Being in your 20s is amazing. You enjoy vitality, youth, health (hopefully). Your body is ready to be fit, open to change, your mind is eagerly absorbing what you feed it. Nothing is set in stone, yet. No, not even if you are 21, married and have a child. Even so, you can look at your future and ask yourself, what do I want from life?
Your 20s are a place for experimentation. To fall in and out of love. To start studying, just to become something totally different afterward. While there are surely loads and loads of advantages also in being in your 30s, 40s, 50s and so on, those careless, chatty, cocktail nights with your friends, the option to study or work in another country for some time and the openness to choose whatever career path you want to venture on will not return.
But when I look around I see many people afraid of the options offered to them. They are afraid to talk with the other sex because they never learned rejection. They are afraid to change their career path because their grandparents and parents warn them of the dangers of experimentation. They’re afraid to visit that country, do that Erasmus or try the new company, in the sake of the limiting relationship they are leading with a person they do not really love anymore but stick with out of laziness and a wrong feeling of safety.
Well, of course, I’m not saying that all relationships in your 20s are bad! Whether you’re 22, 25 or 29 you can, and can not have found your significant other. That one person you share your values with, who develops in the same direction as you do, with whom future planning all of the sudden seems easy-peasy.
But what if the guy you’re with, cute as he is, develops in a different direction? What, if your values aren’t nearly his? What if, even though you were a dream couple 5 years ago, you overtook him by now? A relationship should never be broken easily, but ask yourself this. If you think of the qualities you want your man to possess, that you know are needed for the life you want – for example, ambition and drive, if you are opting for a career path or responsibility and team ability, if you want to build a family – does he satisfy your needs? Imagine yourself in 5 years – do you truly see him by your side? If the answer is No – why are you selling yourself below your worth? Don’t be afraid to look for the person you really want to spend your life with. In the best case, it will be a long one and I bet you’d rather spend it happy!
But our love life is not the only one where we face the risk of being stuck. Think about your studies, your job. We make a decision when we are 18 – or we study (and if we study, what do we study?) or we go to work. But what happens if years later, in the middle or after your studies, or stuck in a work you don’t like you realize: that’s just not my thing? Guess what- you don’t have to stick to a decision you made some years ago. At least not in that case. You can invent yourself anew! Where are your strengths? What do you enjoy doing? What would a successful career mean to you? Regular hours? Contact with children or elderly people? Flexibility? Self-Employment? Security in a large company? No one can answer that but you – and you don’t have to answer to a decision you made before you developed into the person you are today!
The 20s are great. It’s a time of celebration, friends, and of making yourself the person you want to be. This chance of a lifetime gives you 10 years of exploration, of development and of opportunities. Do you really want to miss it?