Last weekend I celebrated my 26th birthday. Some people might get a freak out (aka the dreaded quarter life crisis) at that point, because you know the drill – 26 is almost 30, and 30 is almost 40, and 40 is almost 100. I personally, am totally happy with my “age”. I was always looking forward to my end-twenties.
In my early twenties, I always imagined that I would be a much more grown up and confident woman at the age of 26. And little 20-year-old me was right – I am actually more confident and a little bit more grown up!
Well, it’s not a 100% how I imagined it (where is my house, with the garden and the dog?!) but still close enough. Especially on a personal level, I’ve gained some precious experiences.
To share some of them with you, I’ve listed 20 things I learned in my twenties (so far):
- Stop caring about what other people think: There are going to be people who don’t like you, who think you’re not good enough, beautiful enough or bright enough. Whatever it is, it’s not your problem! If you are happy with yourself, then stop wasting your time thinking about what other people may think of you.
- People change: Studying, getting a job, moving, traveling – this all changes you, and it changes the people you grow with. Sometimes you grow apart, and that’s all right. Accept that you may lose some old friends. The ones who stay will last forever.
- You are never to old for nap time: Enough said.
- Mistakes are ok: Something I should have learned earlier, but only realized in my twenties. It’s ok not to be perfect, and it’s ok to make mistakes. They are part of growing up and you’ll learn more from your mistakes than from being perfect.
- Uni (college) is no walk in the park: Studying unfortunately isn’t as romantic as they made us believe in certain TV series (I’m looking at you Rory Gilmore!). Exam weeks will get to you, and you’ll need a whole lot of chocolate to make it through. But in the end, you’ll always get rewarded. You’ll pass your exams, and celebrate it at…
- Your best parties ever: The parties after exam weeks were probably the best I’ve ever been to. I’m usually not a party person, but nothing relieves more than a good ol’ party night after weeks of reading, learning and writing.
- Your body is your temple: Unfortunately the rumor is true – your metabolism does slow down when you get older. You can’t eat a whole box of chocolates without those jeans getting awfully tight. Try to eat as healthy as possible, and move your body in a way that fits you.
- Your mum was right: about basically everything!
- What goes around comes around: Be kind to other human beings, to animals, to things. Treat everything with respect and dignity. Love your next one like yourself! In exchange, you’ll be treated with respect and kindness as well.
- Be honest: With yourself, and with other people. Lies will eventually brought to light – and that never ends well.
- Don’t ask, don’t get: Whatever you want or don’t want from your boss, boyfriend, family – speak your mind and discuss what’s bothering you. If you don’t talk about it, who else will?
- Lean into what feels good: Don’t waste your time on things that don’t make you happy. If you are unhappy with your job, do something about it. If you are unhappy in your relationship, please do something about it! Your time is precious, your health is precious – and being unhappy makes you unhealthy!
- Step out of your comfort zone: It’s important to do things that scare you from time to time. It’ll help you to grow into a confident person. Even if you “fail” you’ve learned for life anyway.
- Save money: Your twenties are for traveling, for experimenting, for partying and for fulfilling your dreams! Unfortunately, this may cost a little. Work hard, and start budgeting to be able to fulfill those dreams of you in the future. A little rule of thumb: Save at least 10% of your monthly income to grow a financial cushion.
- Learn to let go: “Not every battle is worth winning, and some are not even worth fighting for.”
- You can’t do it all on your own: Some things are difficult to deal with alone. It’s ok to need help! Asking for it is strength, not weakness.
- Sometimes, life is not fair: Some situations may seem unfair to you at the moment, but I truly believe that everything happens for a reason.
- This too shall pass: Every bad situation – how horrible and hopeless it may seem – will go away eventually. Nothing lasts forever. Pain fades and time heals all wounds.
- Relax: Take a step back from time to time, and relax. Having a day off your phone, the internet and life can tank up new energy.
- Be who you really are: Do the things you want to do and be the person you want to be. Don’t care what other people expect you to do. It’s your life – you should be happy with it and with the person you become.