There comes a time in your 20s when you look in the mirror and catch yourself by surprise.
You think, “Who is that, and where’s the person I used to know?”
You stand there, analyzing the way your face has changed and the way the sparkle in your eyes has dimmed. You try to find a resemblance between who you thought you were and the person staring back at you now.
You sulk, just for a second, about how much time you’ve wasted becoming someone you’re not completely sure you want to be.
Where has all that time gone?
Navigating through life in your 20s is a touchy dance where you don’t know all the moves. But you dance it out with your friends, and you laugh at the missteps.
But there comes a point when you can’t laugh about how “we’ll grow up eventually” because it’s just not funny anymore.
There comes a point when you need to grow up because you’re growing into someone in all of those irresponsible moments. The person looking back at you is a ghost of old hopes and missing midnight memories.
Don’t let that person be a stranger to your soul.
There are far too many Sunday mornings where I’ll ignore my reflection because I know all I will see is guilt looking back at me.
So I’ll Snapchat my face to my friends instead.
Then, we’ll laugh about it while we waste our days on Netflix and joke about the late-night pizza we’ll eventually learn to say no to. Just like one more Fireball shot.
There are far too many Friday afternoons where I run to a glass of wine quicker than that list of dreams I have at the back of my head, the one that requires more than just day dreaming.
So, I say I’ll get to it tomorrow.
I say it until I forget, or until the whiskey makes me forget. Then, it’s tomorrow, and I’m just complaining about some other menial thing.
There are far too many midnights I don’t remember, too many excuses I've made and too many numbers I've given out.
There are far too many close calls, too many left behind credit cards and too many days lost to naïve youth.
Have there been enough dreams you’ve reached? Enough friends you've kept? Enough “I love you's” you've said?
Enough of the world? Enough laughter? Enough money not wasted?
So, you look at yourself in the mirror. In the off-chance you really look, you notice you've grown.
The question is whether you like what you find. Maybe you do.
If so, this isn’t really the article for you.
But if you don’t, what are you going to do?
We need to stop making excuses. We need to stop thinking we'll get our sh*t together by our 25th (or 29th) birthday.
We need to stop living by crouching behind happy hours and mistakes.
No, we certainly don’t need to pack up our lives and start planning for retirement. What we need to do is give ourselves the lives we deserve: an accomplished life, an unexpected life, a fearful and risk-taking life, a wild life and a worthwhile life.
We deserve a life we stop wasting.
Stop wasting your days to a hangover. Stop wasting your potential to “one day” and “someday.”
Stop wasting your heart on people who will leave in the morning. Stop wasting your mind. Use it for reading something other than what the Kardashians are doing.
There comes a time in your 20s when you look at yourself and feel disappointed.
You’re going to look back at the recent past and see blank spaces you wish you could’ve filled with so much more color.
You’re going to lament, knowing you’re probably still going to f*ck up occasionally, and that's okay. But what you do next -- right then -- is what matters most.
You take accountability. You take responsibility. You look at yourself and say, “I want to get to know you.”
So you do. You learn about the parts of yourself that grew.
Don’t throw away your life by losing sight of yourself. Don’t grow up and wonder how you became "you. "
Every day, strive to be the best version of yourself.
Get your sh*t together.