To all my girls who feel like they are drowning in their 20s:
I know that we all have those horrifying moments of doubt as we scroll down our Facebook page and see success story after success story from the people we grew up with, family friends, elementary school kids, college classmates, and even our ex-best friends. This holiday season was no different for me. A newly announced engagement here, a new job there, a marriage here, a family there, someone is buying a new house, someone is finally pulling themselves up by the bootstraps, and even the kid who lived down the hall from you in your freshman dorm who was solely concerned about drinking and partying is finally getting his life together.
Listen, girl. Don’t get too down on yourself, because you are absolutely killing it at this 20s thing! Here are 12 signs you’re doing much better than you think:
- You have a job: All right, we aren’t talking corner office or CEO here, but you’ve managed to grasp onto that first greasy rung of the ladder. Your day to day may involve pushing papers and working up to the next position, but it’s all about experience, and at some point you’ll leverage one great recommendation from all of your hard work.
- You can turn your lights on: You’ve paid your bills this month! What’s more, you use Wi-Fi that isn’t stolen from the coffee shop next door, and your cell phone receives phone calls. This may sound basic, but there are entire countries that haven’t managed this level of sophistication. This is something I really learned when traveling outside of the United States and spending a mission trip working at a children’s summer camp when the electricity went out and didn’t come back on for two days.
- You’ve made it through: The phrase “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” may sound like motivational bologna, but everything you’ve had to go through has changed you for the better.
- You have hobbies: Personally, I indulge in canvas painting, reading, Christian music, traveling, and of course writing. These hobbies make me happy, and give me something to do that helps me cleanse my soul. Hobbies are good to have, and free time makes you a more content person.
- You eat fresh food: You no longer rely on those leftovers from two weeks ago from Mom or ramen noodles by the case. You are able to cook appropriately and sustain your body with fresh ingredients that fulfill you and help you continue on.
- You have your own space: Even if this space just amounts to one room in a shared apartment, it’s your space where you have the final say over what goes. This may not sound like a big deal, but we all need a corner to make our own.
- You can travel: I’m not talking about a trip to the Bahamas for a long weekend but you do have enough money to put gas in your car and keep your bus card active, so that’s a win. With a family living across the country, I am able to fund these trips to spend time with my parents and siblings and still live comfortably while going to college and working full time all at once.
- People listen to you: You are starting to have smidgen of authority and you’re finding that people are actually starting to listen to you. You are learning and grasping the ropes of life as a 20s young adult, and seeing the positivity that comes from networking and connecting.
- You’re wiser: You have had enough experiences to understand what seems ridiculous before it even begins, and are able to avoid those situations instead of allowing them to repeat. Kudos to you for this.
- You can take care of yourself: Hospital visits are expensive, so instead, when you feel that onset of a cold or the flu, you take care of yourself and give yourself the rest and time you need to feel better. You’ve learned to think twice about your actions, and have started to look out for number one.
- You have a goal: You’re going to move to a different city, you’re planning on going to graduate school to get that Master’s degree, and you’re going traveling. Whatever it is, you are moving towards a milestone that represents maturity and adulthood.
- You’ve chilled out: Now, you realize that not everything is going to happen today. Some things take more time, and you’re just stressing yourself out by worrying about it. This makes life easier to live day by day, and makes you a smarter person.
Keep on keeping on, because you are absolutely killing it at this and I know you are going to be fantastic! [Salsa girl dancing in red dress emoji.]