What You Learn in Your 20s

I think I’m having a semi mid-life crisis. I had one when I was 20, 24 and 25 as well. I felt excited to be 26 last year, (still can’t figure out why), but now I’ve got a feeling a crisis is brewing as September creeps closer. If I’m right, while my Facebook timeline has a surge of activity due to people too cool for school, wishing me a “hpy bday,” instead of a, “happy birthday,” I’m likely to be deep in thought. As the years pass, I worry that I haven’t achieved as much as I should have and wish I could go back in time to become an inventor, PHD graduate or the millionaire I clearly by now should be.

Yes, these are the thoughts that run through my mind, make me feel old and cause me to feel like I’m having a semi mid-life crisis. Thankfully, these depressing thoughts have a great way of motivating me to achieve more. I guess crisis isn’t the right word — reflection is. I’ve experienced semi mid-life moments of reflection.

crisis_communication1I usually have to type a whole blog post to better understand my feelings. I literally begin a post not knowing what my conclusion will be, which aside from being therapeutic, is rather fun. Today however, I have a good idea what my concluding thoughts in this post will be because I’ve spent time for the last couple of years thinking about it. The title probably gives that away.

A few days ago I read a great piece in the New York Time’s Opinion section called, What you learn in your 40s, and started considering what I had learnt so far in my 20s. I jotted points down and soon realised I was writing a short novel so knew I had to share some words of wisdom on my loved but often forgotten blog.

Here are some things I now know that I wish someone told me on the eve of my 20th birthday when I had my first semi mid-life crisis…ehem, semi mid-life moment of reflection:

1)    You are still young in your 20s. I know it feels like play-time is over but you’re still in your skates but there really is enough time to have fun while working hard.

2)    You can’t escape working hard. Seriously, one way or another, you’re going to dream about being on a beach on a regular basis because even if you love your job, you’ll realise it can be hell at times.

3)    Going on holiday is better than buying clothes.

4)    Most of your wise decisions as a teen were incredibly stupid. With this knowledge, you’ll make the same terrible decisions a few more times.

5)    Your terrible decisions will mostly be linked to the guy or female you date. The good news is you won’t spend as long as you did as a teen to work out when the person you are dating is a scum-bag.

6)    You’ll think you’ve fallen in love but realise later that you’re still crap at selecting who you should be in a relationship with.

7)    You’ll love being single but hate not having a girlfriend/boyfriend. You’ll never admit the latter.

8)    Staring up at your ceiling and reflecting with sadness the wrong decisions you have made while you lie on your back on your bed isn’t cliché — it’s necessary.

9)    You will fall in love and believe/hope you’ll get married and live happily ever after. You won’t be able to until you’ve got somewhere for you both to live and other things that may seem shallow but are incredibly necessary.

10) LOL, BFF, LMFAO, STFU etc are acronyms you need to stop using if you want to be taken serious by serious people.

11) You need a car. Not to show off with but for boring things like food shopping.

12) Your parents are awesome — you’ll regret the times you pushed them away. The good thing is, if you’re lucky enough to still have them around, it’s not too late to build a relationship with them.

13) You’ll put on weight. If you don’t do something about it, you’ll just get fatter. Talking about joining a gym for months surprising is no substitute for working out.

14)  You don’t have to go out every weekend. There’s no shame in putting on a onesie and watching Scandal with a glass of wine.

15) Vodka is disgusting.

16) You should have made more of an effort to learn how to play pro-evolution and FIFA because grown-ups still haven’t grown out of playing these boring games.

17) Eating-in is cheaper than eating out. Cooking demonstrations on YouTube are a God-sent.

18) 8 hours of sleep will make you feel sick/lazy. 6 hours feels reasonable but you’ll still fall asleep involuntarily during the day.

19) Questioning aspects of the religion/faith you were born into doesn’t make you a devil — it proves you are in fact human with a functioning brain.

20) Chase your dreams NOW. Save yourself from regretting in your 30s what you didn’t and could have achieved in your 20s.

I could type forever but I feel it’s fitting to stop at 20. What have I missed out on my list?

