Last month in my twenties. Does it change anything? No. Does it matter? Yes. Why? I don’t know. Maybe because I have this idea that a girl will have most definitely disappeared into a women. It probably happened a long time ago. And just because I still don’t know what I am doing, does not mean it hasn’t already happened.
It’s also a potential marker, where you thought you’d be by this time and what you’d have accomplished. Not according to anyone else, but according your teenage diary.
Let’s do a small recap. Coming from a more mature person on Forbes.com, who unlike me is at peace with leaving the decade behind.
Things that you should have done in your twenties:
Start taking care of yourself.
Yep, a big check for that one. I think the last time I was being stupid eating like pig and not paying attention to sports was left behind sometimes in the year 2010. And when I look at the photos from 2009, I think I looked better in the 9th month of pregnancy. If you are not going to take care of yourself who will? It’s the best investment. Skin, body, mind. Buy that oil, book the yoga class, go for that run, take the time to journal, cook for yourself. Forget about packaged foods and then it’s ok to drink the gin every now and then.
Allowing yourself to feel lost.
Boy I wish I did that. Unfortunately I was always a girl with a plan. I am just really thanking my former self that once the plan was: to travel, take great photos, hike the mountains, see the carnival, taste the local beer in every country. I think this is as close to being lost as I have come to. If anything I am more lost as a parent than as was in my early twenties.
Dreams require sacrifice.
Apparently I should have learned that dreams require sacrifice. I would sacrifice a young virgin if I knew what my dreams were. I should have figured out my purpose in my twenties, but I guess it will have to be the thirties or the forties, but please let me find out before I am fifty.
Stop caring what people think.
Most likely they are not thinking about you anyway. This is a tough one. I think I have gone through periods in life where I was so high (metaphorically), I couldn’t care less what others thought, but I also voiced some opinions so stupid that my present self is judging my former self. Ultimately I never stopped caring what others thought. Especially the “others’’ that don’t really think anything at all. I did do some solid, solid work in this area in the last two years. Especially because I struggled to write about and share anything parenthood related, except for some cute photos. Even when writing used to be my favourite thing in the world. This was purely because that none of my high school or university friends have kids yet and I just didn’t want to be “the mother”. It took me a while to realise that it’s ok to share whatever feels right. I still care what people think, but at least I don’t let it define or change what I do. Well mostly.
No. I don’t think I ever will. J.K.Rowling might have been on welfare once, but she has loads more talent than I do soooo… I guess my move to Italy was a bit of a fail, but the result was such a success, so I am not keen to count that as a failure. Maybe that’s something I might have to experience in this decade then, after I figure out the purpose, then I will sacrifice something, possibly fail before I succeed, it just sounds a lot more daunting when you’ve had family.
Don’t compare yourself to others.
I wish I worked on this throughout my twenties. I don’t just compare myself to others, I would compare to someone who is the most amazing mother when it comes to motherly things. I will compare my career and the money I make to single girls living in the capitals of Europe, my yoga skills to someone for whom it’s a full time job and who’s gone to gymnastics since the age of five, my looks to girls of Instagram and happiness to online gurus and coaches. In the end it all comes down to one thing only: Are you happy?
Don’t make excuses, apologise.
Yep. I know when to admit I was wrong. Check for this one.
Things don’t workout for a reason.
But sometimes the reason is that you are an idiot.
Invest in experiences, not things.
From the bottom of my heart, I can sincerely say this was my motto throughout my twenties. Apart from my Fiat500, I have spent all my money on travels, gym, food, good wine and just enjoying life. Before landing the love of my life, I had nothing because the very last money I have saved, I have spent on moving all of my things back from Italy, visa and a one way ticket to the land down under. It’s good that it only took me a week to find a job. Only towards the late twenties, I have started to invest some of the hard earned cash on things like architectural studies for our future home. Looking forward to that btw.
Start saving money ASAP.
Well I always did, but then I went on holidays. No regrets, you can always make money, but I probably won’t backpack through Bolivia again.
Your friends will change.
It’s true. You are not meant to spend a lifetime with everyone, some people just come to enrich part of your life and then they disappear. Hurting your arms trying to hold on to them is not worth it. Then there are the kind of friend who used to come to your home after school to take afternoon naps in your single bed. Those are here to stay.
Time is your most precious resource.
As a person who rarely does something she really doesn’t want to, I have been aware of this eternal truth since I was a kid.
Know you are enough.
Ok I am sorry but Frances Bridges what a load of bullshit you wrote in this paragraph: as long as you know you are on the right path to realise your potential and your dreams, you know you are enough? How the fuck are you supposed to know that? So you are enough only when you are doing all the right things? No you are enough just when you are trying to be a kind person. That’s all.
Ok, I do. Even as a thirty year old, which let’s be honest is probably a tiny bit better than me at the age of twenty.
One thing I wish I knew a little bit earlier: from one day to another rollercoaster will no longer be fun, but they will just make you sick, at least I would have enjoyed that last ride.