Ten Things I Learned in My Mid-Twenties

Holy hell did the last three years go by fast! I mean, I remember sitting down and writing the first in this series like it was yesterday. I was working at Zimmerman, G and I had just bounced back after a break and I was about to start a brand new job in Palm Beach. Life seemed exciting, scary and at times wildly depressing.... but it was also full of hope, fun and new experiences.

Now that I've tacked a few more years (and one new city) on my belt, here are 10 more things I've learned since my early 20's.

1. The world is a lot bigger than you think it is.
It's full of all different types of people with completely different world views, and while that sometimes throws everyone for a loop... the universe has a funny way of correcting itself. Do what you can to make the world a better place and trust that, in the end, things will work out the way they're supposed to.

2. Peer pressure is real and you need to ignore it.
Your newsfeed may look like everyone is having babies and getting married (that's because they are), but if that's so not what you've signed up for then you do you, boo! G and I have been dating for almost 10 years (yes, nearly a decade) and we've just started talking about marriage. That's because we don't really care about anyone else's timeline. 

That's the biggest takeaway. You've got your own timeline. Ignore everyone else's. Just don't use that as an excuse to be a slacker.

3. Stick up for yourself (and your work).

Since the last post, I've had some strange job situations. I've also had the experience of getting laid off from a dream job (stupid small company budgets). If you're giving your job everything you've got and you're still miserable, you have to believe in and stick up for yourself. No one else is going to do it for you. 

Sometimes that means you have to confront bosses and coworkers, and sometimes you have to leave. I promise, there's better work out there and you'll find it. Lighting apparently strikes twice and you'll find another dream job.

I did.

4. Stay woke.

Information is everything. Be aware of your surroundings, know what's going on in the news, understand the perspectives of others. Remember, though, that you can't completely understand the life of someone in a different race/sex/class than you are... but stay open and listen to them.

5. Age is just a number.

I've made friends 10 years older than me and six years younger than me. It may seem weird when you're in high school or fresh out of college, but once you're a full-blown adult it doesn't seem strange at all. In fact, it makes you a well-rounded person.

6. Don't settle.

Not for that crappy relationship because he *might* get better. Not for that terrible job because it *might* turn a corner. Don't settle for anything less than what makes you happy and fulfilled. It doesn't have to make you feel that way all of the time, but it should make you feel like that a lot of the time.

7. Getting married is a circus.

I want nothing to do with wedding planning. I want nothing to do with bridal parties. I don't want to be a princess. I know this makes me sound like a sociopath... and I don't really care. Keep that giant white cupcake dress away from me (but give me the blue designer heels, please).

8. It's okay if you have friends with wildly different interests from yours.

It pushes you out of your comfort zone. Go ahead, try some stuff with them that makes you scared. Even if you hate it, it'll keep you young (I know it sounds ridiculous coming from the mouth of a 26-year-old).

9. Explore it all.

It's cost me plenty of $$$ exploring Miami and doing all of the things I want to do, but I don't think I can look back on a single experience with regret. Even if I didn't wind up liking the place, I'm glad I went and tried it out. It really opened the doors of the city to me. G and I even found a bunch of regular spots for brunch and dinner!

My advice? Find a bunch of "top things to do in [your city/town]" lists and create your own based on your preferences! You'll be glad you did.

10. Living alone is essential to being a real person.

ESPECIALLY as a single woman. You know no greater freedom than wandering around your own place, making your own food, cleaning up your own mess, watching as much Netflix as you can possibly stand and paying your own bills. It's pure magic. I'll forever look upon that year extremely fondly.


Popular Posts