Where I hear the phrase "life lessons," the idea of my mid-twenties rarely comes to mind. There are still moments when I feel inexperienced in life, naïve; not to mention I still look around the room for an adult forgetting the fact the adult is me.
The life lessons you learn in your twenties are taught by doing, by not doing; throwing yourself into new things and picking yourself up when you’ve been knocked down (multiple times). These moments, whether we want them to or not, allow us to grow into the people we are supposed to become. There are even moments when I think, “Wow, look how much you learned from that one experience.” As we enter a new era in our lives, there are four life lessons you learn in your mid-twenties that will carry you on to your next chapter.
Last year, I wrote an article on things you should know by the time you’re 25. I’d love to hear the lessons you’ve learned yourselves, too. Drop a comment under this article, let’s share the life lessons we’ve learned!
Four Life Lessons You Learn In Your Mid-Twenties.
Life Is Short, Enjoy It
Cliché, yes, but accurate. I had a really good friend of mine remind me some people don’t get to be at this stage in life. In our world today, a long life is not guaranteed and there are so many things that can happen at any given moment. It’s so easy to put things off until later, but later may not always come and time waits for no one.
I’ve made it a point in my life to live it to the fullest. I enjoy that last piece of cake, book the vacation I’ve always wanted, and jump on the opportunities that present themselves. A big fear of mine is not doing all the things I would’ve liked to have done because I thought I had enough time. It doesn’t make me any less driven and it makes me a hell of a lot happier.
Friend Groups Shrink And That’s Not A Bad Thing
Looking back at my early twenties I went out a lot with a large group of girls that could’ve given Taylor Swift’s “squad” a run for their money. As I grew older, I realized there was always a core group of friends there for me while other friendships fizzled out. Sad, yes, but natural. And you know what? It’s not the worst thing in the world.
My girlfriends are like my family, and I couldn’t imagine life in New York without them. Moreover, I consider it an incredible blessing to have friendships lasting over a decade. Sometimes large groups of friends aren’t constantly needed. There are people in your life who will genuinely care about you while others may just want to hear a good story. Allowing yourself to accept this, understand it, and enjoy the small company you keep makes life that much sweeter.
Mental Breakdowns Happen, And That’s Okay
As a person with high-functioning anxiety living in New York City, I can accurately state I’ve had two major meltdowns in my mid-twenties. Although they weren’t great, I now know they were needed. The first was at 24 – I was in an awful job, horrible roommate situation and it was one curveball after another. The other time was when I was 25 and had a relationship end with someone I thought I was going to be with for a long time. Breakdowns are never caused by one exact incident, but by moments so small you don’t realize it until they’ve snowballed into a problem.
The reason I say mental breakdowns are okay is because they will happen; you will learn from them, and you will grow from them. Breakdowns allow you to get as real with yourself as possible. There’s no one else who can lift you out of your own despair but you. I’ve seen my bottom; in some ways I helped dig the hole, sat in it and felt bad for myself. In moments such as those, we see our characters and we either get up, dust ourselves off, and come back stronger than ever or we crumble. Your mid-twenties will test you in ways you didn’t even know was possible. Let yourself fall, but don’t forget to pick yourself back up.
You’re Exactly Where You’re Meant To Be
This has probably been the hardest idea to wrap my head around. I am ambitious, constantly anxious, and never settle for anything; it is both a blessing and a curse. I also know there are so many things I want out of life: a successful career, marriage, children – all beautiful points that will be some of the biggest blessings I could ever receive. However, in knowing I want all of these things to happen, I don’t want to forget I am exactly where I am supposed to be and doing what I am supposed to.
The big things in life will happen for you if you truly believe they are meant for you, so why stress it and miss everything that’s in front of you?! I say this from experience. There’s so much I want to do and so many things I don’t even know I want, yet. If I ever rushed into a situation that wasn’t for me I may never have the opportunities to do the things I’m currently doing: traveling, working the crazy hours, spontaneous adventures, and so much more.
Moreover, understanding things happen for a reason is crucial. Don’t sweat the big stuff and enjoy all the small victories. In the past year I signed a lease to my dream apartment, had my first adult vacation in Mexico with girlfriends, got promoted, learned some very tough lessons, and met some of the most amazing people.
I’m excited to see what this year will bring, and I hope it’s one filled with love, blessings, and most importantly, happiness. Life only gets better with time and if it’s any consolation, none of us really know what we’re doing, anyways. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and a smile on your face because you are meant for amazing things. Until next time.