10 Honest Pep Talks Every Lost 20-Something Needs To Hear

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1. You are not in competition with the people you see online.

It can feel overwhelming. Marriages, job promotions, all those happy smiling faces plastered all over social media. You’re bound to compare yourself to this constant influx of good news and feel as if you don’t measure up. But please remember, NONE of those things have to do with your path. Life is not a race to see who can wrack up the most achievements the fastest. Everyone is trying to attain something different, and for different reasons. Focus on yourself. You are the only one you need to impress.

2. Outside validation feels good, but you don’t need it.

We all want to feel liked and admired. It’s a very natural reaction. Who doesn’t love a solid “good job” and pat on the back? But when you place all of your worth on how others see you, it will send you into a tailspin when you don’t receive the affirmation you’re hoping for. You have all the tools inside of you for validation. They come from within. That way, you can still appreciate when others offer you kind words, but you don’t NEED them to survive. You know what’s best for you. Trust in that.

3. All jobs are “real” jobs.

Your 20s are full of random jobs – and that’s TOTALLY okay. If you’re working, you’re working. There’s no need to explain that it’s “just temporary” or not what you plan to do in the future. Having a job is something to be proud of, regardless of what it is.

4. Falling in love can happen in multiple ways.

Romantic love is just ONE type of love. And yes, it’s wonderful. But it’s not the only one that matters. We actually fall in love all the time, we just don’t always categorize it that way. You can fall in love with your friends, family, your work, a hobby that you do on weekends, etc.

5. Your ex is an ex for a reason.

It’s easy to become stuck on nostalgia. When we aren’t happy in our current situation, we have a tendency to look back at the past and feel like we had it better then. But if a relationship ended, there was a reason. Even if you weren’t the one who initiated it. By closing that chapter, you opened yourself up for something even more meaningful. If things were as great as you romanticize them to be, you’d still be with that person.

6. You aren’t the only one who feels lost.

This goes beyond being in your 20s. We ALL feel lost sometimes. Even the most put together person has their days when they feel like a total Garbage Person. Part of being human is questioning what we’re doing. You’d be surprised how many of your peers are going through the exact same thing you are right now.

7. Your value isn’t based on how much money you make.

It would be inaccurate for me to say, “money doesn’t matter.” Because we all know it does. We live in a society that, unfortunately, depends on it. But your value as a person is not tied up into how much you make, or how much you have in your bank. The “poorest” person might be the richest in character. Money can’t buy those things.

8. You can change your mind.

You don’t need to pursue a career in the area you got your degree in. Your passions can evolve. That’s the beauty of life – things are always changing. Which means YOU are supposed to change. We often feel stuck because we’ve committed to something, like we have to follow through with it. If things don’t feel right to you anymore, you can switch it up. Never be afraid to reevaluate what you want.

9. Focus on having a few close friends.

You don’t need a Taylor Swift level girl squad. Carving out special relationships with a handful of people who you can really trust and care about is far more important than the appearance of having a ton of friends. You want someone who will wholeheartedly be there for you, not just people to take selfies with at parties.

10. One bad day does not equal a bad life.

You are going to screw up. You hear me? You’re going to. Many times. And in many different ways. There will be days you’re filled with self-loathing and resentment. There will be days you wonder if things will ever get better, if your life can turn around. A good thing to remember is that you already had your hardest day so far, and you got through it. Which means you can get through anything. The only way to see it through is to keep going. TC mark

Ari Eastman

✨ real(ly not) chill. poet. writer. mental health activist. mama shark. ✨

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