When I was 13, I couldn’t wait to be 18. When I was sixteen, i planned to be married by age twenty-three with two kids by time I was 27. Time changes things.
And a funny thing happens about the time you turn 25. People start asking about marriage and kids and houses. You begin to worry about savings, retirement and health insurance. You start spending your money on plates and new tires. Short term sacrifices for long term gains, right? Sometimes you start to compare your 25 years with everyone else’s. You wonder if you’re on the right track because it’s different from all the people you’re surrounded by. You start going to your friends’ weddings and buying baby gifts. You’re at that exact age that seemed so far away just five years ago.
I’ve always liked including myself in the 20-something category. Growing up, but not quite grown up. You’re and adult, but still recognize that you’re part kid. I love the navigating of adulthood and all of my first time experiences. A new job. My first “grown-up” paycheck. Growth. But the older I get, the more I think about how easy it is to become controlled by your age and all the expectations that come along with it. Then suddenly it seems like there are all these benchmarks to meet, even when they sometimes are getting in the way of the goals you want to reach.
It’s easy to forget that you’re free to do whatever you want with your life. That can end up being quite the responsibility. To live your life the way you want to, rather than the way you are expected to. Especially if that means taking a big jump, and especially when that jump feels more like a free fall. Like quitting your first job and moving 3,000 miles from home. Or chopping off all of your hair and taking on a entirely new identity. Everything new is scary and seems unexpected, but if you don’t take the chance, nobody else is going to take it for you.
When you’re in your twenties, I hope you get lost wandering the streets of the city that you just moved to. You travel and read books and meet amazing, genuine people who alter your life in even the slightest way. I hope you drink out of mason jars and put yourself out there enough to make new friends. I hope you say goodbye to all of the things that have kept you stagnant and vow to keep moving forward. I hope you aren’t help back because of a number. And that you don’t rush into things because it seems like the right age to do it. Stop looking for a destination. Enjoy the journey.