I thought I would be in the depths of depression by now but it seems that I am totally ready for turning 30 next week. (I’d like to mention here that I was not a happy bunny at turning 20 because I had ‘lost my teenage years’… admittedly I am a bit Yeatsian in my approach to age).
I’ve absolutely loved my 20’s, I’ve spent them travelling the world with Simon in between juggling work and study.
I think we put a lot of pressure on ourselves these days to have it all before 30 but it’s not easy, in many ways it’s a lot harder than the generations that have gone before. We are expected nowadays to have the degrees, career, relationship, house, car and kids all before we turn 30!
Here are the 10 things I wish I could tell my 20 year old self.
- Travel at every available opportunity, even when it leaves you broke and worried about the future. You learn so much by moving out of your comfort zone and experiencing different cultures and customs.
- Learn a new language, one that you are passionate about. You won’t have this kind of time again later in life.
- Avail of the time and opportunities you have to be creative. Paint, write, learn an instrument, do it all. It’s not like you’ll have time to be looking up new chords on youtube when you have children!
- Life is short– enjoy the nights out and parties. Regret nothing! You’ll have plenty of time to sit in with a cup of tea in the years to come, go and get changed now.
- Relish the years where you can enjoy an Egg Mc Muffin for breakfast and it won’t show on your face by the end of the day. Soon enough ordering pasta for dinner will feel criminal.
- Do be somewhat financially responsible. It won’t hurt to put money aside for a deposit on a house or to start paying into a pension, even when that seems bizarre and far-fetched to you now.
- Wear whatever you want. Bask in the fact that you can get away with it now! You need some funny outfits to look back on too!
- Don’t be afraid to cut loose on the negativity. Unfortunately , not everyone will be happy for you when you decide to move away, take a new job, get engaged or whatever. Sometimes people will see your success as their failure. It’s okay to move on without them, soon enough you will only have the time and energy to surround yourself with people who care for you without any conditions.
- This too shall pass. Say that to yourself every time you face career challenges, experience the death of a loved one or face any kind of struggle. It doesn’t seem like it now but time is a great healer.
- Care not about the opinions of others. People will try to project their insecurities on you, this is their problem not yours. Don’t judge anyone else (often the mean ones are the ones who need help and love the most, even if that’s hard to believe). Don’t speak ill of anyone, instead let your good deeds do the talking.