Few of us feel like we have it all figured out and maybe we never will. But there comes a point in our twenties when we can actually start to feel maturity setting in.
It doesn't happen overnight, but somewhere between college graduation and finding a place to function as a real human being in society, we begin to develop independence and responsibility.
It’s that somewhere between not needing our parents for anything (okay well, at least not everything) and making decisions based on the long term impacts they'll have on our lives. It’s between trying new things and traveling to different places and conquering new obstacles that we start to grow.
There's no "AHA!" moment where we suddenly realize we're adults. It's a major turning point in your twenties, in the decade designated and designed for personal development, where you can look around and realize you're not a complete mess anymore.
In fact, you've actually started to pull your sh*t together. Below are some signs you've finally reached this point of (hopefully) no return:
1. You don't suffer from FOMO.
When you decide to stay in on a Saturday night, you don't feel regret when the flood of Instagram pictures starts rolling in.
You've gotten to the point where, while you still enjoy them frequently, you know most nights spent at the bars until 3 am become pretty much the same, so you're not burdened with anxious despair when you opt to sit out every once (or twice) in a while.
2. You no longer have anxiety about over drafting your checking account.
While you may not be living a luxurious lifestyle, or are even as comfortable as you would like to be, you have enough to make rent every month and have a social life.
Your piggy bank doesn't look anorexic and, although it could always use a little more, you have gotten smart enough about budgeting and spending that you don't feel guilty partaking in bottomless brunches with your friends on Sunday or making the occasional Etsy purchase.
3. You don't feel the need to chase anyone for attention.
You've finally realized that anyone who doesn't give you attention without provocation isn't worth your time.
4. You don't have to erase all your text messages after a night of drinking.
You don't wake up and cringe at the thought of looking at the embarrassing and often incriminating text messages on your phone.
The combination of realizing your own self-worth and choosing to not get blacked out every weekend has given you beautiful mornings of waking up regret-free, completely void of having to deal with the consequences of one too many tequila shots.
No angry texts to your friends. No sappy sob stories to your ex. It’s. Amazing.
5. You've started taking care of your body.
You finally get what people were trying to tell you all those years growing up: You will not always be able to eat what you want without gaining weight.
Physical appearance aside, you are starting to take your health into serious consideration. You know that what you eat has an effect on your overall well-being and you come to realize that physical activity is a necessary evil.
You don't enjoy any of the above, but you understand it.
6. You have (at least) a handful of accomplishments you're proud of.
You are becoming proactive about making your life have some kind of meaning and productivity.
You know you still have a ways to go on the corporate ladder before your dream job, but as you start to set goals for yourself and work hard, you see the doors begin to open.
You have realized what your skills and strengths are and have found a way to use them. Even though you are not exactly where you want to be, you have made notable strides in getting there.
7. You don't get upset if someone doesn't like you.
You can recognize when people don’t deserve your time or are taking advantage of you.
You have a good group of friends who know you, and you no longer feel the need to surround yourself with superficial or judgmental people.
You've gotten to the point in your life where you're starting to realize people are a pretty sketchy species and finding people you can count on is difficult. The people who don't like you just make the weeding-out process easier, really.
8. You don't buy the cheapest alcohol available.
No more Burnett’s or boxed wine for you. Sometimes you even splurge on the $15 bottle of wine.
You’ve also found this is okay because it takes a lot less alcohol to get a good buzz than it did in your college days.
9. You have an answer when people ask what you like to do.
It's okay that you still hate being asked this question (no one enjoys it).
It's also okay if you throw in a few little white lies or exaggerations (i.e. that you like working out when you really just go to yoga twice a month).
This just means you've finally found a way to articulate an acceptable and mature answer to an infuriating but inevitable question.
Whether it be to potential employers or distant relatives, you've found a way to portray yourself as a well-rounded and grounded individual who definitely does not use a significant portion of his or her spare time for Netflix binges (wink).
10. You actually put effort into your appearance in the morning.
...Most days at least. You realize that messy buns and yoga pants can only take you so far in this world.
While your closet may not be that of a high profile fashionista (no, not your Pinterest closet, your REAL closet), you still can throw outfits together that make you look and feel good.
11. You're not constantly dumping your negativity and baggage on anyone who will listen.
As if we all don't have something to worry about? The older you get, the more you realize that problems are inevitable. You also know you are not the only one with student loans, a mediocre job or an unstable relationship you're having trouble navigating.
Between our families, jobs, friends, finances and impending life-crises, every day we’re all handed a pile of crap to deal with. The best people are those who know how to keep the complaining to a minimum, bear their own burdens and find other, productive ways to spend their time.
12. You realize some things are just out of your control, and that's okay.
You make peace with the fact that, try as you might, life is going to throw you situations you don't know how to handle. You will make mistakes and you are going to epically fail from time to time, but in the end, you'll pick yourself up and get back on track. It's what our twenties are all about.
Being receptive to change breeds progress. It's important to have goals, to make a solid effort to pull it together and make our lives fulfilling. But it’s also important to enjoy both the ups and the downs.
If we can't sit back every now and then and just say "f*ck it," then really, what's the point?
Photo via Blue Devil Tumblr