A couple of days ago I read this post that looks at ‘the 20 mistakes you don’t want to make in your twenties’ and it’s been lingering in the back of my mind ever since.
It’s not that the person who wrote it doesn’t have some good points, because he does - yes, you should make your family and loved ones a priority, you should work hard to get where you want to be and it’s definitely not wise to be gallivanting around, having unprotected sex with any old Tom, Dick and Harry you come across - but the post as a whole left me feeling cold.
Phrases like, “every move you make is a test. Don’t f*ck it up” and “the decisions you make here are truly what dictate your future, as the weak fail and only the strong survive” give the impression that every decision you make in your twenties will dictate you’re entire future happiness and that every minor fuck-up will drag you further towards this awful ‘life of mediocrity’ that the author is so clearly terrified of.
I’m only halfway through my twenties and already my ‘life plans’ have changed so many times that I barely recognise myself as the same girl who was leaving University five years ago. The life she wanted and some of the things that were so important to her are almost comical to the person I am today.
Since turning 20 I’ve lived in 3 cities, changed career aspirations countless times and found myself doing things that the 19 year old me would have never even considered. In fact, every Christmas my Boyfriend and I invariably find ourselves sat in a pub, laughing as we say, “Jesus, did you think last year ______ would be happening right now?”
I’ve gone out on a limb and took chances, even against the odds. I’ve made mistakes… fucking loads of mistakes actually, that have left me feeling broken - but I honestly wouldn’t change a thing about my twenties so far. Every one of those mistakes has taught me a little more about who I am and how I want my life to be, and every chance I’ve taken has opened exciting new doors or sent me soaring into a direction I had never even thought of before.
So today I thought I’d throw my two cents into the mix and share my ideas of the mistakes that you don’t want to make in your twenties…
Not taking chances
In the article above the author states that your twenties aren’t the time to fall in love, that doing so will, “not only make you complacent with where you are in life, but it makes you boring.” Well, I hope that’s working out for him, I really do… but if you wanted my advice I’d say go ahead; fall in crazy, inexplicable love. If it works out then great, if it doesn’t… well, you gave it a shot and maybe even learnt something from it.
I also reckon the same goes for most other aspects of your life. If you live your life completely closed off to every opportunity that doesn’t quite fit in with ‘the plan’, how are you ever going to figure out what you want? If you live your life scared of failing, you’ll never give yourself the chance to succeed.
Not working hard
I think it was Conan O’Brien who once said, “If you work really hard and are kind, amazing things will happen” – a quote I truly believe in. In this world what you want from life is very rarely handed to you on a plate, you have to work for it. This doesn’t just go for your career; work on your relationships, your passions, your own happiness. If you hate your job then keep going to work each day anyway, we all need to pay the bills somehow, but make time to work on what you do what to do. If you want something then do everything in your power to make it happen, never give up.
Not realising what’s really important
I know all too well that little bumps in the road can sometimes seem like mountains, but whatever your twenties brings, don’t lose sight of what’s important. Cherish your loved ones, even when they’re being dicks. Stick to your morals, even when it’s really, really hard to. And don’t give up on anything that means the world to you.
Beating yourself up
Your twenties are a time for learning, so of course you’re going to make a few mistakes – and when you do, try not to beat yourself up too much, it’ll only give you wrinkles. Just do the best you possibly can with whatever the world throws at you and if you fuck up, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep going.
And finally, you’re twenties will go on the blink of an eye, so make sure enjoy them. Don’t spend your days worrying about what’s to come, instead do what you can to create the future you want for yourself, don’t stress about things you can’t change and take each day as it comes.
Until next time… x