|Source: A Pair of Pears|
It’s official. Whoever said twenties were the “best years of your life” didn’t say “and also the most difficult years of your life”. When else in life is there a decade where you are growing and maturing and changing the most? Where your friends are all at different life stages, with different dreams & goals? With no clear understanding of where they want to go, just that they want to GO? Just thinking back on my Homecoming weekend, it’s so interesting to think that 2 short years ago we were all in pretty much the same spot, and now we couldn’t be in more different life stages across the board. And it made me stop and think…
I would always laugh when Kyle & I would tell people “We graduated in May 2011, got married in June, moved to Philadelphia in July to start my new job, & Kyle started his job in August.” It was the craziest time ever – and we were just 22 (ah Taylor Swift, I can hear you now…). It seemed so natural, and expected, and I don’t regret any of it. But I look back sometimes and think, wow – that was a lot of change, so fast, that I never processed.
I’ve grown so much in my 20’s (and I’m still in what I like to call my early 20’s thank you very much) from college, to marriage, to new career, to living in 3 states, the suburbs, a big city, and learning how to be an adult. There are days I look at some of my friends who are “living the dream”, as I call it, without a steady 9 to 5, traveling the world, spending their time with friends & family instead of deadlines, and I can’t help but feel jealous. When did my life become so serious? So planned? So predictable?
And I know jealousy is one of the worst traits to have. But again, I’m only 24. What do you expect? With the advent of social media – Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, blogging – it’s so easy to get caught up in all the “cool things” your friends (kind of friends) are doing and what you should be doing. Like all those recipes I’ve pinned? Why am I not a master chef by now? And those crafts I need to DIY? When am I going to by a hot glue gun? Or that trip abroad? When will I find 2 months to just hike around South America?
I have loved my 20’s, but I feel like I need to pump the brakes sometimes. I don’t know what the rush is. I think it’s natural to think of the “what-ifs” in life – whether it’s your job, where you live, your relationships, your friends, your haircut, you name it. And the more I think about it, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. I’m starting to realize my 20’s are meant to make me think about the type of person I’m becoming, and who I want to be, and what will make me happy. To think how the decisions you make today will impact the life you want to have at 30. For all of us, it’s different. It’s also not too late to change your dreams, your “ideal life”, your planned out life. I can’t help it I’m a planner. I don’t like surprises. It should be no surprise that in an ideal world I would know everything I’m going to do for the next 10 years. I’m learning to “let go & let God”. I can choose so much in life, but most importantly I can choose happiness. I choose to surround myself with positive people. I am choosing to go out of my way for those who love me and want to spend time with me. To be silly. Be adventurous. Chill out a bit. Sleep in. Eat out.
|Source: Pinterest (not sure if Groucho is a real person)|
I don’t have it all figured out. And in fact, I think there is too much I don’t have figured out. Don’t mistake this “case of the blahs” as “Alicia is miserable”. I feel like a lot of people in their twenties – overwhelmed, confused, excited, tired, energized, challenged, loved, lonely, all of that and sometimes within one hour. But this is it. I’m slowing my life down. Taking it all in. Trying new experiences & opportunities. Looking for ways to connect with old & new friends. Stressing less; talking less. Listening more; feeling more.
Not getting caught up in “what’s next,” but “what’s now”.
Side note: To get me through my many “blah” days, I have pinned (literally) print outs of several quotes to inspire me through my work day. Above are some, and below are a few more of my favorites.
And if all my other dreams fail, this is my “live/die by” quote: