While I was perusing Facebook today, I came across this article written on EliteDaily about “Why 20-something women need to stop acting like 30-something women” . I think it’s a great read and would suggest it to any of our readers. The author, Lauren Martin, touches on a lot of the same stuff we do, so I wanted to give you all a second perspective on five things that she touches on.
1) “Your twenties are for being young, single, and completely uninhibited”. I think that one of the overwhelming points of confusion for our generation is the conflict between the expectations that prior generations have for us (to get a full time job, get married and have kids in our twenties) and the freedom that we feel we should be permitted (pursue our dream career, take the time to find “the one” and develop our career before producing offspring). Take that free spirited, Gen Y perspective to give yourself the freedom to do what suits you. If, in your heart of hearts, you want to get married and have kids, then you’re probably ready. But, if you feel you need to kiss a few “losers” before you want to get on match.com, take that time for yourself. Whatever you do, spread your wings and pursue what sounds best to you.
2) “We’re wasting the best years of our youth worrying about things that shouldn’t be an issue for another 10 years”. Martin is spot on in advising you to take time to enjoy your twenties. Yet, as a 20 something myself, I would have to say that Martin is missing a key point here. That is, it’s crucial to balance work and fun. Haven’t you heard that saying since the age of 6, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy?”. If you have a job, it may be the first time since college that you have two dimes to rub together, so go for a weekend getaway. If you don’t have a job, then you are blessed with the gift of time – go to your local library, pick up a book and learn about that subject that has spiked your curiosity for years. Reading not your thing? Take time to get in the best shape of your life. Just keep in mind that what Martin is missing here is that element of balance (Chinese philosophers have been imparting their wisdom on this for centuries). If you don’t give any thought to your thirties as a twenty-something, you may find that you’re not financially or mentally prepared for what’s ahead. So try to find a way to enjoy the present while preparing for the future.
3) “Your twenties aren’t about finding a man to love you, but finding something to love. Focus on your career, your hobbies, your passions”. Hallelujah! Do it. 🙂 Find what makes you, you. One of my favorite quotes of all time is “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then do that.” (Howard Thurman). Find those things in this world that make you look forward to a Saturday evening with no plans. For me it’s the joy of running my fingers across 88 black and white keys or the serenity between two lane lines in a pool. As an added benefit, relationships mysteriously become easier when you know how to keep your heart happy on your own as well.
4) “Your twenties are for the one-night stands, the bad first dates and all those mistakes.” Bad first dates? Sure, maybe. But I don’t think it’s ever right to encourage people to unnecessarily leave their morals at the doorstep. Your twenties, as well as every other year, are for discovering who you are and finding happiness in those qualities. If one-night stands satisfy a sense of desire for you, then get it, girl. 🙂 But if they don’t, don’t be ashamed. For my first two years of college, I went to one of the biggest party schools in my state, if not in the U.S. There were sufficient opportunities for sex with strangers and groping on the dance floor, but it never felt right to me. And if I must be honest, the one night that I did decide to makeout with my dance partner, it was both sloppy and horribly unenjoyable. Have faith in the fact that if you enjoy one-night stands, there are many others who stand beside you, and have faith that if you don’t, you’re not alone in that either.
5) “Your twenties are for paying your dues, learning the ropes and climbing all those ladders. Your thirties are for reaping the benefits.” Lauren Martin, I could not put this any more eloquently than you have, so I won’t even try. Take these words to heart and let them serve as comfort to you when you’re feeling envious or inadequate.
For another great read, check out this article .