20 Things I learned in my 20s

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I turned 30 this past weekend and while I was dreading the number and what it “meant”, once I finally hunkered down to why I was so anxious about getting older I realized that it wasn’t exactly a valid reason. We ALL get older. We ALL experience loss. We ALL deal with life’s ups & downs. But then it hit me: We don’t all get to. How fortunate am I to turn 30 and celebrate it with my family and friends? How fortunate am I to look forward to a new decade? My 20s were amazing and I experienced so much growth, why should my 30s be any different?

I decided to jot down 20 things I learned in my 20s and the things that I wish little 20 year old me had known!

1. MOST times your plan may not be the right plan. When G and I first got married, I took 3 years off of school, deferring a program I believed I needed to do (something I thought would TOTALLY derail my life) instead of derailing it, it set us up for some financial success which we might not have otherwise experienced.

2. Find your people. The friends you make in your early 20s won’t always make it to your late 20s. This is A-OK.

3. Getting married at a young age is HARD. Yes, 22 is not TOO young. Still, between being a newly graduated 21 year old and balancing wifedom - not easy ;) so worth it though!

4. Relationships both familial, romantic, and friendly, take work. You can’t expect to cultivate growth if you don’t “water” them.

5. MOISTURIZER IS SO IMPORTANT

6. Self Care is not for “spoiled” people. It’s important and necessary - especially in your late 20s when work, relationships, and a social life take over. Taking care of YOU is NOT selfish.

7. It is OKAY to stay to in. NETFLIX people. I used to think I was “old” or “lame” if I stayed in on weekends but now I embrace it.

8. Alone time is very important. Going to the movies alone or eating alone is something that I think everyone needs to be okay with. I personally love my random afternoon matinees at the independent theatre :)

9. As you grow older your anxieties/mental health will change. I have experienced some of the most drastic changes in my mental health in the last 5 years of my life. It can be crippling but I firmly believe that it has made me a better, more empathic person.

10. Telling someone how you feel isn’t making sure they understand how you feel. You’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. This is for your benefit, i’ve learned.

11. Say “YES” to adventures & new things.

12. It’s okay to state your opinion but always be prepared for someone to disagree/their response. Especially during this political climate. Refusing to engage is OKAY as well. Especially at holidays ;)

13. A 401k is something you should DEFINITELY set up during your 20s. Doesn’t matter when, do it, trust me :) It’s never too early to plan for your retirement.

14. Check the ingredients - this one’s MAJOR as I have dealt with IBS and stomach issues in the last few years. I rarely would check ingredients when I was younger but now as annoying as it can be - I do it & alter as necessary (even at restaurants!)

15. When it comes to wardrobe, quality over quantity. I recently began buying more timeless pieces that I can keep for longer rather than binge shopping at places for cheap things that don’t last me very long. This too can be applied to friendships!

16. Know your worth. If you don’t know what your time, health, and values are worth how will anyone else?

17. You don’t need bangs Laura.

18. Express your gratitude when you feel thankful. This can be applied as simply as at the coffee place you visit and as deeply as to your pastor when he/she speaks on a topic that you NEEDED to hear. It can be saying “I love you” as often as you can to your loved ones or “I miss you” when you genuinely miss someone.

19. Making plans gets harder and harder, honor your commitments to people. I say this sans children, come see me in a few years but I definitely think that it’s important to honor your commitments to people that take time out of their life to make plans with you. In my early 20s I was the classic “I can’t make it i’m so sorry” right before the plans.

20. You’re going to make mistakes. Make them, it’s how growth happens. Love & live without regrets.

Thank you for joining me in this journey friends. It’s going to be a fun decade I can feel it!