Have you ever heard the saying “Adulthood is like looking both ways when you cross the street and then getting hit by an airplane?” This should be the motto for being in your 20s; at least that’s how it has been for me. And I thought being a teenager was bad.
Everyone expects something out of you in your 20s. You’re supposed to have your shit together by the time you’re out of college, which is ludicrous; entering your 20s is essentially a culture shock because you need to learn how to adapt on your own after living with your parents for 2 decades. You’re supposed to know who you want to be and where you want to go in life by the time you’re 25. But who makes these “rules?” We shouldn’t have to define ourselves in that time period. It’s still such a vulnerable time in each of our lives. Legal adulthood begins when you turn 18, but it doesn’t really begin until you’re on your own: paying your own bills, living in your own place, having a job, etc. That age is different for everyone, and is much later for millennials due to the hardships of finding work and prices inflating daily.
No matter how many condescending remarks you hear from people who seemingly have their shit together, you should never worry about these things, especially in your 20s:
When you’re going to find your soul mate and get married
Only you can decide when you’re ready to get married. If you have a boyfriend at 23 and are ready to settle down, go for it. If you’re still 27 and single, who gives a f*ck. No matter what your friends are doing, or not doing, it’s their life, not yours. Life is different for everyone and you shouldn’t have to live in a box with other 20-somethings. People mature at different ages, and just because someone is ready to get married and live happily-ever-after, doesn’t mean their friend of the same age is ready for the same thing.
When you’re going to have kids
I feel like a lot of people expect kids to come right after a wedding. It doesn’t matter whether you have kids 9 months after your wedding or 9 years after your wedding. I know several people who just wanted to enjoy the married life before they began raising a family, and I know many people who jumped right into having kids. As long as you and your spouse agree on when it’s a good time to start, and how many kids you want, it doesn’t matter when you start a family. Don’t let outside pressure influence you.
When you’re going to find your dream job
I know I’m not the first, and certainly not the last person to tell you that sometimes it takes a while to find a good job. Your idea of a dream job might be stable throughout your life or you could have a new dream every day, week, month, or year. Your dream job is your fantasy. Once you face reality, your dream might seem silly, or it might be something you actually want to keep working hard for. However, don’t be surprised if your vision changes and you find yourself happy in a new place doing something you never even thought of doing before.
Being in shape
If you have to worry about what you look like, and if it bothers you that much, only you can change it. If you’re not willing to change it, stop worrying about it. This is about the last decade of your life where you will have a semi-decent metabolism (if you were blessed with that). Let me tell ya, I’ve heard it all goes downhill from here. Eat what you want, work out when you want, and just live life exactly how you want. That’s the beauty of life.
One of my biggest pet peeves is hearing someone complain because they’re getting older and they don’t have a ring on their finger or their perfect job or a baby on the way when all of their friends had all these “accomplishments” much earlier in life. You’re not defined by these things. You’re defined by what you choose to do, who you choose to associate with, what you choose to say, and who you choose to be. And yes, while these three things are huge accomplishments, nothing is more of an accomplishment than being perfectly content with your life in this moment.
Featured image via Sophia Amoruso