taking into consideration the opinion of others who care about you and who still have your best interest at heart. Only downfall here is if it doesn’t pan out how you imagined, you have no one to blame but yourself. Ahhh, adulthood!
Your parents probably wish they had done it more. If you have the means, see new places, experience new food, and talk to different kinds of people. It is a very diverse world out there, no one is the same, and this should be experienced firsthand. If you can’t travel, read read read. Actually, do both!
Get to know your parents as adults.
They will ALWAYS be “Mom and Dad” but they have real first names too. Get to know them. They have taught you so much (without you asking) already, imagine what they can bestow upon you if you ask them about their lives in their twenties and thirties, when they were making the same mistakes and facing the same scary, seemingly permanent, decisions as you are today. There is no crystal ball in life, and times have definitely changed since your parents were young, but you will no doubt learn some amazing fundamental things that make your parents more human…and more relatable.
Marriage and babies will be everywhere.
WELCOME TO WEDDING SEASON! You may not be married at 25 like you imagined when you were a kid. People are in school longer. Women are KILLING IT in the professional world. You are career driven! Priorities have shifted, but have not changed entirely. Even when everyone around you seems to be getting married or having a baby, do not get discouraged or feel like you messed up somehow. You are on your path, and they are on theirs, and they are rarely synchronized. Love yourself first, be honest with what you truly need in a partner and in life, and be patient.
This is YOUR life.
You can’t plan for it. Be prepared for life to throw you some unwanted curve balls. At the same time, be prepared for life to shine in your favor as well. No matter what age, you will encounter mean people, try not to take it personally. They are not a reflection of you. Your first job most likely will not be your last job. Apply SPF. Keep your social media as private as possible. Do not gossip, especially in the workplace. Actually be accessible in your relationships, do not just constantly text message. If you don’t know how to already, learn how to change a flat tire on your own. And lastly, life is all about people. As you get older, so do the people around you. Those who you always imagined would be there for you, well, maybe they suddenly need YOUR help. Be there for them, just as they were for you. Life is forever evolving, with major highs and major lows. It’s a wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime ride.