Everyone is just trying to put one foot in front of the other, no matter how much it seems like any of them have it all together.
It’s always something. If it’s not your job, it’s your friends, if it’s not your family, it’s your apartment. Maybe it’s your relationship, or the fact you’re on an online dating site you always swore you’d never let yourself join. Don’t sweat it, everyone’s has something.
You’ll never be successful in your career if you don’t make mistakes along the way.
In your 20s, you’re EXPECTED to make mistakes. You’re embarking on the very start of a learning curve that is going to be extended for the rest of your professional life. This is only the beginning. You’re the only one crying in the bathroom over your typo. Everyone else is over it.
In relationships, you’ll figure out what you do want by first realizing what you don’t want.
So you dated the spawn of Satan. You got your heart broken. Someone cheated on you. You cheated on someone else. You hated who you became when you were with the person. Whatever it is, no matter how awful, if you learn something about yourself or about relationships along the way, it was worth it. It’s all an obligatory part of your journey.
Chances are, you’re not going to retire at the job you have right now.
Don’t let the things you dislike about your job drive you insane. You’re gaining experience — you’re getting your foot in the door. You don’t have to be there forever. You are more in control than you think you are.
You’re still (more than) allowed to be a free spirit.
Your naïveté is still widely accepted and even envied. It’s the decade in which you’re likely going to take the most chances and expel yourself out of your comfort zone the most often. It may all crash and burn, but it’s all yours. Even if it was the biggest mistake ever, you own it, so wear it proud.
You can use your age as an excuse for reckless behavior and just as quickly, use it to prove your maturity.
“Yeah, I went out until 4 am on a Sunday. Screw it, I’m 25.”
“I’m 25 — I’m not interested in being reckless just to be reckless anymore.”
See, works either way.
This is the best time in your life to practice vulnerability.
Be vulnerable and wear your heart on your sleeve. It builds character. You know who you are at your utmost core, shamelessly choose to become it.
Your body is still a machine.
Maybe you’re starting to feel the after effects of too much partying a little harder than you did in college, but you’re resilient as all hell. Your bod is at its height of functionality. Go on a run every once in a while, even if you hate running. Do it just to feel the muscles in your legs.
You can literally do anything.
Forget all of those articles out there that say our generation falsely believes that we are all special little snowflakes. Well, we are snowflakes, dammit. New and innovative ideas are coming from our generation. Go after what you’re passionate about and screw the rest.
Also, though, you’re still going to do some stupid sh*t.
Maybe you’re going to get a terrible tattoo, spend all of your money on something spontaneous and unnecessary, or chop all of your hair off and cry everyday until it grows back. So what? If at some point it was exactly what you wanted, then be happy you did it. Just, you know, think twice before doing it again.
You’re going to date some weirdos.
Life is terribly awkward and horrifically uncomfortable at times and we’re all just searching for those people who will make it all just a little bit more bearable. The search takes time and can yield some strange results. Trust the process anyway.
You still have the freedom to say yes more than you say no.
Be a "yes man" every now and then. If you know you hate something, hate away. But tackle new experiences head on. Go to that bar/museum/park/restaurant instead of sitting in your pajamas and watching Bravo. Do that the other six nights of the week, but say yes just that one time. See what happens.
Even at your messiest, people are still going to think you’re great.
Not everyone will, certainly, but there’s always someone rooting for you, even when you’ve given up and think it’s the end of the world. Additionally, whatever it is, it’s not the end of the world. (The Mayans were wrong, remember?)
You’ve already proved that you’ve survived.
In the past two decades, you’ve gone through some unimaginable, unthinkable shit. And you’re still here. Maybe it still isn’t pleasant, but you made it through. And maybe, just maybe, it’s not turning out as badly as you thought it would.
You have so much more time than you think you do.
It’s just your 20s, so f*ck it.
Photo credit: Theo Gosselin Flickr