I recently turned 30, and one of the things that I found myself thinking when I came to it was “Where did my 20s go?”. It genuinely took me a minute to think about the things that I had done. In the grand scheme of things, I’ve actually done quite a lot and more than some people my age might have.
In my 20’s I moved to a new country. I had to learn how to adult on my own. I started my career much later than people my age. I bought my first car without anyone’s help. I have loads more other little achievements that I am proud of.
I was freaking out a few weeks before I turned 30, but then I embraced it! After all, the 30s are the new 20s! So in this spirit, below are a few things I’ve learnt in my 20s.
Live your own life
We often see ourselves comparing our lives, especially on social media. “Oh, that person is doing that but I’m not”. “Oh, I should be doing that too”… STOP comparing yourself to others! Everyone lives different lives, everyone has their own priorities and because they are doing something, it doesn’t mean you have to do the same! So focus on yourself and live your best life! And don’t forget, people only show you what they want you to see. That doesn’t mean they are actually happy!
This one is a given, but I think we all live such busy lives these days, that sometimes we forget to have fun. Society dictates that we need to do certain things or be at a certain stage in our lives by a certain age, that we focus too much on it and just forget to have fun. So go on that holiday you wanted to. Or just go to a festival. Do something you always wanted to. I know due to the current situation, money could be a constraint for some of the things you always wanted to do, but you can always look at cheaper things or learn a new skill! I have been using some of my time to be a bit more creative and started to do cross-stitching and embroidery.
Following up on the previous point, this one is super important! Regret normally holds us back. If you keep thinking about what you did or didn’t do and regret that decision you’re not going to enjoy your life. You’re not going to be able to have fun. So yes, we always regret things, like that one time we went out and drank too much and had the worst hangover the next day, or parking the car even though it didn’t fit and you scratched the whole side of it (this one did happen to me) but we learn from it!
This one is super important. We often feel judged by the older generation or peers for making mistakes, but that’s the only way we get to learn and move forward. And if you do the same mistake 3/4 times it’s ok. Sometimes you need to go through something a few times to realise it’s actually not good for you, or that it was a mistake. One thing is, don’t be harsh on yourself!
Don’t let anyone tell you what to do
We often look for other people’s opinions, and that’s perfectly ok! I can’t remember how many times I called my mum to ask her what to do in certain situations, or asked my friends what to do. But one thing I learnt is to not let their opinions influence my decisions. Yes, I know I asked them, but most of the time, I went with my gut and with what I wanted to do. With time I learnt that some people will give you really good advice, while others will give you the kind of advice that is not right for you. You know yourself better than anyone else. So, please trust yourself and make your own decisions.
Spend time with those that complete your life
I think this is possibly one of the ones that I tell people the most. In certain periods of my life, I know I wasted too much time investing in some friendships/relationships that I now know weren’t the right fit for me.
So my advice is, don’t waste your time with people that don’t add to your life or simply don’t care about you. Honestly, it’s all about the quality of the friendships! It’s having those that support you no matter what. Those that do want to spend time with you and bring nothing but happiness and fun to your life, but are also there when days are less bright.
Living a stress-free life is hard as it is these days, not having the right people by your side is one thing you don’t need to add.
So here it is. There is so much more I could add to this, but honestly, these are the important points. I don’t live the perfect life, no one does, but the reason why I enjoy my life so much is all because of these little lessons I’ve learnt!