If I have learned one thing about being in your twenties, it’s that it is a time period filled with harsh realities. I used to count the days until I can say I’m living in my second decade, enjoying every wonderful moment it has to bring. What I didn’t realize is how much shit you really have to endure and learn in the process.
These “lost years” aren’t always a piece of cake and pie. You have to realize that it takes a lot of other ingredients to make up the whole that you can hopefully enjoy one day. Being in your twenties is a learning process and I wish I were given a real talk as to what these years can truly bring.
While it can vary with every person, here are the harsh realities I have learned with being in my twenties thus far.
YOU HAVE TO BE REALISTIC.
The Harsh Reality: We don’t become Cinderella in a snap of a finger. We still have to live being a pumpkin for a while.
Just by watching an episode of The Hills, I envisioned my twenties being a time where I lived the dream lifestyle. I go to the hottest parties, have my own Taylor Swift Squad of friends, work at my dream job straight out of college and wear the trendiest fashion.
With enough work and perseverance, you can make your dreams come true! You just have to realize that you can’t hold the highest expectations. You can aspire to be the next Martha Stewart, but if you simply became a local baker in your hometown, would that be so wrong?
Dreams are great; just don’t give yourself too high of expectations to the point where you live your life constantly impatient and let down that they aren’t happening already. Things take time! Make the best of what you got!
CHANGE WILL HAPPEN.
The Harsh Reality: You can’t fear or run away from change. You aren’t always going to be the same person.
So you used to be this crazy, outgoing person wanting to go to parties and have fun all the time. Now you’re transformed into a more reserved person, finding it more fun to have movie marathons at your house than partying it up in a club. You spend more money on grocery shopping than shopping at the mall. Your groups of friends you have known since you were younger are on different paths in life and being more grown-up versions of the people they used to be. They’re getting engaged, pregnant, getting job promotions, etc. Everything is changing and you can’t seem to find the “pause” button on the reality show that is your life.
There’s nothing wrong with growing up. We are all destined to change. You just have to realize that you can’t always be the same you, you were five years ago. You can only be the person you are evolving as and always meant to be. Be okay with that. Don’t fear change. Accept it.
BE OKAY ON YOUR OWN.
The Harsh Reality: You are all you got.
Do you ever have those days when you feel alone and as if you have no one but yourself to rely on? Sure you have friends, family, your pets, etc. but at the end of it all, the one person who is always going to be there with you for the rest of your life, is yourself. So learn to be okay with who you are, being on your own and live life independently! You have to learn to live life confidently on your own! It’s YOUR life! You are your OWN person! So live life that way.
YOU HAVE TO FAKE IT ‘TIL YOU MAKE IT
The Harsh Reality: You will have no idea who you really are, what you want to do, where you’re going in life, but you can embrace the confusion with as much confidence as you can pretend to have.
Being in your twenties is a time when you have to figure every little thing about growing up, yourself and life all while trying to seem sane. You may be lost, clueless and unsure as to what the future holds or how to answer the big question: “Who am I?” Don’t show how much the madness of growing up is getting to you. Own the confusion! If you’re scared, be scared! If you’re excited, be excited! Growing up brings a tidal wave of emotions, but you simply have to ride the waves instead of crashing into them. Like Taylor Swift said….
PEOPLE WILL LOVE/HATE YOU.
The Harsh Reality: People aren’t always going to love you and they’re not all going to hate you. You’re not that special.
At the end of the day, you can only count on being yourself. You can’t spend so much time worrying about what others think, the cattiness of jealous people, why a customer is being rude to you for no reason and why Jennifer Lawrence can’t just realize you’re soul sisters. You can’t please everyone. If haters are gonna hate, then let them. If people are going to praise you then let them. Don’t question yourself with people’s perceptions of you. If they don’t like you, don’t doubt who you are as a person and change who you are to make them like you. If they really like you, don’t doubt that they will change their mind and wonder what they really think of you. Just remember to be yourself and whoever truly respects and cares for you will remain by your side regardless.
YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT
The Harsh Reality: You have responsibilities. Grow up.
You see that hot dress on a mannequin in the window and envision yourself rocking it to work the next day. You then remember you have bills to pay and are in no position to be spending any money carelessly.
Your friends invite you to go out for a get together, but you are too tired and need to prep for a midterm the next day.
You want to watch a marathon of Gossip Girl, but you have to get off your ass and clean your room for once.
We all want to do things that we want to do, but that doesn’t mean that we can. While in your twenties, you are struck with the biggest reality of them all: You’re an effing adult!
Long gone are the days when life was careless, free and you could just be a kid. You’re now left with balancing work and a social life. You’re left to determine what is a want versus a need. You become the adult you always got mad at your parents or adult figures for being. You are now a grown-up, so it’s time to start acting like it. Figure out what you want to do in life, learn how to live on your own, make decisions on your own and be organized.
Being in your twenties isn’t supposed to be easy, but it’s supposed to be worth it.