A few months ago, I wrote an article called “14 Sh*tty Things No One Expects in Their Late Twenties.” I wrote it on a whim because my twenties have been tumultuous, and at times, I was completely blindsided by the unexpected forces of crap that found their way into my life.
But I’m not always hating on my late twenties. Life sucks sometimes (like 95% of the time), but I can bitch about it, write a Thought Catalog article, and move on. I can also recognize the awesome things about my late twenties, and I wouldn’t want to leave those parts undocumented.
1. A great group of friends.
I’ve managed to come across some real douchecanoes in the past. That just made me more aware of the characteristics I value in friends, and I started to build a group of people that value the same things.
My friends now are, quite simply, the best people I know. I would take bullets for these people. In the leg, though.
I was just offered a job halfway across the country. I packed up and moved in two weeks. And moving was really easy because I barely have any possessions due to the whole “being broke” thing! Optimism! Life is fantastic!
3. A better idea of what you want. (Even if it’s only based on a list of things you don’t want.)
I am wildly impressed by the people that knew what they wanted from this life at a young age. I’m pretty impressed by the people that just decided to start down a path and remain on it today. I myself am slightly less impressive—I’ve been fumbling around trying to find an endgame for about five years now. All I really figured out is a definite, concrete list of the things I certainly do not want.
And that’s valuable shit. It only took a graduate degree I’ll never use, a random array of weird jobs, and some serious, fall-on-my-ass failures. Worth it!
4. The ability to genuinely care much less about what other people think.
Looking back on high school, and even college, I cared way too much about what other people thought. I acted a certain way, and even liked certain things, just because I didn’t want to be the odd one out.
For instance, I possibly could’ve been persuaded to like Nickelback if my friends had liked Nickelback. Once, I bought a Dave Matthews Band CD because my friends were into Dave Matthews Band. I wasted $11.99 on one of those pieces of trash.
Now, I’d rather drill screws into my ears than listen to Dave Matthews Band. I know it’s not a popular opinion, and I no longer care.
Now, I’ll roll around wearing old boy band T-shirts, drinking Mike’s Hard Lemonade, and singing along to a country music song that was popular five years ago. And you can hate all day, and I’m just relaxin’ because I like what I like. Hate on, hater.
5. A level of comfort with yourself.
Not caring about what other people think makes it so much easier to know yourself better. I truly know now what an uncool disaster I am—and I’m getting really comfortable with it.
6. Binge-watching television.
As I get older, I keep piling on more professional and personal responsibilities. These professional and personal responsibilities leave very little time for me to watch all three seasons of Revenge in less than two weeks. So it’s a good thing I’ve already done that.
I know GChat isn’t strictly a late twenties thing. I personally just use it more now. Thanks to Google, I talk to most of my favorite people on a regular basis.
It’s a great replacement until Google creates the Muggle version of the Floo Network. Don’t keep us waiting too much longer, Google. We’re ready for it.
8. One huge excuse for not having everything together.
Sometimes, I stop and look at my life and think, “Wow, you really messed this up.” Other times I realize I’m the only one that expects my life to be an incredible success story at this age.
The pressure I put on myself seems to be greater than anyone’s expectations of me. That’s how I like to keep it. Keep everyone’s expectations low so I can shock ’em with the home run in late innings. Or just keep everyone’s expectations low so I can consistently be in line with their expectations.
9. Optional laundry.
If I don’t want to do laundry for an extended period of time, I’m not embarrassed to wear my sequin black and gold skirt that I usually reserve for Mardi Gras. I’m actually fairly comfortable wearing most of the items in my costume box. I have no problem walking around in my Harry Potter tank tops, and I don’t mind wearing mismatched neon socks.
I can imagine an older version of myself might be more embarrassed by this kind of behavior—time will tell!
10. Madness is never boring.
A part of me craves settling down so badly, it makes my heart hurt.
Then I think about making permanent decisions in my life…and it makes my throat constrict.
Another part of me feels like a schizophrenic catastrophe when I try to articulate these feelings. For right now, I’m trying to appreciate the endless craziness as some of the most exciting times of my life. I’m learning to love the madness.
11. Living alone.
Having a family means the end of your solitude (for a whole other adventure that I’m sure is just super). For right now, I enjoy re-watching chick flicks, staying up all hours of the night, and dancing around my apartment without pants because fuck pants. It’s a glorious piece of heaven that I strongly encourage every person to try at least once in their life.
12. Great stories.
Some people have “wild” stories that would bore a nun. Other people have stories that would drive them to blackmail their best friend to make sure no one ever finds out that they happened. Stories that would lead someone to consider covering their body in honey in a field full of fire ants before they would allow them to be uttered in front of their future children.
We all know which stories are the best stories.
13. Mistakes are acceptable and even encouraged.
I have made a ton of mistakes. Bunches. Just loads. Of course I feel some twinges of regret about those mistakes, but the stronger emotion I have about those mistakes is gratefulness. I have learned so much from every single wrong turn I took in this life. I think I’m better for it.
If someone hasn’t made mistakes (which I doubt), I have a feeling their mistakes will be the crazy weird stuff they get into during their mid-life crisis. Nothing wrong with that, either.
Damn, but I love a good wedding. Don’t get me wrong; there will probably be a point during the wedding that I cry in the bathroom about the fact that I’m going to die alone. And about my strong fear that my cats will eat my face because no one will know I’m dead for weeks, and my cats will obviously be hungry.
For the other 99% of the night, I’m jamming with my best friends, partying the night away, and celebrating the relationship success of two of my exceptionally awesome friends. It’s the best.