The funny (aka terrifying) thing about being in your 20’s is that ten years ago, you were somewhere between elementary school and high school, and ten years from now, you will be in your 30’s. No matter what end of the 20’s spectrum you find yourself upon as you read this, we all have one thing in common – half of our friends are moved out, paying their own bills like real adults, and possibly even raising a couple of kids (cough heathens cough), and the other half of our friends are lucky if they wake up in their own bed (or ANY bed) a few mornings out of the week.
So far throughout my 20’s, I have been a full time student with no job, a full time worker with no classes, and a mixture of the two (#AtTheSameDamnTime). No matter what venture it’s been, there are a few common variables – the stress that comes with an overloaded schedule, the euphoria that comes with accomplishing something time-consuming, and the discouraging feeling that comes with failure.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that all emotions are fleeting… But a couple of lingering emotions that I’ve noticed as a steady topic of conversation between my friends and I since walking offstage with our high school diplomas are guilt and fear. Have we made the right choices so far? Are we making the right choices now? How will we end up?
Your 20’s are a very unique time period of your life because for one of the first times ever, your actions legally no longer fall upon your parents to correct or to control. Your 20’s are a limbo between who you psychologically grew into through childhood, and what kind of life you want to create in adulthood.
With that being said, there is a lot of reflection that comes about in your 20’s. As I look back on my life thus far, a lot has come and gone. I have mixed thoughts and feelings on that idea, but one thing I know is that where there is reflection, there is growth. That is why I believe there are many things we as millennials are making a mistake if we don’t forgive ourselves for in our 20’s!
Here are 5 things I think you should fully embrace forgiving yourself for starting today:
- Forgive yourself for your failed friendships and relationships.
More often than I’d like to even remind myself, I have failed people who I genuinely miss. There is nothing like the pain that comes with your own mistakes. However, I’m not sure I would be as careful with my words as I am now had I not known the regret of hurting someone I love with careless words. I’m not sure I would be nearly as giving if I had not known the regret that comes with the consequences of my selfish actions. Although you may spend more time of your life than you thought you would wondering how different things would be if you hadn’t burnt bridges with some great people, there are more things headed your way that are supposed to, and you wouldn’t be prepared for them if you hadn’t made some life-changing mistakes prior.
- Forgive yourself for the opportunities that you didn’t give a chance.
As life passes by and your perspective changes, it can be cringe-worthy to look back on the opportunities that you turned your nose up at. You have to remember that if your perspective is changing now because you are seated in a different spot and you now know things that you didn’t prior, who’s to say it won’t change again? We are constantly learning, even subconsciously. Therefore we are constantly changing subconsciously – changing our minds included.
- Forgive yourself for who you are, for who you are not, and everything in between.
As a teenager, I thought confidence came when I had the motivation to earn the things that I wanted to attain. In some ways, this was very positive. At one point, I was working out more than ever and achieved what was, at the time, my dream body. However, basing my “confidence” off of what I had was a dangerous concept to harbor. Because if you have something, you can lose it. In this example, motivation and dedication were two wonderful things, but sometimes, life isn’t wonderful and it gets in the way. When I didn’t have the time to obsessive-compulsively workout anymore, I got out of shape, and my confidence was a thing of the past. There are plenty of things, physically and mentally, that are not my favorite qualities that I possess. However, I have learned to love the rawest, purest version of who I am. Physically, I naturally have curves. Mentally, I naturally have a little too strong of a mind, and can be very obnoxious. But more people than you know notice and love the uncensored version of who you are, and you should first.
- Forgive yourself for all of your Facebook statuses and comments that took place before 2014, and for all the random Facebook pages you “became a fan” of in 2008 when that was the cool thing to do… For whatever reason… Lol
I hold onto my own regrets more than I would like to, and I also find a piece of myself holding onto the people and things that I haven’t been able to forgive. Any time that you find yourself harping on a resentment, remind yourself that “grasping hot coals only burns you.” (That right there is a Buddha quote… Lol) The truth is, we all got something good out of those who hurt us, even if that’s nothing but their absence. Lol! The least you can do is laugh at that idea, and realize how different your life is now, anyway.
No matter what you’re looking back on or looking forward to at this point in your 20’s, you’ve made it at least 20 years. People have come and gone. An array of emotions have come and gone. Money has come and gone. These things will always come and go – it’s a cycle. No matter what this blog post got you thinking about, and no matter what mood it could have put you in, find comfort and humor in knowing that in 20 more years, it’ll be a whole different range of thoughts and feelings that this kind of reflection will bring about!