“Our twenties are about what we plant in the ground, not about what we harvest. We can’t keep pulling our seeds out of the dirt before it has time to grow.” Paul Angone
Good afternoon ! Hope you are enjoying your Labour day before the long weekend ends. Today I felt like talking about something personal. They say with age comes knowledge and ever since my birthday and turning quarter a century I have learned quite a lot. At times we tend to feel alone when we are doing this whole #adulting thing and social media is of no help. The number of times I look at my feed it is easy to get the impression everyone else except you has their sh*t together and know what they are doing. News flash! They don’t, actually, most adults are just figuring out life as they go and that is perfectly normal. That been said, I have come up with a list of 25 things I have learnt so far and hope to encourage you and let you know that you are not alone. Enjoy !
- Life is hard and it will not get easier. This is just a fact. When growing up am sure many of us dreamed of having a great life and put a deadline right around your mid-20s that we would have life all sorted out and settled. You will realise success takes a lot of hard work and failure is plentiful at this stage. Best advice is to keep moving forward, it’s hard but nobody has ever said life is easy.
- You don’t have ample time to find your passion and pursue it. You can easily get stuck doing a job you do not like because you have responsibilities and bills to pay. The longer you put off your passion and are just working for that paycheck the harder it will be to pursue your passion. It becomes significantly harder to change careers or pursuing your passion.
- Hard work is not everything. It sounds mean but it’s true. You should accept that sometimes your efforts in your career and at work will not always be recognised or bring results and it is okay, just keep moving forward.
- You will be confused as sh*t! no lie. Your 20s are a time of confusion. You find yourself picking majors in campus and constantly changing them. You thought that degree would prepare you for your 9-5 but alas you hate it and realised it’s not what you wanted.
- Your heart will be broken. This is when you have your first serious relationship and fairy tales only exist in the books. When you slowly start to figure out what you want in life you find that your partner is not what you want or see in your future and going separate ways hurts.
- Being broke on campus was the richest time of your life. It’s no joke when you are told your college years will be the best time of your young life. I really miss something called medical insurance *sigh*. Plus, you were never really that broke, cmon you know I am right.
- Your relationships matter way more than your career. Do not sacrifice family and friends for your career, you will end up miserable. Many people on their death beds will always ask for the people they love to be around them because when you face your own mortality you realise that your family and friends are all that ever really mattered to you and not that quota your boss gave you.
- You will lose friends. It’s a sad truth, we all lose touch with those friends we swore and thought would be a forever type of friendship, it’s okay as it is part of growth and you will eventually make new friends.
- Making new friends is HARD. You will make a tonne of acquaintances but not friends. Real friendships will be harder to forge since you are busy trying to figure things out, but you will eventually make friends.
- Make time for play. It is important to decompress and enjoy yourself you are young only once in this lifetime. Your youth should not be wasted by having so much stress until you feel like an old person with responsibilities that you are even yet to have. Plus, it keeps you optimistic.
- Do not be embarrassed it’s a waste of time. If you are not willing to be embarrassed then how will you be great? Life is full of mishaps so do not wallow in them just pick yourself up and dust it off. Challenges create character so do not break, be strong.
- Do not be on social media for more than an hour at a time. People I know we all feel this; ‘my life sucks’, ‘what’s wrong with my life?’, ‘why can’t I be like her/him’ e.t.c. Obsessive Comparison Disorder is the plague of our generation. Constantly comparing yourself to others is how you kill yourself without realising it. Make a conscious effort to avoid it because it is the human psyche to always compare.
- Hangovers are real. Gone are the days your body bounces back so quickly after a night of drinking. Your body is ageing and you just have to accept it and take better care of your health.
- You parent yourself. Yes, no one tells you what it means to be an adult and you realise it’ basically parenting you. When growing up your parents told you what to do, had you on time schedules and pretty much organised your daily life. Now you are grown and have to muster enough discipline to do it on your own and it’s hard but necessary.
- If you grew up in the church you will stop going. Your 20s are a process of making faith your own, apart from what you learned from your parents and childhood. At times that means getting a bit lost before you find yourself coming back, you’re not a bad person, you just want to truly understand your spirituality and relationship with God.
- Life will dismantle you. You will have a couple of breakdowns but when you rebuild you come out stronger and more resilient for what the future may throw your way. It sucks but with pain comes strength. Avoid useless pain that does not build strength as it can destroy you.
- Be authentic. Do not try to be someone else or somebody you are not. You must stay true to yourself because everybody else is taken, you can only be you. Once you embrace this you learn to love yourself and understand that the world needs YOU not a copy.
- Many humans are douche-bags. Seriously there are some awful people in this world, learn not to focus on them as their misery is contagious.
- You cannot please everyone. It is funny how we know this but we still try our darn hardest to be liked or amicable with everyone we meet or know. Stop just stop, you will never be liked by everyone, heck even Mother Teresa had haters.
- It is a great time to be alive. Wherever you are, whatever you are going through it is important to remember you are in your 20s! Stop over stressing, many responsibilities are yet to come, enjoy the few you have now because they will pile up as you grow older.
- Integrity preserved is honour won. We do so many stupid things and make many mistakes in our 20s, it is necessary. But, the most important thing is to learn from them and to remember even billionaires cannot buy a good reputation, so be a person of high integrity as it pays off in its own way.
- Your parents will not always be supportive. It sucks if your parents or those you love do not agree or support your life plans, but you can never please everyone and it is okay.
- Prayer keeps you motivated. Life in your 20s gets so hard at times the only place I have found comfort is in prayer. I constantly remind myself that God promises to always help when I seek Him. I always feel calm and at peace when I pray, very therapeutic for your spirit.
- Never belittle anyone. Be humble because tomorrow is never promised, you can be good today and tomorrow your world completely changes.
- Always have an attitude of gratitude. It is a deliberate effort to be happy, no person or amount of money can make you happy like you can. Always be grateful for what you have, stop focusing on what you don’t have because after all that’s what we all want, to be happy.
Photo by George Maina