Stop what you’re doing for a moment and just feel yourself existing. Embrace this moment, for you will never again be as young and as dumb as you are right now.
Yes, I said you were dumb.
So many people in their 20s (and even many in their 30s) tend to overestimate their own intelligence and understanding of life. If you’re reading this, you’ve most likely done it yourself, especially if you’re sitting there going “Nah, not me!” But it’s okay— I’m pretty dumb myself. There are so many things I have yet to experience and therefore have false, preconceived notions about them. There are things I assume I’ll be successful at but will fail at miserably. In other words, I’ve got a lot of lessons to learn and so do you.
Here are six reasons why you should recognize just how young and dumb you are and embrace it:
1. No matter how old you think you’re getting right now, you’re really not that old.
How many times have you or a friend complained about how rapidly you’re aging? Yes, your 20s and 30s do seem to go by faster and faster with each year, but just slow down a little bit and think about all the time you still have left ahead of you. The best is yet to come, and any elderly person you speak to is going to reminisce about a lot more than just their young adulthood.
2. Yeah, you are still going to age. So what?
Maybe you’ve already noticed tiny signs of aging here and there. But the reality is that you’ve been aging your entire life already. Nothing’s changed, except now you might not be looking forward to getting older. And why? Because modern society and pop media have a scary obsession with youth, and as a result you’ve been conditioned to believe natural things like skin lines and gray hairs are bad. That’s all. The truth is that there’s still a lot of beauty to be found with each age, and with more advanced years comes more wisdom. Aging isn’t a bad thing, and you shouldn’t feel bad if you start noticing it.
3. Bad stuff is going to happen to you, but you’ll learn from it all.
Nobody’s life is all unicorns and rainbows. Some of the things that happen in your life will be downright devastating, and some will change you forever. But no matter what, you’ll somehow get through it all. And as a result you may get tougher, smarter, more self-aware, more realistic, etc.— the possibility of lessons to learn is endless!
4. Heartbreak could actually be one of the best things ever for you.
Going along with the above, one of the bad things that is going to happen to you could very well be heartbreak. In fact, most people will get their hearts smashed to bits at one point or another, maybe multiple times (hey, it happened to me three times). But with heartbreak, you’ll discover new things about yourself and about your concept of love in general. It’s extremely sobering to realize how wrong you can be about somebody and how delusions really do exist. All of this will eventually help put you on the right path— whether that’s with a partner or not.
5. One day, you’re going to look back on your youth and laugh about how little you knew.
One way to help get yourself through bad situations now is to realize how small they’ll seem in the future. If you don’t believe me, think of the worst day you had in elementary school and what you would say to your child self now if you could travel back in time. There is so much you don’t know right now that one day you’ll look back and be shocked by your own previous lack of knowledge.
6. Your future might end up totally different than you imagine it, and that can be a good thing.
Maybe you won’t end up a famous movie director, or maybe you won’t ever have that penthouse overlooking Central Park. A lot of dream big, but real life often ends up taking an entirely different direction. But maybe, just maybe, we’ll end up learning that finding general happiness (no matter our career or living situation) is way more important than achieving our most daring youthful dreams.
Life really is what happens while you’re making other plans. Learning that firsthand (as most of us will) can certainly be painful, but it also makes every moment so much more worthwhile. Who knows what the future holds? Not you! And that’s exactly why your life is going to be so interesting and meaningful. Enjoy the ride while it lasts.