For most of us, our twenties is that messy period of life when nearly everything seems scary, confusing, or a strange combination of both. It’s the decade you spend feeling like you’re racing against the clock, that time when all of the “important” life decisions need to be made. I dreaded turning twenty-five, feeling like some sort of clock was ticking inside me. Like I was halfway through a test that I wasn’t anywhere near being finished with.
But my twenty-fifth year of life wound up being the most freeing I’ve ever experienced and now, as I approach another year down, I can say there were some things I learned as I navigated being smack in the middle of my twenties.
1. Your family is going to start to wonder what in the hell you’re doing with your life. They’re going to try to project all of the dreams they have for you into the decision that you make. Don’t let them. Your life is yours, for you and only you.
2. The thing you went to college for doesn’t have to be your fate. None of us knew what we were doing when we were eighteen and forced to choose what we wanted to do with the rest of our lives. You’re allowed to change your mind after graduating. If you don’t like the path your chose, love yourself enough to change it; the degree you earned and the experience you gained will still be useful in ways you never imagined.
3. The amount of followers you have on social media has no bearing on how rich or full a life you’re living.
4. You can’t spend your life expecting things to magically change. If you want something, be the change you need to achieve whatever your goals have morphed into.
5. Your twenties isn’t meant to be a competition against your fellow millennials. None of us know what we’re doing, no matter how good we might be at faking it.
6. Marriage ins’ an accomplishment. Literally anyone can do it. Learning to ignore those engagement announcements and wedding albums on Facebook will only benefit your sanity.
7. Live and let go is good advice, but there are some things (and people) who are truly worth fighting for. Even when it feels like the strain might kill you, it pays to fight for what you love.
8. Under no circumstances should Instagram be confused as an accurate representation of someone. No one lives their life with a sepia-colored filter plastered over everything they do.
9. Being in therapy, even for an extended period of time, doesn’t make you a weak person. If anything, it makes you strong as fuck for being able to confront the things that may be painful or difficult to face.
10. You’re never stuck. Not truly. It may seem like your current situation will last forever, but just one day can turn everything around if you let it. The world is made up of so many beautiful wonders and filled with even more beautiful people. You’ll get where you need to be in the time that’s right for you.