5 Things You Dream Of Doing In Your 20s That You Should Actually Make Happen
One thing I'm quickly learning in this decade of my life is that it's not exactly what I imagined it to be. Don't get me wrong — I'm so happy, content, and grateful for how everything has turned out. (Seriously sending out a huge "thank you" to the universe.) But as a teenager, I did believe that my 20s would be more straightforward. I assumed that I would feel like an adult and a pro at navigating the "real world," and that life would always be, well, relatively smooth sailing. I didn't know the things you dream of doing in your 20s aren't guaranteed to happen, and that you need to make them happen — like, now.
It's amazing and beautiful to have dreams beyond the ones that make you want to stay snuggled up with your pillow a little bit longer. *Hits the snooze button for the thousandth time.* But the message from this John C. Maxwell quote couldn't be more on point: "Dreams don't work unless you do." A passport with a bunch of stamps from around the world doesn't fall into your lap, and memories of exploring the planet don't automatically rush into your brain. Spoiler alert: You don't serendipitously start working at your dream company, either.
I'm here to tell you, that's OK. Putting in the work and making these seven or so dreams happen is arguably the best part of your 20s and what life is all about. Just don't wait to put in that work. Do it now.
1. Traveling The World
If you're anything like me, you've probably had a travel bucket list since you were in high school (or even earlier). You've dreamed about roaming the streets of Paris like Selena Gomez in Monte Carlo, and singing in the Colosseum in Rome like Lizzie McGuire. Long story short: Your passport has totally consumed your dreams. (Same.)
But don't just scroll aimlessly through social media and say, "Maybe I'll get there one day." Find or work for your travel funds, book those plane tickets, and have the adventure of a lifetime. Exploring is what this decade of your life is meant for, because you likely have more time than you've ever had and ever will.
2. Living In Your Dream Apartment
You often blame your favorite sitcoms like Friends or New Girl for giving you an idea of your dream apartment. Seeing Monica and Rachel live their best lives in that purple place with the yellow frame on the door might have made you want to move to New York City with your BFFs. Or Jessica Day's loft made you want to see what's in store for you on the West Coast.
What's stopping you? I know rent can be expensive, and sometimes the timing might not be right. But, you owe it to yourself to at least try. Even if "trying" is just buying that same yellow frame for your peephole in your current living situation, or having your friends over for a game of True American — do it!
3. Finding The Love Of Your Life
When it comes to your love life, you have to find the balance between making things happen and letting things happen. On one hand, you need be open-minded, send out positive and good vibes, and show the universe that you're ready to be in a relationship. You also have to put in the work on yourself — loving yourself and working on your true passions — first and foremost.
On the other hand, you have to stop searching for your soulmate, and simply believe that true love will find you. Because it likely will, and there is a real beauty in the love of your life coming into your life when you don't expect it. Trust me.
4. Working For A Company You Admire
When you graduate college or begin your career search, you'll have a lot of dreams on your mind. You'll have the names of companies you'd love to work for, and industry professionals you admire so much. But landing a spot in your chosen field is another story.
You'll likely have to send out a lot of applications — some of which might not even get back to you. You may even start out working in a position that isn't exactly related to your dream scenario. That's OK, and I can't stress this enough: Keep going.
Send out more applications, embrace new passions and experiences, and watch how your individual world will change. You may start working for that company, or find a role that's more true to you and your dreams. Who knew?
5. Turning Your Passion Into A Paycheck
Let me give it to you straight: More often than not, your passions don't become your paycheck just because you're passionate about them. (I wish it were that simple.) If you want photography, fashion designing, acting, health coaching, rock collecting — whatever it may be — to be your job, you have to work for it. It'll be so worth it, though.
Sure, you may experience some curveballs along the way. Running a business of your own isn't straightforward, but you'll learn from the struggles and move on. You'll find people who have the same interests as you, and they'll teach you things you never knew, too.
It'll be one of the greatest adventures in your 20s, and possibly your life. And when all is said and done, you'll be able to say that you did everything you dreamed of doing and made life, well, happen.