1 . Know that you’re not F**king your life up unless you’re knowingly into something you shouldn’t be: Seriously, it’s not you, it’s the world. They told us we should have it all together by 25…..TWENTY FIVE. That’s intimidating when we are the generation that spent ages 19 to 24 in college classrooms, at movie theater jobs, and not out there getting much experience/preparation for the working world. So unless you’re out there robbing the elderly or doing lines of coke off your ex’s butt then you’re probably good. It’s a process, you know?
2. Retain your childlike ambition: In middle school, I was writing like an absolute maniac. Five hours at a time with no letting up! On weekends I’d take those notebooks outside and have at it until sunset. Now, as an adult I need a literary laxative! Creativity suffers when you’re constantly thinking, will anybody care? If so…when will they care. I could write a thousand blog posts, self-publish a bunch of books and still not bear fruit from my writing passions. What a bleak thought! Its a crime to have that creativity sapped by the demons of adulting. Remember what you lived for back then, and let it feed now.
3. Get Facials: Girrrrrrrrrl, my esthetician is bae. What eye bags? What sun damage? What breakout? You can look like you’re in your early 20s for as long as you want to. But it starts now. You have to start taking care of things. (see 4-6).
4. Drink your vegetables (smoothies) and take probiotics: Careful there old timer, your tummy needs as much fiber as you can provide it with.
5. GO TO BED: Or you will turn into a literal goomba.
6. This is your last chance to be AHEAD of the game when it comes to fitness: At this age, you exercising and living healthy and all that will impress folks who are trying to do it in their 30s and 40s. If you start now, it will probably stick and you will have an easier time adjusting to the changes in your body that come towards the middle of life.
7. Go to counseling: This is especially important if you are considering getting married at some point or having children. A psychotherapist is someone who can help you piece unresolved things about your life together so that it all makes a little more sense to you. It’s a hard life, a confusing era, and an important time for you to get the best understanding of yourself, and what you need.
8. Let’s get back on the topic of passions. At this age, are you in your field and making good money from it? LUCKKKKKYYYY. Rarely does that happen this soon unless you are in a high demand career. For liberal arts and other in betweeners, it seems we not only have to pinpoint our passion but find a way to make it valuable and look for place that want what we have to offer.
I used to think that even though I’m able to write a good sentence, I need something more. Like a mission statement written on my head, and a plan to save the world with it! I felt that, because of the artsy nature of my field, I had to have my sh*t all the way together at all times or else I just wouldn’t make it. I’ve learned that passion is just the focus and attention you devote to what is right in front of you. If you are too busy searching for this passion you can miss out on life changing opportunities that could serve as guide maps for your big “what next.” In the words of the super cool Branding Strategist, Terri Trespicio, “success fuels passion, not the other way around.”
9. There is more to the story than working hard to get what you want: Pursuing something to the exclusion of all else is not necessary. If you end up not getting it, or life changes and something else happens (and let’s say it’s really not bad, just different than you’d planned) you might have a nervous breakdown! At 26, learn that you don’t create your life first then live it, you create it by living it and not agonizing over it. (not gonna lie, I’m not very good at this one AT ALL) Embrace the fear of life revision!
10. Know that “real jobs” don’t exist: If you get paid well enough/consistently enough to do it, it is a real job. It doesn’t have to be an eight hour, dress up, paycheck every two weeks gig. That sucks anyway. Find yourself something cool and gratifying this year. Brush off the judgments.
11. Tune the instrument of your mind to play more positive music: It plays all day long and if you’re in there playing “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” all day long you’ll break your brain. But seriously, your voice is an instrument, and we’ve got an inner voice there talking talk talking just like the outer one. This one has access to our truest essence on the inside! Be kind. Be a ballad!
12. Just realize that everyone has anxiety, and it is okay to not know yet: Most people our age are trying to have an existential crisis and a “mid-life” crisis prematurely! Due to the economy, the collegiate complex we grew up with, and conflicting information we have been given about our futures, life is not panning out to be anything remotely similar to how we saw it on our dream boards. What have we been doing!? What do we do now? The answer is live! Do what it is you’ve been waiting for for one reason or another. Maybe you couldn’t party in college because your head was in a book! Show out, girl! Maybe you wanted to travel or do something crazy like scuba dive or learn to swim….don’t wait till next year or the next or the next to plan. see what you can do now to live on purpose!
That’s all for now <3
Image cred: illustration315.tumblr.com