You only get to do your twenties once.
In your twenties you think you know it all.
You finish college and start a career, live with friends, tuck a couple of jobs under your belt and wake up feeling like you’ve finally arrived. Check. Me. Out.
You work hard during the day, play hard after work and even harder on the weekend – and that’s what you should be doing in your twenties.
It’s a decade that should be all about freedom. You’re finally free of school, college and your parents for the first time. These are the years to spread your wings – and your legs – just enough to know what you enjoy and what makes you tick. Note: spreading anything too much is not a good look, be sure to fly safely, and always find your way home.
They should be called your ‘Tried-and-Tested Twenties’. Jobs, flatmates, food, travel, fashion, the list goes on. Suck it all (yes, even those) and see what floats your (life) boat. You have to try it all for yourself otherwise you’re just a sheep either doing what your parents taught you, or following in the path your friends are forging. Find your own path.
Things you should not do in your twenties include obsessing about your long-term future. Pension? Meh, put it on your radar. Buying property? Yeah right, if you’re lucky enough to be financially flush.
Do not, I repeat not, get married in your twenties. I did and it was a disaster. Not just a little disaster but a full-on horror film which was made worse because it was real. And my actual life. Marriage in your early twenties has been branded the ‘starter marriage’ for good reason, it doesn’t last.
He was older than me and that was his trump card. When we argued, he won. Why? Because I was in my twenties and I didn’t have a clue. When he told me what to do, I did it. Why? Because I was in my twenties and…
The house we bought, car we drove, where we went on holiday, what I wore, music we listened to, gym we went to, how often we went to said gym and what I wore to the gymnasium of his choice. Guess who had the remote control on all of that? Clue: It was not me.
He had a six year start on life over me and man, did he use it.
I had no understanding of what was acceptable in relationships even when my gut instinct was telling me things weren’t right. And because I hadn’t taken the time to find my own path I didn’t know there was even another route to take. I didn’t push back on anything because I didn’t have the life experience to fuel my confidence to do so convincingly. How do you pick your battles when you don’t know if they’re worth fighting?
It wasn’t right, I should never have married him, and three years later I was back living with a girlfriend, sobbing myself to sleep because I’d let my heart get carried away and not consulted my brain in the process. Why? Because I was in my twenties and didn’t have a flipping clue.
I had no idea that I didn’t need to go to fancy restaurants or go on swanky holidays to be happy. Not an inkling that I enjoyed my own company and preferred curling up to read a book than being in awkward show-off social situations in heels so high they made me dizzy. Not for a second did I imagine that money didn’t motivate me. Neither did I know that there was a life away from big cities that didn’t involve earning big bucks that would make me happy every day to be alive.
Why? Because I was in my twenties, and… I realise now, I actually didn’t have even a vague idea about what made me tick. It sounds like a cliché, but I didn’t know me.
If you’re in your twenties and want to tie the knot, repeat after me: ‘I do…NOT.’ If he’s right, he’ll still be right in a few years’ time. Take him with you on some adventures and check he’s a good companion out of your comfort zone because forever is an awfully long time, and you only get to do your twenties once.