This post was inspired by a few young ladies I met backpacking through SE Asia at the end of last year. These young women were amazing! Most were in their early 20s and others about to turn 20. You know who you are. This is also for any young lady in her 20s or about to turn 20 years old and is having some internal conflict.
I am officially 27 years old and I’ve looked back on my small accomplishment and I can’t help but smile. It’s been one HELL of a year. I’d also like to say that I would have never imagined myself where I am today. If I could travel back in time and visit my 20-year-old self, I would have told her a few things:
1. You cannot please everyone.
I felt like when I was 20 I was still trying to please people. And in pleasing people I never really pleased myself. I wasn’t worried so much about what people thought of me, unless you were close to me. Then I cared. I put other people’s needs before mine. Don’t do it! I now believe it’s probably the biggest/ fastest way to failure and disappointment.
2. Do not expect anything from anyone. Everyone is different.
There is nothing wrong with being different. Don’t expect others to be like you. Everyone is different. Be happy with what you’ve done. At the end of the day you’re the only one that judges you. Well, your judgement for yourself should be the only one that matters. Don’t expect others do things the way you would have done them, just be happy with how you did it.
3. Do whatever makes you happy!!
This is big one. Even today, but more so when I was 20. Anyone that is 20-year-old right now, please remember this! Your 20s are your time. No one elses. Don’t do things because you’re suppose to do them, do them because you want to. Do it with full force and speed. Do it if it makes you happy.
4. Your 20s are for mess ups. It’s okay.
Any way you choose to do it is on you! Nonetheless, it’s okay. Making mistakes is all part of the experience. Anyone that says, differently, clearly didn’t live. It’s normal, so laugh along the way.
5. Don’t take it all so seriously.
Smile more. Even when you feel like life is b””ch. Do it anyways. I don’t believe life is meant to be easy. It should be hard so we can appreciate it more. Sometimes it is a little too hard, but don’t give up. Don’t ever give up. NEVER EVER GIVE UP YOUR DREAMS. The more you laugh at the little things, the easier it is to laugh at the bigger things.
6. Be single and travel.
This is clearly my favorite, as I am still doing it! Haha.
The young ladies I met while traveling seemed to have this idea that they HAVE to be with someone. Or that they can’t travel without their partners. We all know how I feel about traveling with a partner ( The Tales Of A Solo Single Female Traveler). But honestly, you’re 20. Have fun! Go out there and figure it out. Meet people, have good laughs. You will eventually meet someone who will change your life. There is no rush. Please, just get out there!
Lastly, but certainly not least…
7. Appreciate the people you hold dear to your heart.
This isn’t a suggestion. This is a statement. I don’t care if you fight with other family members. That is normal. Your family is all you have. And the day anyone of them isn’t around anymore you will miss them more than you could have ever imagined. Family is all that truly matters. You will make lots of goods friends and you will lose lots of good friends, but your family is kind of stuck with you. The older you get the more you realize how precious that relationship is.
If I can go back to my 20-year-old self I would tell myself not to worry so much. To live my life because it is mine. I would have told myself to give myself some credit. I certainly would have appreciated things differently, but then again, I am who I am today for all the mistakes and challenges I’ve faced along the way.
Truth be told, if you’re reading this and you are in your 20s or not. I hope you find some truth in it. Life does not get easier, but it sure as hell gets beautiful.