Life lessons I’ve learnt in my 20s (Or How Not to be a Complete Spaz)
People always talk about your teens as being the time in your life where you learn the most valuable lessons about growing up. But our 20s are also still a time for learning, and becoming familiar with who we are, what the hell we’re doing in life, etc. Here is a list of things that I have discovered:
1. High School really was the best time of my life
Not entirely- I went to a tiny Catholic school, wasn’t overly popular and I sucked at anything remotely sporty. For me, high school wasn’t wonderful because of popularity or anything like that- it was the freedom I had… and the disposable income. When you’re 16, nobody cares if you blow your pocket money on clothes or parties. Nobody is judging you for not having anything saved up, or a 5 year plan. Your weekends were for sleeping late, sulking like only an adolescent can, and hanging out with friends. No career climbing, university deadlines, tricky relationships, or worrying about what to wear (I had a horrid grey standard private school uniform, with strict rules about make-up and hair)
2. I will never be able to grow my fringe (bangs) out without awkwardly looking like one of The Beatles
In your 20s, you’re still defining who you are, and what your style is- for me, that means switching between boho beach bum to 60s housewife depending on the occasion. I’m pretty happy with my personal style… I just wish I could say the same about my hair. I wanted that adorable Zooey Deschanel look, but forgot about the upkeep. The unfortunate thing is, with an enormous forehead as big as mine, hair without a fringe is not really a plausible option (Seriously, my forehead is so huge, I was once on a date when a guy said “Could you use that as a solar panel?”) result? I’m stuck with an awkward cowlick afflicted mop of hair that I constantly have to trim and style. Ugh
3. Being Popular doesn’t make you less lonely.
When you’re in high school, social acceptance is a really big deal. Don’t believe me? Think about all of the times you’ve said “Ugh, I’ll just die if I don’t get invited to So and So’s Birthday!”, and so on. Well, in your 20s, you soon realise it’s quality over quantity. For a while I boasted a high number of friends. I was happy with having a different party to attend every night, and got a kick out of all the notifications and tagged photos I had on facebook. But after a while, I realised that even if I had a huge number of aquantances, my life was, in fact, pretty lonely. I was wading my way through boring conversations and forcing myself to attend parties for people I didn’t care for. Eventually I decided to sift through my list of friends and only make time for those that I actually cared about and got along with. In your 20s you realise that popularity is not a neccessity, and that you’ll survive just fine with only a handful of comprades rather than an entire posse.
4. The rockstar boyfriend is just a guy in fancy jeans
Oh, we’ve all been there, haven’t we? We see the gorgeous guy, with his oozing charisma and his undeniable charm, and we fall head over heels for him. I’m talking about the sweet talking bass players, the naturally fit surfers, the beyond sexy bad boy on his motorbike. Well, newsflash, ladies- a fling in your early 20s with any of these fella’s is a great anecdote for storytime, sure, but that’s about it. As I’ve grown up, I’ve realised the drama involved with these guys is just not worth it. Not to mention their “I’m a struggling artist just trying to find my muse” bullshit, and their non-existant bank accounts. I’ve soon come to learn that these men are encapsulated in a time bubble of their younger days, incapable of growing up- and that all they’ll really leave me with are sheets burned by cigarettes and a few memorable laughs. But in your 20s- you learn that if you’re going to date someone- they need a little substance beneath their polished exterior, and a little more stability.
5. I’ve learnt to love my quirks…
Growing up, we’re told to “fit in” and to be appealing, we should be “normal”. In my 20s I’ve learnt that being normal is something that I am never going to achieve- and instead of shying away from the quirks I have, I’ve decided to embrace them. So what if I’m an avid fan of anything Harry Potter related? Who really cares if I yell offensive slurs at the TV when watching hockey/soccer? Why should it bother anyone that I listen to Frank Sinatra when I’m cleaning, or that I despise anything that smells like Vanilla? These traits are what make me who I am. Now that I’m older- I’ve realised I really just couldn’t give a flying f*ck about what anyone has to say about my quirky, harmless traits.
6. … and work on my flaws
That being said, in my 20s I have also learnt that there are traits that I need to work on. When you’re younger it’s okay to be lazy, or sarcastic or a gossip- but as you get older, these little traits become big flaws, stopping you from really living out your life to its fullest. For me, it was learning to accept the blame for things that went wrong in my life (well, apart from the Leonard Luck curse, of course) and figuring out what I needed to do to be a better person. I had to tackle my insecurities when it came to dating; put more effort in when it came to studying; and be a little more compassionate when it came to a friend in need.
All in all, our 20s is an awkward transition from teenager to adult- we haven’t got life quite figured out just yet, but we’ve come a hell of a long way since the days we wore neon sneakers and bopped our heads to angry punk music.