I’m not gonna lie, the mid-twenties are ruthless years. They have no sympathy for you. They tell you to try things out, make mistakes, seek out the unknown, get hurt, learn. They have you waking up one morning feeling like a giddy kid at the candy store, like you have your life totally together, like you are on the top of the world. They have you going to bed feeling depressed over a situation you can’t control, confused with your future, overwhelmed with figuring out who you are and what you want.
I wrote a blog on the quarter life crisis a while back. Discovering that phenomena has been helpful in of itself, as it has aided me in understanding this strange period of time, as well as knowing that I am not alone. But with that said, there’s still a lot I’m working on.
Below are some challenges that I find are trending with myself and other twenty-somethings. If you can relate, then I hope you find my tips and coping mechanisms helpful. If you can’t, well then that’s good and I would love to know what you are doing.
Some say that the twenties are the times when you should be exploring and discovering yourself. I have lived in Chicago for three years now, and I love the city and the new life I have paved out for myself. Yet, I can’t help but to start asking myself important questions.
Am I supposed to be living somewhere exotic right now and traveling the world? Exploring a new life? Taking a huge risk? If not now, then when?
Am I supposed to be living in St. Louis with my family – the ones whom love me and I love the most? Am I missing out by not spending most of my time with them?
Do I stay in Chicago where all of my close friends are and my current life? Do I eventually leave? If I do say goodbye – when?
Tip: Trust yourself and your judgment. If you want to be somewhere, then stay. Don’t let FOMO influence you to try something else because you think this is the only time. Live where you want when you want, and when the time is right for you to move, you will know.
In middle school, high school, and college a lot of us cared a little too much about fitting in and being in the cool kid crowd – if you’re still consumed by those concerns, then you’re on your own.
These days, ain’t nobody got time for that shit. We are working men and women of the world, and the last things on our minds should be caring about what others think and upholding an image to the general public.
With that said, this is the time more than ever to cling onto the friends that make you happy, and love and support you; dump the toxic ones that do not add value to your life and; always be looking for ways to connect with new people – whether it be sharing a passion or just by clicking organically.
Tip: Surround yourself with those that make you happy and add goodness to your life, while cutting ties with those that do not. Be open to new friendships, create something meaningful, and find mutual benefits in the relationship.
I log into Facebook and my newsfeed is flooded with, “I said yes!” AHHHHH, so many people are getting engaged, getting married, or having babies, and it is freaking me the F OUT. I am nowhere close to that stage in my life, and I feel like I have so much to do and work on before I can give myself to someone forever.
Yet, I can’t help but to freak out a little bit inside.
Is this bad that I am not dating someone right now? Aside from the Jswipe, Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge crowd – why haven’t I found someone yet? Should I be concerned when grandma calls and asks if I have a boyfriend (of course followed by asking if he is Jewish) and my answer is no?
Here is what I’ve learned.
Tip: Settling is the worst thing in the world. It kills me inside when I see people in relationships just to be in one. Call me a hopeless romantic, but I want the real damn thing. And you know what!? I’m not gonna stop until I find it.
Be in a relationship with yourself first. Work on you. Do what you love. Enjoy and take advantage of your youth. Advance in your career. Don’t settle.
Being thirsty, which Urban Dictionary defines as too eager to get something (especially play), is also a big no-no. When you’re thirsty, both women and men can sense the desperation seeping out of your pores. It’s a big turnoff.
I’ve been there though. I’ve been the girl at the bar who does laps to find cute guys; the girl who scans the room for eye candy and gives the death stare to a hoty praying for eye contact. Let me tell ya….it doesn’t work. It does the opposite. When you put forth so much effort, you are only met with resistance. You also miss out on what’s going on right around you.
Be in the moment, and don’t look. He/she will come when you are doing you.
Have self-respect. Know what you want and deserve. I’m an extreme kind of a girl, and I either give zero effort to something or someone or 110 percent effort. I’ve learned that it is not worth it if your effort cannot be matched. If you are in something that is not mutually beneficial, cut the ties gently. And quickly. There are other opportunities to come your way.
Do something you love. You spend so much of your life at work, why do something that makes you unhappy or be in an environment that does not make you feel good? It is not fair to yourself, because you deserve to do something that inspires you and makes you feel proud. I get upset when people say no one loves their job or it’s just a job. I don’t agree. One of my best friends is obsessed with what she does, and it is so beautiful to see her face light up when she talks about work.
Tip: Take a risk and go after what you love and aspire to be. There is something out there for everyone. You just have to be willing to figure out what that is that’s waiting.
I’m over the college years of binge-drinking and taking, “SHOTTTTS!” Over having those painfully hungover, what the f*** did I do last night mornings, where I am engulfed in a tornado of anxiety and fear. I’m over the years of getting late night munchies and eating junk food, ordering deep dish pizza, and not being able to button my pants up.
OK, I haven’t morphed into a super vanilla, always staying in on the weekends, kale-obsessed, person, but my priorities have changed. I try to not lean onto alcohol for a social crutch, and I definitely do not drink into oblivion. Getting wasted and being reckless does not benefit anyone. Well, if you’re a chick – maybe it benefits the guy who is trying to take you home.
Tip: Health – both physical and mental – is crucial right now. Someone once told me that your brain stops developing after your late twenties. So if you’re in your mid-twenties, you are super sensitive to everything you are putting in your body. Fuel up with healthy food and bring the drinking down a couple of notches.
There is so much more to say, and I could probably go on and on, but I’ve gotta call it quits at some point. My fingers need a typing break, and I’m sure your eyes are ready for a break as well. I hope you enjoyed and found value in this piece.
Till next blog!