As I near the end of my 20s I’m choosing to reflect on what I’ve learnt and how far I’ve come.
The twenties are such a turbulent decade and often very misunderstood! They aren’t for having it all figured out, they’re for figuring it out! Here are my 8 things I learnt in my 20s.
1. Do What Makes You Happy
I spent so much time pretending to like things I hated because I thought it would make people like me. Snowboarding is a good example of this, turns out I’m simply more of a building a snowman girl than an extreme girl. As I’ve gotten older I’ve focused more on what I like to do and stopped spending my time and energy on things I don’t. This included changing careers from being a marketer to an event manager.
2. Don’t Spend More Than You Earn
If I could go back in time I would spend my money very differently. There are things I don’t regret, my house being one of them, but there are literally hundreds of purchases that I wish I’d never made. I fell victim to the slave of consumerism and sometimes buying things because I was bored. The result is now I’m not where I would like to be.
Set a budget, stick to it. Seriously stick to it. If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. Learn everything you can about basic finance. It’s not as scary or as complicated as you think and it will serve you well in the future.
3. Worry Less
The hours if not days I have spent worrying about things I couldn’t control. The energy I spent and the anxiety I put myself through, all utterly pointless. One thing I learnt about worrying, it feeds depression. When it comes to problems ask yourself this question, can I do anything about it? If the answer is yes, then start doing it, if the answer is no, then try to let it go (easier said than done).
4. Trust people, but always look after yourself
There was a couple of times when I could have been badly burnt by other people and there was at least once when I was burnt. If you are going flatting then make sure you understand your rights. Learn the difference between being a tenant on the lease with the landlord and simply joining a flat without signing an official lease. When you get a job, learn your basic employment rights and don’t be afraid to fight for them. When you buy property or a business with another person make sure you put it all in writing because you just don’t know what the future holds. Enjoy these new experiences but don’t be ignorant, always ensure you understand what you’re getting into.
5. Look after your skin
Wear sunscreen every day, summer and winter. (I highly recommend you read this post for the perfect everyday sunscreen) Make time to see a skin specialist to gain an understanding of how to care for your skin. TAKE YOUR MAKEUP OFF BEFORE BED! Seriously it’s one of the worst things you can do for your skin yet it’s one of the easiest parts of skincare! No one ever regrets looking after their skin as they get older.
6. Get Rid of Toxic People
I let people into my life that weren’t right for me, they either didn’t have the same values as me, they drained my energy or they were simply just negative. I usually kept these people around because of a misguided attempt at loyalty, yet I found that they just turned me into someone I didn’t like and that other people didn’t like. Don’t be afraid to walk away from these people. No one needs constant negativity around them or anyone that doesn’t support you.
7. Get rid of the timeline
When I was 18 I thought I’d be married at 23 and have my first child by 25. In my naive mind, I thought 23 was so grown up and that 25 was old! Then as I grew older it was married at 25 first child by 28 and so on. My definition of success was very linear and narrow, basically, it was tied to being married and having children by a set time point! After 25 (worst year of my life, read here for more) I learnt that as long as I was happy then that was all that mattered. That could mean a variety of different outcomes, so be open to anything!
8. Be Positive
This is one lesson I am still very much learning! More than one person has said I lean towards a negative outlook, I thought I was a realist but actually, it seems I’m a negative nancy. Being positive is much less stressful on yourself and others, plus the more positive you are the more positive you attract in your life.
I hope you can relate to my 8 things I learnt in my 20s. What lessons have you learnt as you got older?