I’ve read a thousand of these same articles and posts that have been circulating Facebook as of late: “20 Things You Need to Do Before You Turn 30“, “News Years Resolutions You SHOULD Be Making For 2014“, “Top 10 Things You Should Accomplish in Your Twenties“, “20 Things To Let Go of Before the New Year“, “What You SHOULD Be Doing Instead of Getting Engaged in Your Twenties“, blah blah BLAH.
While I may agree with some of them more than others, I more so believe that people should stop looking at lists and trying to fit the molds of other people’s standards and bullshit articles. Sure, some of them are somewhat entertaining and can also be “inspiring” but these writers, who have no idea who you are and where you’ve been, can in no way decide what you “should” be doing. Ever.
I get it, being in your twenties is scary. There’s a hell of a lot of uncertainty, confusion and anxiety. A quarter of your high school might be engaged/married right now with 2.5 children. Your best friends might already have secure “career” jobs while you’re still bartending at the local bar. Some of your peers might be living abroad or traveling the world. Half of your friends seem to know exactly what they want to do in their life (although they’re most likely either lying or mistaken).
I get it. There’s a lot of pressure, especially with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram enabling you to browse through daily pictures of 43190853 different babies, pictures of that girl you always kind of hated drinking wine in front of the Eiffel Tower, that one guy volunteering in Africa, and other updates about studying for the BAR, someone running their “4th marathon this year!” or some other kind of post to show the world [of Facebook] that these people you don’t really care about are doing spectacular. That they have this super awesome amazing life. Because that’s all Facebook really is – to advertise the highlights of your life so you can show the people you don’t even really care about that your life is just fantastical. That, or for lonely people to try and get attention.
We’re all guilty of it. I’m absolutely guilty of it. (The bragging part, not the lonely part.) I suppose it’s just human nature. It makes us feel better to brag to others about our lives. We constantly compare ourselves to our peers. “God, I can’t believe they’re getting engaged, what’s the rush?” or “Did you know ______ is moving back in with her parents? I could never live with my mom again, let alone that city again. I’m so glad I got out”. My favorite is when friends imply that I’m wasting my life and “running away” or “don’t ever want to grow up” just because I made the decision to travel after I graduated university – “so do you think you’re ever going to settle down and get like, a real job?”
We’re all different. We want different things – to accomplish different things, see different things and be different things. Do I want to get married and have children before I turn 25? Hell effing no. But that doesn’t make it wrong for anybody else. I absolutely love my life and the decisions I’ve made to travel but that doesn’t make me better than anybody else. Nor does it make you better than me just because you may have a secure job or bought a house or started your retirement fund.
We’re constantly being told by society what we should be doing. What your News Years Resolution should be. What mistakes you should be making so you “learn and grow”. I’ve read a hundred articles written by other “nomads” and travelers preaching about how traveling is the best decision one will ever make and everybody needs to do it in order to grow as a person and become more “worldly” or whatever. While I partially agree with them, because I think that traveling is an amazing experience and your twenties just so happens to be a very convenient time to do so, I don’t think it’s for everybody. I don’t think that everybody needs to have these experiences in order to grow. I doubt all the geniuses in the world were able to travel and be reckless in their twenties. I doubt every talented athlete or musician was able to spend a year backpacking through Europe before they became successful. I’m sure every president didn’t join the Peace Corp, teach English abroad or build houses in Africa like these “worldly nomads” are saying is necessary in order to “really see the world”.
People see the world in their own way.
Whether it be from reading books, building a successful career or having children.
I love these articles about traveling or just being ridiculous in your twenties rather than “settling down” because I feel like I can relate to them. But okay, they’re also a bit pretentious and hypocritical. Not everybody needs to travel. Not everybody needs to get married period. Not everybody needs to know what they’re doing with their life before they turn 30.
What you SHOULD take away from these articles, however, is that you can do WHATEVER you want. Yes, after all that, I’m going to be totally hypocritical and tell you what you SHOULD be doing. The one thing, really. If you’re in your twenties, which I suspect most of you are if you’re reading my blog, then you’re at this amazing time in your life where literally ANYTHING is possible. Literally. And not in the “my head is LITERALLY going to explode” or “I’m LITERALLY going to die laughing” improperly used kind of way. I mean literally. Besides, okay a few things like marrying Ryan Gosling or winning the lottery. Which aren’t necessarily impossible, but you know. Highly unlikely. But other than a few things, you can do whatever the hell you want, given you put in enough effort and are willing to put up with a few obstacles.
So ladies and gents, go do it. And by “it”, I mean get a tattoo. Quit that job you hate. Buy a house. Ask her to marry you. Let somebody go. Climb Mt. Everest (or you know, maybe just Basecamp). Move to Paris. Sell your house and buy an RV. Plant a garden. Adopt a kitty. Start that business you’ve always dreamed of. Go to Grad School. Have a baby. Write a book. Apply for college. Drink until the sun comes up. Pay off your credit cards. Sail across the ocean. Learn how to play the guitar. Bring your children to Disneyworld. Get that promotion. Buy your dream car. Do whatever YOU want to do.
Not what a stupid list is telling you, you “should be doing” written by a blogger who has lived only one life. We all live only one life so live your own.
oh, and Happy New Years