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6 responses to “What You Learn in Your 20s

  1. These are three most important lessons that changed my life in my 20s. I’m still in my 20s by the way 🙂

    1. Life is “short”, looking at the bigger picture the majority of the populace dose the exact same thing the as the person next to them. School > Uni > work > family > work some more > pension > death. My answer to that is experience, yes that’s right life is short people, and I’m not saying I have all the answer, or I know what awaits us after our death nor am I saying this is it! go nuts. What I am saying however is don’t waist time doing the things you hate or stoping your self from trying something you always wanted to. Yes because you get older and some things become even more inaccessible. I meet a lot of people that regret not taking action when they were younger and now because of health reason or life circumstances it’s simply to late. We need to break away from our preconditioned social sheeple behaviour.

    2. Fear of being judged. No I don’t just mean being judged by a stranger because you did something totaly ridiculous or embarrassing in public. Even thou that is also apart of what I’m about to say. It is this same fear that keeps most of us at bay, doing the right thing, been responsible, but I say according to who? The 99% of people that I mention in point 1. Yes those are our family, friends, colleagues and even people we don’t know. It is this same emotion that binds someone with incredible talent in a 9-5 job they absolutely hate, same emotion that drives people to seek marriage even if they feel like something isn’t right, same emotion that stops us from “experiencing” life. Why? Because we are afraid, we like to sit on the fence and shout how we deserve more by feeling indifferent. And you know what else I noticed the people that suffer from this same fear are the very same ones to throw quick judgment on you for stepping outside of the box. It is your path and you must walk in a way that makes you happy not “others”.

    3. Going with the flow. Ok I admit this sounds like someone smoked little bit to much wacky backy. But think about it. Isn’t it strange that we all suffer from this delusional idea that we somehow are able to control this amazing experience we call life. God knows we try, but by now you probably have noticed that no matter how much you plan for something there is always a chance of something random happening on the way that throws a spanner in the works. It doesn’t seem strange to me that in this vast universe things tend to just find their way they fall into place, I have learned to trust this incredible philosophy “going with the flow” and seen incredible results. But let’s get something straight here. This dose not mean sit on your arse and wait for miracle to happen NO! it means give people chances, don’t turn down opportunities, follow your heart, be spontaneous and adventures. Because unless you tell your self “your ready to live life your way” your living in fear and should not expect anything to be different than the 99%.

    • Well said. I love your detailed comments because every line is true! I’m also trying to life a life of “going with the flow.” This doesn’t mean that I don’t plan, but I’m open to whatever life wants to throw my way. The truth is, no matter how much we plan, life has a way of switching things up — for better and sometimes for worse.

      Your second point used to hold me back so much. The people we should most be at ease with are the same people we often times find the hardest to be ourselves around. I’m not going back to my old ways. I am my own boss so I do things like moving to another country even when everyone thinks I’m crazy because I can. End of discussion. xoxoxo

  2. Pretty awesome writeup. I have been feeling the same way lately and it is such a relief knowing i am not crazy. You write pretty well as well, i should structure my blog. lol!

  3. Oshey! BaDDest! This was a worthy read! I turned 24 last 2 weeks and on my Birthday yeah… I felt a tad too old. 😦 Its a funny feeling growing older Bubba, as one gets to kweSHion a lot of things about his life.. and a lot of choices you made.. But at the end, I guess that most those choices made were worth it afteralll.

    I am still 24 yeah.. But if there is one thing I feel i should have done.. Its that I should have have lived a little more.. Or is it I should live a little more?! Hell!! Talk about Young and Confused :(.. I dunno what tense to use (Past or Present) cause i feel as as young as I feel old.. 😦 Could this be a midlife crisis?! naahhhh.. I think this is me just growing older.

    This was a fun read Bubba.. Really worth the while.. Ya a fantastic writer Mrs Eno.

    • You’re only 24! You have sooooooo much time to achieve whatever you want to achieve! I think we waste too much time thinking about where we wish we were instead of thinking about how to get there.

      You already know the solution to the one thing you feel you SHOULD do — LIVE A LOT! I don’t mean getting drunk every other day and turning up because you won’t even remember those moments but live more by networking, traveling, going to events etc. I’m four years older than you but I’m still telling myself to do all of these things more.

      Growing older is scary but it can also be fun 🙂

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