1. Lots of acquaintances
Sure, it’s validating to have a phone that’s constantly buzzing, but how half-hearted are our promises to “grab coffee” with every other person we only kind of know through the grapevine? How often are we really able to make good on those promises? Hanging out with the same people who know you in and out, and who love you for and despite all of that, is probably more rewarding than constantly schmoozing and small talking near-strangers. Better to have four quarters than a hundred pennies.
2. Brunch every weekend
Yes, brunch is a wonderful meal — food, booze, friends, what can go wrong? — but if you don’t opt to spend a huge chunk of your day with acquaintances who, again, you don’t really know, how much are you really accomplishing? And let’s not even talk about the financial strains of being three cocktails in at 11 a.m. The people who love you will be just as happy with pancakes or cold pizza from your fridge. Devote a Saturday to conspiring on the couch every now and again. It’ll do you a world of good.
3. A corner office, or even an office at all
We grew up in the gold star generation that didn’t understand why we didn’t receive every accolade the minute we set our sights on them. This is fine when you’re little, but that’s not how the world often works now. You’re young still, the promotions will come if you’re willing to put in the work. And conversely, if you’re just fine with a more unorthodox career, then more power to you. In the long run, people care less about the title on your business card than they care about what you actually do.
4. An apartment or house that would make Pinterest scream with envy
In many respects, not going to Ikea for household needs that would otherwise be ridiculously, hilariously, stupidly overpriced is what’s really a shame. If you haven’t gotten the memo, thrifting is cool, and so is being thrifty with your finances, and that’s amazing. Because I think we’d all rather put our money toward travel or savings or whatever as opposed to a end table that looks similar to one that’s $250 cheaper.
5. A wardrobe that would make a Vogue editor cry
If you can buy a white v-neck tee shirt for 15 bucks, why would you want to “splurge” and purchase the same one for $70? There are some pieces that are worth the investment, but your worth isn’t quantifiable by the labels in your closet. If you really want to curate nice things now, do it slowly, and when you can. Those pieces will feel all the more special for it.
6. Trendy gym memberships
Working out should be fun, but you don’t need to go broke over spin class to achieve those means. (Really, you’re no less of a human being for not being able to do whatever the latest gym trend is.) In your 20s, you probably still have the last vestiges of a pretty good metabolism, and you don’t need to spend money you might not have in an effort to stay up with the trend. The one thing that actually, y’know, works when it comes to working out? Moving your body. However you want to do it.
7. The love of your life
If they come later, then they come later. (How’s this for heartwarming proof?) But they will come. You are somebody’s future someone, it’s just a matter of whether or not you’ve met them yet, and they won’t love you any less if you don’t pause your life so you can wait around for them to appear. (Besides, chances are better you’ll find them if you don’t.)
8. Conversely, a bedpost that is riddled with marks if that is not who you are
Ours is a culture that was largely brought up on the idea that hooking up is a prevalent notion. And if you have that need and can satisfy it, then more power to you. But you don’t need to get busy all the time if you don’t want to. How many partners you’ve had in the past does not quantify how worthy you are of love and sex, either in the present or future.
9. Every last gadget and subscription
Sure, we live in a world that is permanently connected and it might seem like we’ve somehow taken the idea of wanting something and translated it into needing it, but we don’t need to give into that manufactured “need” as much as we do. Smartphones are convenient and for a number of careers, necessary. Computers are too at this point. Every other Kindle and e-reader and tablet and accessory that goes with it usually are not. Props if you can afford it and want to indulge. No worries if you don’t or can’t.
10. A ten year plan
It’s admirable if you’re the kind of person who can plan out your trajectory and then take steps to achieve that goal — and really, if it gives you a sense of accomplishment, then by all means, do it. But you’re not less of a person if a wrench gets thrown in there somewhere and you end up slightly off course. The best plans are ones that allow for obstacles you would have never expected. Take risks now if you can and see where they take you.
11. All the answers
Because nobody has them, really. We’re all just at different stages at learning the answers we need at any stage of our lives, no matter how old we are. To expect yourself to have it all together is a lofty standard to which you’ll never meet up. There will always be one more question to ask — and there should be. Life grows stale if you aren’t asking “why?”, and equally as important, “why not?”