Thought Catalog

20 Reasons Why I Won’t Give You 20 Tips For Being In Your 20s

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It’s 2014. I’ve spent the last week starting my year off as strong as possible with playoff football, exercise, great sex and cuddles, a new (thrift store) restored bass to learn how to play, and an updated list of goals and aspirations, both short and long term. I have multiple article ideas in various stages of development from notes in the tablet I keep in my purse and paragraphs in text documents that are just sort of drifting out at sea with the destination barely in sight. My brainstorming has been frequent, but this past week I’ve found myself thinking about words more than typing or writing them. I decided to start the year out with this piece because January is the month infamous for resolutions. I resolve to finish writing this tonight and it is 1:30am… “because reasons” (yes, Claire Robbins, that was for you).

1. I’m only halfway through this 20’s shit and I’m still trying to figure it out.

I turned 25 this past August, and I can’t stop thinking “I am 25, holy shit I am 25, where did those 5 years go?”  I am simultaneously finding myself relieved to have gotten the “hard” part over with (I don’t actually think it necessarily gets easier I just think I’m getting better at handling what life throws at me). I went through my promiscuous bar fly phase and dating scenarios that I would at least like to think will not happen to me ever again. My fingers are crossed. Don’t worry, there will be essays in which I write about things like being confused about the meaning of life and slowly transitioning out of the porn industry “oh no what do I do now I don’t want to go back to retail” to help you feel better about whatever predicament you may be in at the time.

2. I’m not an expert on everything.

I once tried to make EasyMac with just boiling water, but no microwave. Pretty sure I was doing it wrong. Also… don’t eat EasyMac. Moving on.

3. I’ve made some slightly untraditional decisions in my 20’s.

I dropped out of the local community college at age 19 or 20 because I wasn’t taking school seriously at the time.  I skipped a class that didn’t feel challenging to play UNO with my friends in the lounge. I knew that I liked to learn but I wasn’t happy in my environment. Next thing you know, I move out of my parents’ house and start doing porn because… “life experience”. Seriously though, I take nothing back because I wouldn’t be who I am today or have met the people that I did. I don’t highly suggest this route unless you are completely prepared for the consequences, good and bad. I thought about them and I knew it wouldn’t last forever.  I am who I am, I love my life, and I’m lucky to have the amazing friends and support system that I have. Sometimes I wish I had gone to a 4 year college and had less senioritis… then I imagine the “other me” that is potentially overweight, working a job she hates, and 3 weeks pregnant with her 2nd child and married to a man named Boris.

4. There are already so many really awesome articles about this topic.

(20 Things To Let Go Of In Your 20s, Why Being In Your 20s Is Awesome, 1001 Things You MUST Do In Your 20s, 20 Things To Let Go Of In Your 20s)I suggest you read what these people have to say.  I find myself re-reading some of them often and nodding along every time. Yeah, your parents were probably right about some things and you’re also starting to see the parts of you that prove you really ARE their child. (My mom talks a lot with her hands… so do I. Watching us have a conversation is like trying to watch Gilmore Girls and have a fucking clue what they are talking about. ) Yeah, hangovers are totally worse when you get older, drink more water. Exes suck and you should delete or block their numbers. Yes, you should love yourself and do things that make you happy. You will realize these things on your own, too. I promise.  I love that this site is strongly catered to Millenials and that’s why these articles exist – the audience is largely in their 20’s.  I’m not going to rewrite someone else’s article, though.

That’s why…

5. I want to relate to people based on their stories and experiences, not a set of expectations.

I’d rather write a personal essay about something real that happened in my life and what I learned from it, with the hope that someone can relate and take something from it too. That’s all I can really hope for. It’s cute when a troll comes at me with a comment about how I should “save it for live journal” and meanwhile a woman from the UK is emailing me to tell me that she is shedding a tear because my piece moved her and a girl in South Africa is asking me for sex advice. I’m acutely aware that not every article or writer is for everyone but if I can help someone, even if it’s blow job tips… that makes me feel great and I want to keep doing it. I’m not even against these “listicles” if they are easier for people to read and scroll through, but there’s more to life than lists. If you saw my iPhone notepad or physical notepad, you’d be confused by that last statement because it is comprised of almost nothing but lists… and quotes that my friends say such as, “Even if it doesn’t work with her, I’ll still have my book to fuck.”

6. We will know how to be in our 20’s when we are 30.

Yeah we will totally have this whole thing figured out by then. Probably. Or at least more money in our bank accounts. Hopefully. I’m already looking into anti-aging skincare because I want to be prepared and stuff.

7. Your gut instinct (inner voice) is essentially the best advice you can take.

One of my best friends sent me the book The War of Art by Steven Pressfield not too long ago and it blew my mind. Pressfield makes many profound points but one struck a massive chord with me only 12 pages in: “The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.” Follow the fear. Oh shit… I just kind of gave you advice? Before I started contributing to Thought Catalog, I had written blogs for websites before, but I’ve always been scared to open up. I get nervous about being so vulnerable every time (despite my butthole being on the net, exposing your actual thoughts and feelings is a whole other game changer) but it’s thrilling and an amazing cathartic release… that is how I know I must keep writing. I have to do it because it shakes the very core of me.

8. I’m not going to write 20 reasons. I’ve made my point.

TC Mark

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