It’s the TWENTIES! Yikes!
Dear Woo Woo Girl: I am 25 and a hot mess. Stressed out, because I hate my job and basically life. I feel like I am trying to be friends with everyone and turning into a people pleaser. My student loan is due, I have a roommate that drives me crazy, but I can’t afford not to have one. I am miserable with a capital M. Signed WTF
Dear WTF: Life in your 20’s can be summed up by someone in their 20’s who said:
… a combination of the ominous feeling of social insecurity and the strangulating sensation of waking up choking because someone switched off the fan as you slept is what … 20 feels like
Life is about decades and each one brings it challenges and triumphs. The 20’s if you allow it, is a decade for you to learn how to direct your life in whatever direction you want it to go in. The details that are bogging you down are for you to let go of. This is your time to decide how to live, experiment with all types of people, jobs, interests and what you absolutely hate. It is also a time to know you have choices, and practice exercising them. You have the freedom to do it, and if you learn at least one lesson in this decade, it is you can change it up whenever you decide! Express it.
My 20’s were fraught with highs and lows. I was amazing; I was a superstar; I had the world by it’s tail. Then there was love. There was a lot of it. All ages and experience. I was on top one day and in bed sobbing from a heart break, or from the pressure of staying up till 3am partying, and working the next day. Hungover, no boundaries, passionate about everything and nothing I desperately needed to taste it all. I licked everything I could. Everything was available; flying in every direction including the wrong ones just because I could. Burn out was inevitable. Lesson after lesson including the ones I would never learn started in my twenties. Life kickstarted ferociously then.
Looking back I could have saved myself so many highs and lows if I had known a few things. (Actually I lie. I would have done it anyway because life was exciting..,but if you need a few tips so you don’t drink too much to quell the constant anxiety, see below:
7 THINGS TO KNOW WHEN YOU ARE IN YOUR 20’S
1. YOU ARE HOT: No matter what the night before looked like, you are still hot. Enjoy and flaunt it. Get to know what you look like because that is the image of yourself that you will carry around for the rest of your life. When I catch myself in the mirror I am shocked that it is not my 20 year old self looking back.
2. YOU ARE HOT AND A CATCH! I envy you. I really do. Romantic confidence is yours to have. You look good, you are curious, and there are so many suitors to try out. It doesn’t come with a guarantee but revel in your confidence that this is a time for trying them on to see how they fit.
3. INVINCIBLE YOU: Part of being in your twenties is thinking nothing bad will happen to you. Bungee jumping, sky diving, trekking are all within your grasp. Embrace and push yourself when you have the freedom to explore, and the physical stamina to do it.
4. NEED TO IMPRESS: 20 something’s feel the need to impress, partly because they want to be taken seriously, and because their social circle has changed from high school. Transitioning from university, then into the work force is another change so it is a vulnerable time. A revolving door of new people is a little bit like standing in quicksand and not knowing who to reach out to.
But know people are people are people. No matter how much money they seem to have, what they studied, where they are from, they are striving as much as you. People pleasing and spending too much time on what you look like to impress someone who is just as secure as you, is silly, isn’t it? Know that you don’t need to impress your friends who may or not be around for the long haul. But do play with clothes; play with your look. Show off what you have. Learn to read what you say in your clothes. Easy? Arrogant? Insecure? Understand clothes teach us about our comfort level with putting ourselves out there, personal boundaries, and our thoughts on money and status.
5. DEBT: The 20’s are the poor years. There is not enough money for all the things you want to do. So favorite foods become Kraft Dinner with ketchup, McDonalds, meat pies, Raman Noodles. Think of it as preparation for life. There will never be enough money for everything; making ends meet can be an asset on your dating profile; there will always be bills to pay; there will not be enough for the one thing you really, really want; and being unburdened by stuff is actually liberating. Creative shopping on a budget or at a thrift store is the best kind. Unless you spill the beans, no-one knows how much you really spent.
6. SELFT-DOUBT AND CONFUSION: Bad choices, not knowing what you really want, or how to get where you really want to get to, and with who, is all part of the package. Trial and error rules this decade but it does for every decade. There are no certainties, and when you finally have a handle on life a curve ball is thrown your way. Embrace the anxiety. Learn to manage it and do yourself a lifelong favor.
7. FREEDOM: OH THE FREEDOM: I miss it, but eventually when the kids are grown you get it back again. By then, it has kind of lost it charm. Nothing was as wondrous as it was in your 20’s so make the most of it. Travel, and travel some more. Date everyone who asks. Change your job, your flat mate. Do whatever you feel like doing and try everything. Because unless you’re the bohemian type you will settle down; buy a house; have 2 kids and a fulltime job. Freedom is fleeting. Pretend you’re a bird and fly toward it.
WHAT ABOUT YOUR SPECIFIC SITUATION?
. Well, pay your bills and look for a new job or hobby. Something that lights a fire under you.
. Swap out your roomy. Make a list of the qualities you want and go find them.
. Join a hiking group, the gym. Sweat out the anxiety.
. Go home for dinner every two weeks. Visits home are grounding and will remind you of where you came from and who you are becoming.
Spiritual Exercise: 20 minutes of yoga daily and fall asleep to a guided meditation for anxiety
“A self is not something static, tied up in a pretty parcel and handed to a child, finished and complete. A self is always becoming.” – Madeleine L’Engle