It seems just like yesterday that I turned twenty-one and all the possibilities of my twenties laid right in front of my feet— experiences to navigate, mistakes to make and memories to create. I was ready to not only legally drink, but to find my perfect career by twenty-four, the love of my life by twenty-five—engaged or married of course, and have my finances in complete order by twenty-six. The sad reality is that just earlier this month, I turned twenty-eight and realized my twenties have dwindled to its near end, forcing me to reflect and reminisce. I can’t help but wonder:
Where the fuck did my twenties go?
Okay, before I hit the “Shit, I’m 30” panic button, I do realize that I have two more glorious years remaining in what most consider the most pivotal decade of life. In fact, I distinctively remember an old friend lending me a copy of The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter— And How To Make The Most of Them Now. I also distinctively remember not actually reading it but just pretending like I did on social media. Perhaps that was my first misstep.
Your early twenties hold with them some of the most precious and downright idiotic moments. I could also say that about my mid-twenties and maybe even my late twenties, but that’s not the point. Looking back, it’s easy to wonder if you’ve maximized the potentials of your twenties, if you’ve navigated what was thrown at you correctly and more importantly if you’ve learned enough to ease into your thirties. The short answer: of course you didn’t. But, I think that’s what makes this whole living and learning thing exciting.
If you retrace your steps of the past versions of yourself, you should see a gradual progression to where you are now. And if you are still in your early twenties, don’t worry, you’ll look back at so much of the dumb shit you are doing right now and not even recognize the person making those silly choices. Priorities shift, actual maturity settles in and new goals take shape. Amongst my own friends, I’ve seen this incredible shift in all of our personalities. It’s as if we aren’t pretending to be adults anymore and actually are. It’s brilliant and frightening all at the same time. More so frightening.
With two years left to effectively and aggressively do dumb shit before the big 3-0, I’ve realized the tail end of your twenties are really there to stand as the base of who you will be in your thirties. Confidence creeps in and you aren’t as easily molded by outside influences, your time and energy has more importance, partying (for a lot of us) dwindles and if you are lucky, you start to really appreciate yourself.
I’m devastated that I ran through my twenties so quickly, often not even thinking to truly cherish them. With my last two trips around the sun before 30 remaining, here’s to truly settling into each moment and obtaining all I need to make my thirties the true defining decade of my life.
image courtesy of Samantha Sophia via Nappy.co