These are the awkward days. These are the days before you’re 30 but after you’re no longer a teen. These are your 20’s. These are the “adulting” years, but really it’s just a joke. You see those you grew up with and their lives unfolding in front of you. Sometimes you find yourself jealous and then other’s you’re cringing just thankful your life isn’t THAT bad. You screenshot and send out in mass groups all of the good and the bad. You nitpick and envy and really you’re quite judgey while you gossip. You see careers building, babies born, marriages beginning and sadly some that have ended too soon. These are the years we feel the most judgment and suffer with a great deal of emotion. We’re making decisions about health plans and elective surgeries. Not to mention dental? These are the years you’re still deciding if you’re going to continue attending church or a new church or if you even have a belief in anything at all. You’re trying to figure out your own career, your own lifestyle, and your own diet. You know how hard it is to figure out what kind of food you want to eat all of the time? Or even harder, what your entire family will be eating? Even, even HARDER you’re trying to figure out if the career you picked just a few years ago is really the path you want to go down or not. These are the years our hormones are finally moved in and settled and we’re just trying to figure out what to do with them. We’ve “peaked” scientifically speaking and now we’re just struggling to keep our heads above water. We make rash decisions still and actually some are quite terrible because we feel entitled to power these days because you know? We’re adults right? Because we can, because damnit we have a bank account and feed ourselves each night right? That’s adulting, isn't it?
These are the years we’re still trying to figure out how to make money or save money. These are the years we drink too much, forget to eat, and barely make it to work on time. These are the years they write movies about because let’s face it we make life hilarious in our 20’s. With all of our mistakes and rushed decision-making we find ourselves wondering if we could host our own TV show! We are probably at the most irrational time in our entire lives. We spend money when we shouldn’t and get wildly out of control over our emotions. We struggle to make all ends meet while still trying to hold onto our sanity and fun days. We compulsively fight to keep balance because that’s what adults are supposed to do right? We forget that just years ago we relied on our parents for help financially and many times emotionally.
I can’t tell you how many times I heard growing up that High School was going to be the easiest time of my life. Yes, yes it was. High School feels like a breeze. The real stuff goes down after high school. You know what else? Life is hard! It’s so much harder than I thought possible. It’s so hard to figure out who you are when you’re racing all day just trying to make it TO life. So often I find myself in a mental debate about where I’m at and where I should be at in my life by now. Many times I just feel inadequate at where I’ve come to. I forget the journey I took. I forget how hard I worked. Even though high school was so easy THESE are the years so many of us, just like myself, take for granted
These are the years your friends change forever. Many of the friends you learned to adore and love in middle school and high school years will either stick around or not. It’s a tough time. You learn who is really with you and see how quickly the others fade into the dark. And that’s okay. Because that means you’re learning who to stick your neck out for. You’re able to clearly see who wants to support you and whom you can get a quick pep talk from in times of need. You know who doesn’t stick around? The people who don’t care don’t stick around. So let them leave. Let them say goodbye. You can’t blame yourself and you can’t blame them. But for every friend that leaves a truer one will shine through. The easiest way to spot a true friend is to see who’s happy and cheering you on when you’re happy too. Don’t let someone thrive on your faults.
These are the 10 years you have to learn to say no and mean it. Saying no doesn’t mean you’re giving up. It means you’re real. It means you’re no longer obligated to say yes. It means you’re tired or just plainly not wanting to do something that doesn’t serve you emotionally. Saying no is more than just the word no. It’s standing up for yourself and your actions. It’s taking responsibility when you could have so easily pawned it off on something else. Saying no means you don’t feel like being the yes robot anymore just to please everyone. You learn about your voice in the world and the guts it takes to be an honest human. Be the human you want to be proud of.
At the end of all the negativity these are still the best years of our lives. These are the years you can find yourself! These are the years that we can build and restart when needed. These are the years when it’s still acceptable to admit defeat. It’s still okay in your 20’s to admit you are self conscious or insecure. It’s still okay to drink too much or to cry when the hallmark commercials roll in, or have a small breakdown. It’s still okay to want perfect everything. A perfect home, outfit, holiday, party, picture, friends, relationship, children, family time, that perfect envious life! But when we fail it’s still okay. Everything will still be okay. Every now and again it’s really okay to have a pity party for one. These are the years to learn to love you and learn to pick yourself up during those times. You must learn that you are the biggest advocate in your own life.
We have ten years to figure out adulting. We’re given ten years to find ourselves and establish healthy habits. These are your 20’s. That’s ten years of adulting and learning to adult. That’s many years of admitting mistake and growing from them. That’s years of laughter, crazy, bad days, breakdowns, being broke, growing rich, finding ups and downs, finding lasting love, real friends, and enjoying the rollercoaster. That’s many years of changing who you are, into the person you want to become. I’m still changing and evolving but I’m happy. So here’s a toast to the next couple of years of finding you and remembering it will all be OK. Be a happy human.