20 Things You Need To Know About Your 20s From A Soon-To-Be 30-Year-Old

Will Clayton / flickr.com
Will Clayton / flickr.com
Ladies and gentlemen: tomorrow, I cross the finish line of my 20s. I feel conflicted — caught somewhere between joy and fear. And I don’t think it’s any surprise; this age comes with societal and biological obligations that are increasingly difficult to ignore. “They” say that 30 is an age when you’re supposed to have everything figured out, but this seems to be a fading notion. I will say my 20s were filled with joy, pain, and lessons learned the hard way. So before I move forward, I’d rather honor the past in the hopes that my reflections serve a greater good. Please share yours. I’d love to hear them.

1. Your life can be whatever you want it to be. It doesn’t have to look like what you thought it was going to look like.

2. Take time to travel. Meet new people. Be an outsider in another culture. And when you come home, be a tourist in your own city. Maintain that sense of wonder.

3. Identify your passion, your gift to offer the world. We need it.

4. As soon as you step off that graduation stage, everyone is going in different directions so there is no use spending your 20s comparing yourself to the paths of your peers. Pave your own way.

5. Your true friends are the ones that you can pick up with where you left off as if no time has passed. Hold on to them with the jaws of life.

6. Invest in yourself everyday. Whether that means meditating, physical exercise, or eating well. If you don’t take care of yourself you sure as hell won’t be able to take care of anyone else.

7. Stop and express appreciation for the people you work with, your family and your friends — it doesn’t take much. A simple compliment could change the course of someone’s entire day.

8. There is always something to be grateful for even in the darkest of times. And when you find yourself in those rare calm moments, learn to appreciate them.

9. Your life is never going to be perfect. We always say, “If only I just had THAT job!” or “If I just had a BOYFRIEND!” No. Stop. None of that defines you.

10. Be weird. Fly your freak flag. It is what makes you you.

11. There’s little to no use in taking something personally. If someone doesn’t like you, there is no point in losing sleep over it. And, chances are, it actually has nothing to do with you.

12. It’s okay to ask for help. It doesn’t make you weak. In fact, it takes a strong person to admit when they need help.

13. Listen to your intuition and trust that life will work itself out. This may be the hardest lesson I’ve had to learn.

14. Learn to be your own best advocate.

15. Your opinion matters and your feelings are valid.

16. Don’t ever take your health for granted.

17. I’m no mathematician but it appears to me that smiling is, 99% of the time, reciprocal. Laugh often, love much.

18. Happiness is a tricky notion. What I’ll say on this subject is that if you can feel good inside about who you are, then you’ll remain strong throughout the ebbs and flows of life. Work on that, and it will be your armor.

19. If you can have perspective on the little everyday stresses that arise and learn to deal with them, but see that they won’t matter in the long run, you’ll be able to more effectively move through them.

20. Playfulness and curiosity is what keeps us young at heart as the body ages. Don’t ever give that up.

I don’t see any point in mourning years past or wishing I was a certain age. My life grows ever sweeter, ever more nuanced each day. I’ve completed my twenties and now I know myself better than ever before. I guess it’s all part of growing up. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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