I can’t believe I’m leaving the 20s behind and entering a new decade of age. With milestones like these, you tend to reflect a bit more than usual. What might be scary to some is exciting to me. I’m looking forward to saying hello to a new chapter of my life. I’m excited about more growth, adventures, and challenges.
I’m so grateful for my 20s and all the experiences. I truly wouldn’t have done anything differently. I think back to the beginning of my 20s and not being sure with what I wanted to do with my life and who I wanted to be. It’s crazy that coming out of high school, we are programmed to think that we need to have it all figured out. We need to attend University or College, get a good-paying job with a pension, find a husband or wife, settle down and have children -which is not a bad plan at all but going against it, you can sometimes be judged. I went to 3 post-secondary schools after high school, just choosing majors based on what I enjoyed at that time in my life. Although I did graduate from one – I realize I could have saved a lot of time (and money) if I took some time to explore different options and see what else was out there. In the end, I ended up doing something completely opposite to what I studied.
Travelling and working on cruise ships was a huge part of my 20s and shaping who I am today. I’ve been blessed to travel to 40 countries and more than 70 cities around the world. All the places I’ve visited, people I’ve met and adventures I’ve gone on – I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world. That’s why one of the biggest lessons I took from my 20s is to STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE. I can’t express this enough. Fear is paralyzing! Literally. There are many things we can miss out on because we’re afraid. But also, our life can become stagnant when we get comfortable with where we are. Stepping out into the unknown can be uncomfortable and even scary but when I tell you the growth, change and confidence that can come from it are beautiful and so worth it.
Another lesson I took from my 20s is that YOUR SELF CARE MATTERS. I feel like this was a more recent realization. I always knew that it was important to take care of yourself, but you truly can’t pour from an empty cup. We can look as good as we want on the outside every day, but it can affect our lives and even our relationships if we aren’t taking care of ourselves inside. So be sure to always take some time in the day for yourself. A few minutes, an hour - whatever it is, to intentionally do something to care for your mental, emotional, spiritual, and/or physical health. I used to be a people pleaser. I wanted people to like me, which sometimes meant putting a lot of people first and compromising who I was and my values to fit in. Not only is that exhausting, but it’s unhealthy. If someone doesn’t like you or wants to be in your life – cool! Let them go. Cause you’re amazing just the way you are, and I’ve come to realize that the people who are meant to be in your life will GLADLY be a part of it. No compromising, no begging, or changing who you are.
Another couple of lessons from my 20s is that SINGLENESS IS A GIFT and FORGIVENESS IS POWERFUL. You can read more from my singleness blog post. It should be noted that in the majority of my 20s I was in a relationship, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but because I was always in a relationship, my singleness experience was literally a gift but also very much needed. I feel that in our 20s we are still trying to figure out so much that it’s easy to put our identity into a relationship. Sometimes we can also settle out of loneliness and comfort and not understanding our worth and what we deserve. Being single in my 20s allowed me to grow closer to God, heal from past hurts, realize who I am without someone else and work on myself to be a better person for my future husband. Reflecting on the past can sometimes bring up painful memories. Which is where forgiveness comes into play. Anyone who hears my story finds it hard to believe that I’ve experienced all that I have in my short period of life. But I truly believe that I’ve been able to live the life I do because, with God’s grace, I have forgiven. I’ve been hurt by many people and I’ve also hurt people, but I had to forgive to let go of that hurt and move forward with my life. Holding on to anger, resentment, pain, hatred doesn’t do anything but hold you down. It can affect your mood, attitude, relationships, and life. It also doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a gradual intentional process and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without God.
This brings me to the biggest thing I’m taking from my 20s - God’s plan is greater than I can ever imagine. I created a "plan" for my life when I was in my late teens, and if I compared that list to my life right now - I'd laugh. My life has been nothing like I've expected or thought I wanted - it's been SO much better. I had to learn to trust in God through it all and be patient in the journey. My relationship with Him has grown so much in the past years and stepping out in faith and obedience has changed and transformed my life in so many ways. I can’t wait to see what He has in store for this new decade.
Below is a list of some things I recommend doing in your 20s - at any age, but if you’re in your 20s, start now! 🙂
Be intentional with how you spend your time
Spend more time in nature
Learn how to budget & save more
Travel (take a solo trip)
Love yourself & others
Take yourself on a date
Rid yourself of toxic relationships in your life – friends or family
Let go of things that aren't bringing you joy
Start a hobby
Talk to yourself kindly
Live in the present moment