Google “things you need to know in your twenties.” Seriously. Google it. 54,500,000 results. All articles about “what I’ve learned” during this all-important decade or “things you shouldn’t take for granted” or, my favorite, “how to not waste” your twenties.
I’m tired of it.
I’m getting mighty sick of the articles that tell me that the best way to “live in my twenties” is to get a good job and start a 401K, but travel the world, set sail with the wind, stay out late, but don’t forget to get up early, cook with organic, fried, special Portobello oil while not spending too much money on food…blah, blah, blah blah, blah.
Seriously. How is that possible? How do you hold down a steady job and still have months of freedom to travel? How do you have all the time in the world with your friends while frequenting farmer’s markets and concocting lavish, inspired meals?
I don’t get it. IT IS NOT POSSIBLE.
See, the thing is, everyone’s life is just so different in their twenties. Most (not all, but most) of us follow a similar trajectory growing up: grade school, high school, college. Ok. Fine. Then, somewhere around 22-23 everyone’s lives just get CRAZY different, spattering in all kinds of directions!
My group of close high school friends include two nurses, a German translator, a coaster design business owner, a public health employee, a manager at a bar, an urban planner, an accountant, two PR representatives, several graduate students, two doctors and at least one whose job I really don’t even understand.
Do you think any or our lives are even remotely similar? Sure, we all go grocery shopping, do the laundry and brush our teeth every morning (I hope!)…but really, our day to day existences are entirely unique.
Some of us can take off and travel the world. Many of us can’t. Some of us can start 401Ks. Some work hard to scrape the rent together. Some of us are married or homeowners. Some have kids. Some are dating or single. But we can’t all have all of those things all of the time. We can’t all be everything the internet is telling us to be in our twenties. It just isn’t possible.
Moving forward, I’m going to try to choose to avoid those “twenty-something” articles, because really, the only thing you need to know in your twenties is that EVERYONE’S LIFE IS DIFFERENT IN THEIR TWENTIES!
Don’t feel guilty because you aren’t “making the most of your most glorious decade."
Just do as my buddies T.I. and Rihanna instruct and live your life. That’s all there is to it.
Besides, why are we all taking advice from people in their twenties anyway? I’m not saying there aren’t plenty of smart-twenty-something-cookies out there. There are. But if I was going to seek advice on how to to live my life, I would have asked my grandmother. Someone who lived a full SIX DECADES longer than me.
And do you know what she’d tell me?
She’d tell me to grab myself a good National Geographic, turn up the Dixie Chicks, come out on the porch and pour myself another drink.
Fine by me, Nana, fine by me.