3 Things I Wish I Had Known In My 20s – Neon Notebook
This is really only a question I suppose a 40 something can answer and after perusing this site and reading some of the posts I whole-heartedly agree with their advice. It’s all very sound and practical and wise. None of which I usually am, and I especially wasn’t in my 20’s.
I had a great career, made good money, had a couple a great boyfriends. Then, I lost the good money and broke up with the boyfriends. And the truth is, I don’t regret a minute of it.
Because I’ve realized without any of those experiences I wouldn’t be me, and I’m pretty happy with me. And I hope you are, too. That by far is the most important thing to remember—the hardest to do—but the most important. Love yourself.
Here’s what I would say to my 20 something self, even though chances are I probably wouldn’t have listened:
1. Seriously, it’s funny – you may not think it now, but when your 40 and having an all girls night and drinking wine, that story about waking up on your porch in your own vomit after a late night of drinking will be funny. So go out and have fun, just try not to do anything that’s going to leave any lasting marks. And these days whatever you do, don’t post it on Facebook. Try not to take life to seriously, you’re going to make bad choices, you’re going to wish you hadn’t done that, said that or seen that, in the moment anyway. This is how we learn about life: from screwing it up. As long as you’re willing to realize you’ve screwed up, it’s most likely fixable, so don’t panic. Just fix it. In 5 years it’s not going to matter anyway.
2. Change is inevitable so embrace it. Give yourself permission to change your mind, your beliefs about yourself and your world, because it’s going to change whether you like it or not. Holding onto your past is only going to make moving in to your future more painful and frustrating. Let things go. If you’ve chosen a career and you hate it, change it. If you moved to a city you don’t love, move somewhere else. You don’t have to stay the same in any way – who you are is entirely up to you, moment by moment. There are no rules, so stop following any and live. Explore the depths of yourself to find what it is you truly love and do that until you don’t love it anymore, and then do something else.
3. Everything is going to be ok. Trust that. Your life will probably not look anything like you dreamed about when you were 7 and you won’t name your twins Abigail and Prudence, but if you’ve checked in with your heart, honestly reflected on yourself and your true desires for life, cleaned out your belief closet about what’s right and wrong and are living consciously then your life is exactly as it should be, and even if your flailing about like a flag in the wind…you’re going to be ok. Just find a way to ground yourself: walking, meditating, yoga, pole dancing, whatever. Just create a good relationship with your gut and you’ll be fine.