Your twenties are chock full of bad habits.
You’re young, you’re in your prime, you’re on your own. COOL!
You’re irresponsible, you drink too much, you took another selfie, you spent all your money. NOT COOL!
But why does everyone have something to say about it? Telling me what should I be doing. Advising me on what I should avoid. There are hundreds of lists on every corner of the internet either agreeing or contradicting with what someone else has already said.
People grow up at different rates, and these compiled lists of what we should and shouldn’t be doing is entirely based on a generic assumption of how a ‘twenty-something’ acts. We don’t act the same. We’re not all on the same timeline.
As a ‘twenty-something’ myself, I read these lists and immediately compare my life to what they’re telling me to do and avoid. Sometimes I agree, but sometimes I don’t.
Look, I get it. I’m not supposed to break the law, and being inappropriately drunk in public before 2pm is frowned upon by society. But half the battle of being in your twenties is moving out of your parents home – IF YOU CAN, figuring out your relationships – IF YOU HAVE ONE, and managing your money – IF YOU HAVE ANY.
The idea of being twenty-something and having your life figured out is utter insanity. Yes that is the ultimate goal. But we all know that. Why do we have to grow up immediately after college and not have fun anymore?
I don’t think you ever reach a point where you have it figured out. My parents don’t even have their life figured out. They moved to the suburbs thirty years ago, and now have no idea what to do with their lives since we’ve moved out.
I bet they didn’t think about that when they had four kids under five-years-old. They were just trying to survive the day without wanting to (metaphorically) kill all of us. It was a stage in life. Just like now.
Personally, I have a lot of bad habits. But the majority of them stem from my age. Isn’t that the whole reason we take away knives from children and allow eight year olds to pick their nose? They grow out of it, and so will we.
Please don’t tell me to stop comparing myself to other girls, because girls just do that. It’s in our blood. If you ever meet a girl who says, “Yeah, I don’t really measure myself against other women, it’s a waste of time because I just love myself so much, and know that I’m worth it.”
That girl is either lying or she is a man. Women innately want to analyze things. Not just bodies, not just minds, everything. We compare tile samples at Target, paint swatches at Home Depot, and the vacuums at department stores before we buy. We are pros-and-cons list advocates, and it has nothing to do with how we feel about our own bodies, that’s just the most obvious comparison we, as women, happen to make.
Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to grow up. Next thing you know, you’re sixty and spend three hours a day wondering where your life went. Find a balance between toddler and parent and stick to it for a while.
It’s okay to be weird, it works. Just don’t lick anyone’s face and people will think you’re quirky.
Let’s stop talking about the quintessential post-grad love life. Relationships, and lack there of, are not unique to this age bracket. Reaching your twenties just means you’ve progressed to a whole new level of issues. It’s like you’re in a real life video game, and it’s saying, “Congratulations! You’ve reached level 22, you are now equipped to deal with the reality of dating in a thriving metropolis! Go forth, enjoy it!”
Newsflash: Where you live now is just a bigger version of high school or college. Same problems, different location. Adapt and deal.
Unless you have a dress code at work, don’t let anyone tell you what to wear. The fact that wearing sweatpants outside of the house isn’t acceptable is a crock of shit. Wear what you feel comfortable in. It’s not “if you look good, you feel good,” rather it should be, “if you feel good, you’re more confident.” And confidence is more important than wearing a tight pair of pants and heels because basketball shorts are forbidden at the grocery store.
You’re at the goddamn grocery store. Do you really think people care what you’re wearing when you’re selecting which cantaloupe feels more ripe? No. They’re more concerned with the amount of items in your cart and whether or not they should try and cut you in line.
Who cares if your friend group is sizably smaller than it was in college. When you were at school, if you attended, there were thousands of other people at the same place passionate about the same things. If everyone in the world lived in places based on the same interests, this would make it possible for everyone to have infinite friends.
Instead, we live in the real world, where people have to embrace differences and work to establish meaningful friendships. Ignore everyone who tries to tell you how many friends you need to have. This isn’t high school. Life doesn’t care about your friend count. If you’re happy, that’s what matters.
At the end of the day, follow your gut. More times than I can count, my first instinct was the best one. If you have to overthink a decision, chances are it probably isn’t a good idea. Unless you’re dealing with ghost peppers and heights; then thinking it through is always a plus.
Your twenties are chock full of bad habits and bad decisions to match. But you don’t have to break them right away. Let’s make this a judgment free zone, avoid the snarky comments revolving around making a bad decision, and let the individual decide whether or not to do it again. After all, you are an adult now, and it’s time you decided what is and isn’t good for you.
Along the road you’ll encounter a problem, a blessing, an inconvenience, and eventually, a reward… your thirties.