10 Things You Realize in Your 20s

I’ve ranted before about how much your 20s suck. But you know what? They’re not all that bad. And we don’t get too much time to enjoy them. I think this is the first time in your life you’re really able to be introspective. Sure, you’re a disaster and trying to figure what growing up and being an adult actually means; but you also have a little bit of living under your belt. If you’ll allow me to elaborate on some of my findings, well then, keep reading:

1) Spontaneity must be planned – when you’re in college, if you decide you want to go somewhere or do something; you can just do it. The most that will happen is you miss a class. Big deal. I used to do that when all I had going on was a spontaneous nap. Now though, you can be spontaneous, but it has to happen on Saturday or Sunday, or you have to call out from work in advance. Spontaneity comes with rules and restrictions. You’re not totally free to do whatever you want, whenever you want.

2) I’m really selfish – I’m the one person I care most about in this world, for better or worse. I’m not an insecure 18 – 22 year old so desperately concerned about what my friends are thinking that I put them before me. And (while I’m single), I don’t put any member of the opposite sex before me either. These last few years have showed me that people, no matter how much you love each other, will let you down and walk away. I don’t know when this realization started to impact my life and actions, but I’ve noticed it recently. I’m very caught up in my own life, my career, things I can reach out and touch. Everything else is just hard. And I’ve got so much going on everywhere else that hard doesn’t appeal to me. This is one realization I hope I can reverse in my 30s, but for now, I think this is part of getting there.

3) I have to marry something – luckily, this is 2012 and I don’t have to marry a person in my 20s. But the idea of committing to something is real, and it’s valuable. While I can pretty much guarantee I won’t be walking down any aisles (unless it’s like at a movie theater or something) in this decade, I have committed (and in a sense, married) some things over the last few years. I’m committed to this city, I’m committed to my career, I’m committed to sitting in my apartment at least twice a month without pants on. Ok, maybe I’m not married to that last one, but you get what I mean. Now’s the time for committment. Find the things you won’t abandon. And if it’s not a person, that’s okay. You should also give yourself a break once in awhile.

4) I have nice things – this coming from the former owner of Ikea and Target furniture exclusively. I now have nice things. Whether it’s electronics, clothing, jewelry, fancy vacations, etc. your 20s should (hopefully, I know the economy is shit and not everyone has been as lucky as I have been professionally) be a time for investing in the good stuff. Even if it’s just a really nice dinner every once in awhile, or going to a store and buying one awesome thing without looking at the price tag.

5) My figure isn’t going to stay like this forever – much to my chagrin, going to the gym actually does make me feel good and eating like shit (or without taking care to consider what I’m putting into my system) does wreak havoc on my body. After 2 weeks of pasta, pizza, gelato and whatever the hell else I wanted to eat; I went on a post-vacation raw food diet and juice clease (I wrote about it here) and I felt amazing after. Hell, I felt amazing after 2 days of eating raw foods, even without the cleanse. So this is what I’ve learned; take care of your body. Seriously. You don’t realize how bad you are to it until you start doing right.

6) High school kids are like really, really young. 14 year olds (aka high school freshmen) were born in 1998. Seriously. When the fuck did that happen? I recently met a high school senior (actually, he had just graduated high school) and I would have sworn he was 14. I wouldn’t have been shocked if you told me he was 13 and I would have believed 15. But almost 18?? No way. But that’s what 18 year olds look like. I’m so, so old.

7) Love isn’t like in the movies, but you deserve someone that makes you feel like it is. When you’re single in your 20s, it seems that your life (and your conversations with your friends) is all about dating. First dates are fine (and sometimes fun) but we have to fight that annoying pressure from ourselves and from “society” to be in a relationship if it doesn’t feel right. Yes, I have to be realistic (Alexander Skarsgard will not come sweep me off my feet, and also turn out to be a vampire), but I don’t have to settle. There was an article on my favorite blog that said “settling is for pilgrims,” to that I say: a-fuckin-men.

8) You need caffeine – I was never the type of person that needed caffeine in the morning. In fact, coffee in the morning used to make me ill. I would literally get the shakes so bad, I’d put myself out of commission for hours. Now, if I don’t get an iced coffee by 10am, I’m useless for the rest of day. Drinking coffee is so grown up. I hate it.

9) Saving money is important. Like, really important. This time last year, I had had ENOUGH of my fucktard roommates and decided I needed to break my lease and get my own place ASAP. Luckily, I had been saving money since I moved into the city and was able to not blink at the cost of first and last month’s rent, double rent while I was finding someone to take my spot in my old apartment, broker’s fees, moving trucks, furniture, etc. Things come up in your adult life that cost money. Saving money is so important, and if you never realize how important it is; consider yourself lucky.

10) If you’re not scared, you’re not doing it right – Whether it’s a big meeting or a big date; if you’re not phased by it, try something else. Now’s not the time for the butterflies to die. Because…

BONUS – You have plenty of time to grow up – I’m 27. I’m not old. I’m just getting started.

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Posted on August 8, 2012, in 20something and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I can’t wait till i read the 37 edition of this.

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