These last few weeks have made me sit back and think of the last coupla years of my life, not that im an old fuddy duddy (word courtesy @veiga2412) but im not growing younger either… And although im 23, and in my 20 something stage, I know there’s a lot more I can learn.
Jotting down what I’ve learned in my 20’s seems tragic now that I’ve started. Things I knew, I forgot. Lessons that were learned now need repeating. Mantras I’ve burned into my memory, fade and the hard lessons earned get tattered and lose meaning.
But in hind sight, isn’t that what growing up is all about? Accepting that not every accomplishment or milestone is a celebration, that some memories will be forgotten or that not all friendships will stand the test of time.
Being 20s (20 something) we tend to fall often. We stagger through relationships and careers, we make friends and lose them, we stay out too late and spend too much. We stumble. But we do more. We do better. We stretch our ability to understand the world on our own. We walk confidently into job interviews and walk proudly out of the past. We realize we have more in common with our parents than we think. We make friends and keep them. We take chances,- we leap for great things and we reach them.
We fall in love, oh we fall in love.
We meet people who make our hearts stop and we love every second of it. We almost die from feeling so alive. We live a decade of firsts. First dates, first kisses and first “I love yous”. We will one day grow old- you and I, and envy how we loved at this age. We will look back and see us young enough to give our hearts without them being chained with past mistakes or heavy cynicism- old enough to reap the rewards of being brave enough to try.
Here’s something I’ve learned…
Sex on a beach is overrated, sex on a water bed is not. A kiss on the forehead can be the best kind. The ‘ex’ is an ex for a reason. Follow your heart, but trust your brain. Loves means having to say sorry. Do not date a man who owns more hair products than you. If he likes you, he will tell you. Dancing can be the best type of foreplay, but never underestimate the power of a game of Scrabble. They are just as scared as you. Bad dates at least make good stories. It’s the guy who makes you laugh when you are crying that you want to keep. Don’t look back. Say “I love you” when you mean it. Do not call old boyfriends after consuming a gallon of wine- no one wins.
Floss. You can never own too much lip gloss. Great posture changes everything. I will always burn myself attempting to heat my eyelash curler. You always look prettier when you are happy. Bronzer is always a good thing. SLEEP.
Call partying “entertaining” and it will always sound classier. Never underestimate the fun of board games. “Beer before liquor never been sicker- liquor before beer and you’re in the clear”. Take more pictures. Pool cannot be boring, and if it is- you need to play with different people. Wine is always a good gift to bring. Dance Mix 94 is the greatest CD ever and you shouldn’t trust anyone who disagrees with you.
Be thankful you have them and TELL THEM THAT.
Find something to like about your job. Do not talk about your ‘entertaining’ weekend with the boss. Effort is always appreciated, but results are remembered. Always pack a bigger lunch than you think you will eat. Do the best you can with what you’ve got. Keep your resume updated.
You will be happier if you stop reading Cosmo. Keep a journal; it’s comforting to read how far you’ve come. Find an issue to get passionate about. Give more than you get and you will get more than you need. It’s never too late to send a sympathy card or a thank you note. Travel to someplace where you don’t speak the language- after you suffer a mental breakdown, you will begin to enjoy it. Get a library card. Never turn down a birthday invite, a travel offer or a party involving wine tasting. Do not waste time on people who don’t deserve it. Ask your grandparents to tell you their stories. Do not wash towels with anything else but towels. Googling George Clooney photos is NOT “putting yourself out there”. Listen to your mom.
I’ve learned that being a 20something isn’t all late nights and third dates. It goes faster than that, a whirlwind of firsts and almosts, of heartbreak and independence. It’s weddings and funerals, blurs of travel and education, a hurricane of change that takes your breath away. Your life zooms past you as you sit on a train basking in the afternoon light. You stare out a window and into the world as it goes by and though you can’t articulate every thing you are seeing, everything you are feeling- you grasp it’s beauty in one giant swoop and realize what is out there and know you are going in the right direction. And that’s a feeling you can hold on to.
That’s a feeling I can hold on to.