Your twenties will teach you a hell of a lot about life. The good, the bad, the downright awful. And sometimes you could have done with those lessons just a bit sooner. But regardless of when you learn them, they are your lessons for life.
1. Things will get dark sometimes. However much you believe they won’t, they will someday. I wish this was the point I offered advice on how to get through it unscathed but the truth is, there is often no good or painless way. Just know you will.
2. Life will find ways of showing you who your friends are. And when it does, take action. There’s nothing wrong with completely cutting someone off and leaving them in your past if it’s the right thing to do.
3. Work will always be just work. Don’t think your only use in life is your career aspirations. The world needs so much more than ladder climbers and moneymakers. Be a dreamer.
4. Be gentle. You’ll learn that people are going through more than they let on. Look for the clues, often hidden, and try to understand. And if you can’t understand, just be there. There are too many people in the world always thinking about Number 1. You don’t need to be another.
5. Leave love until last. It’ll hurt because you’re a hopeless romantic and everyone will seem to get their happy endings before you. You’ll probably have many crushes too. The trick is to sort the crushes from the potentials.
5.1. You’ll meet a few potentials in your life. But resist the temptation to run away with the first one who calls you wonderful or beautiful, because it’s the first time you’ve heard it. They’ll soon be saying it to someone else instead.
5.2. Sometimes you’ll think you’ve found ‘the one’. Even first glances can make you feel that way. Again… Don’t get tempted by a nice face and rose-tinted daydreams. This is when the waiting game ensues and time will tell you a lot.
5.3. Love isn’t overrated and deep down you know that. So wait for the real deal. Wait until it hurts to sleep alone for the 365th time. It’ll be worth it when you know you’ve got it right.
6. Leave cynicism for the news channels. You can know your way around the world and its problems without becoming one of them. Love will always be stronger than hate, even if it doesn’t shout quite as loud about it.
7. Find your peace and find it as often as you can. The ocean. The way the leaves fall in Autumn. Winter jumpers. Cups of tea. Films that make you cry. Comedy that makes you laugh. Road Trips you planned, and the adventures you didn’t plan.
8. New Years Day will be full of people making your resolutions seems cliche and small. But a fresh start is exactly that, whenever you decide to do it. And a new year is as good a time as any.
9. Read books. They’re the only thing that’ll take you someplace else when you need to escape the very room or rut, you’re stuck in.
9.1. Music will do this too. Find songs that say what you can’t. Share them, play them loud and be front row at the concert. But keep some for yourself too. For 1 AM in your bedroom, or for your first dance someday.
10. Don’t always feel you have to make plans. Plans have their expiry dates and so do you. Live for now.