Why Your Twenties Is The Hardest Decade Of Your Life
So let’s talk about being in your twenties. Shall we?
People say high school is hard, and it is, but being in your twenties, well, that is a whole new ball game….when you don’t even play sports.
I read a funny meme that was something like, “Being an adult is easy, it’s like riding a bike, except the bike is on fire, the ground is on fire and everything is on fire because you’re in hell.”
Funny, but mostly because there is a part of it that rings true.
You’re twenties can be pretty awful.
When you are in your twenties there is absolutely no specific direction you are pointed in (or everyone is pointing every which way!) and there is probably the biggest scalable differences in people’s life who are of similar ages.
Let me explain:
You have twenty somethings that still live with their parents and have never kept a job, twenty somethings who are just starting college, twenty somethings who are newly married or on their 2nd or 3rd child. You have those making their way up in their career, or those that are still traveling and seeing the world. There are some still going to parties and getting drunk every weekend, and others off starting their own businesses.
Literally there is a twenty something in practically every stage of life.
So we are in the middle of our own little journey looking around at everyone else like, “Well what do I do now?”
Should you be getting married to your boyfriend now that you’re 25? Or you’re only 21 so should you NOT be getting married? Should you be farther along in your career now that you are halfway through your twenties? You’re almost 27, should you have a kid by now? Or should you wait till you are in your thirties altogether before settling down?
The best part about all of this confusion? (Sarcasm assumed.) Everyone wants to answer that question for you!
On one had there are those that will tell you that your twenties are for just figuring things out, for “experimenting” and “finding yourself” (what does that actually mean!?). Then you have those that are looking down on you because you haven’t conquered all these career goals they had in mind for you. Or the ones that tell you, “You need to experience the world!” and you are just trying to pay for Tuesday’s dinner.
So how (the heck!) do you know where YOU should be?
What is the right answer!?!?
Short answer, there isn’t one. Long answer: continue reading.
So why write about this topic? Why do a post on how your twenties are hard? For us all to nod our heads in agreement and then just try to get through them? Not so much.
It’s because I’m tired too.
I know you are looking at “her” and thinking her life is perfect. It’s not. I know that you think “they” have a perfect job or career that “they” love. They don’t. I know you wish you were better, smarter, faster, and had some long list of accomplishments that everyone was jealous of. Is that improper to say? Well let’s say it.
Let’s all admit that we are looking around at everyone else and wanting that life. We are not sure where we stand or if we are even on the right stage but they look like they are so we’re jealous. We wish we could be like them. I wish it. You wish it. Let’s own it. Call it out and move past it.
Because I actually used to sit wishing it for hours a day.
Hours a day.
But here is the thing that you have hopefully learned way before your twenties. Wishing doesn’t work. Birthday candles are fun and sparkly but they don’t “poof” you into the life of your dreams.
In actuality the life of your dreams comes in slowly, with a lot of hard lessons and hard work, work that no one will notice, no one will care about, and if they do notice it, they will probably tell you it’s futile. They’ll tell you how you can’t have your dream life and disguise it as looking out for you and your future.
They will be wrong.
The work is not glamourous. You don’t dream about the work, you dream about the results. But you have to realize that one has to come first.
It will come in the form of late nights staying in instead of going out to write that novel and your friends won’t understand, or spending all your free time practicing an instrument for a career they don’t think you could have. It will be constantly filtering questions about where you are working and letting them think you are a bum with no job or a crap job, rather than explaining you’re working your butt off everyday to make a business from a blog.
It will be those things that no one sees. Those things that not a lot of people will understand.
Those things will make your twenties great. Those things that build you into the person you’ll be in your thirties, into the family you’ll raise in your forties, the retirement you’ll have in your sixties, the life you’ll lead every day after, and the legacy you’ll leave behind.
Your twenties were made for you to be great.
For you to chase audacious dreams with common sense but a lot more of reckless abandon.
If I could tell you two things right now it would be to stop looking at other people’s lives, and to stop listening to their advice about your own.
You are so much greater than you think you are.
Your twenties are the hardest decade of your life, because you haven’t figured that out yet.
So go, “do you” in the most real sense of the culture cliché.