Things I learnt from my 20s, I wish I could've learnt earlier...
People are always so afraid of growing up. They fear their age and wished they could go back just a couple years when they were younger. I on the other hand felt extremely liberating growing older. I remember when I turned 25, externally I did crib because you know I felt I’d look like a weirdo if I was the only once feeling happy about my age while everyone else was so so unhappy. But internally, I felt great! Somewhere I believe this to be true that a person is called an adult in India only after 25 or when they hit 25. After 25 we’re allowed to make our own choices and our own decisions (which is a really really big deal!) So, turning older is always a big party for me.
I hit 30 last month (June) and I was so damn excited. Leaving my 20s was something I’d been waiting for since a really long time. The kind of freedom I’ve experienced in the last couple of years post 28 have been such a blessing for me. But now that I’m here in my 30s (barely! But still) I really want to share a few things I learnt being in my 20s and maybe if I did go back in time this is what I’d like to tell my 20 something (I’ve always wanted to say this like Carrie, SATC).
This is what I’ve learned –
1. No one’s got it together - I spent most of my teen years and my 20s trying to get it perfect and trying to get it together. I failed! Miserably. “Getting it together” this concept is really flawed and a myth. It doesn’t exist. No one ever has it together all the time. Everyone’s figuring things out and everyone’d a little messed up. So if you don’t have it together all the time. It’s totally cool.
2. Your primary relationship is with yourself – I felt as if I was thrown in a pit of relationships (romantic/family/friendship etc) at once. And boy managing relationships is such a tedious work. It is work! What we tend to forget in our 20s is that the primary relationship we have is the one we have with ourselves. It’s okay to want to be available for your friends/family/partner but it’s just as important to save time for yourself.
3. Make mistakes – There’s a reason why your 20s are so special and important. It is in your 20s you tend to explore and also make mistakes. But somehow since we’re focused on getting things right and perfect, we tend to prevent ourselves from making any mess or mistakes. This can be a huge setback. Mistakes help you grow and evolve and mature. It can also help you prepare you with the attitude you need to deal with crisis.
4. Don’t waste your time – Don’t mean to sound like an old woman but its true. I wasted a lot of time in my 20s behind things and people who weren’t good for me or who didn’t treat me well and things that weren’t good for my growth, instead I could spent all that time learning a new skill (I’ve always wanted to learn painting/sketching, learning the guitar) or invested in my personal development (learnt it wayyyyy later).
5. Find your Passion – Your passion can literally save your life. But most of us in our 20s don’t seem to know what are we passionate about and the fear of figuring it out can really be a big setback. Your passion doesn’t necessarily have to bring you an income (if it does that’s pretty great too). It’s something you need at the end of the day or when life is a bit challenging and unwelcoming.
6. Express more, complain less – Lets get one thing straight, complaining is not expressing. Even though it can be but its not. Expressing should make you need better, complaining on the other hand makes you feel even more worse than you’re already feeling and it drains your energy. Expressing on the other hand is a little but more assertive and positive in my opinion and this is something I would’ve loved to follow in my 20s (I did in my late 20s).
7. Surround yourself with positive people – Trust me you’re going to want to need this and so much of it. The kind of people you surround yourself with determine the kind of person you are and no, as cliché as this may sound, it’s that simple piece of wisdom I wish I knew earlier.
8. Your experience is far bigger than your age – Contrary to the fact that I’m talking to you about age, I truly believe that its just a number when it comes to your decisions and choices and life events. Your experience counts a lot more than your age ever will. Give your experience the importance and priority you should give.
9. Don’t disrespect your body – Body shaming affects your self-confidence and it certainly affected mine. I was diagnosed with PCOS in my early 20s and put on weight incredibly fast. I even started to hate my body at one point of time and stayed indoors so I wouldn’t have to go out and meet anyone. But I wish I would’ve just accepted my body. Learnt about the myths I was holding on to and ignored or blocked people who made fun of me.