In about five months I will turn thirty. I am still living up these last months of my 20s but neither fear or have anxiety over the thought of turning thirty. The thing that I find crazy is that I have made it through my first decade of adulthood--my twenties. Not crazy like I think I am getting so old, but crazy in that I still have a whole lot of life to live. This is just the beginning of all that I have to learn, experience, and embrace in this lifetime.
I am definitely not the norm for women in their twenties these days. Sure I went to college and got married but neither started a career or had children. Instead I sat behind my computer, embraced my inner homemaker, and relaxed at home with my husband every night like we were a seventy year old couple.
So writing a post on what I learned in my twenties, may not reach the masses of twenty-somethings. But after reading this post on What You Learn in Your 40s, I was inspired to take a moment and look back at my twenties. I want to give it the recognition that it deserves. Being an adult for the first time can be hard. I definitely have had a lot of soul searching and learning how I want to go about life this past decade that I do not want to forget but also want to have archived to look back on when I am so much older and wiser...or something like that. My twenties have helped set the tone for the rest of my life and I am so thankful for all that I have learned.
What I Learned in My 20s
It's okay to pave my own way.
It took me a long time to finally come to terms that I was not pursuing a career. I was not in a paid job where I used my degree. I wanted to be at home, I knew I should be at home, and I dreamed of life at home for years. It would would have been foolish to not embrace this gift of my life at home out of the pressures of what others thought I should be spending my skills and time on.
Because of it I have found a dream job of blogging. It may not make a respectable income but it fulfills my passions for creativity as well as reaching women. I learned that it is okay to do something that doesn't make me any money. I would rather budget our life to live a life that makes me feel full instead of worrying about making money in a job that I hate. And I have also learned to better appreciate a husband who does go to work all day to provide this lifestyle that I have.
My husband will always be in my life. I need to make HIM my best friend.
As the days pass more each year, those friends from high school and college continue to drift. Different seasons and different social outlets bring different friends for different periods of time. I will always have a few core friends that I will know for the rest of my life but I have begun to let go of the expectations of the new friends that I make.
I am learning to be more generous in relationships and not expecting as much in return. I take each relationship for face value and try to not make it more than it needs to be at the moment. Making friends as an adult is hard. Not everyone wants to go as deep with me while others want to go deeper. I cannot put so much weight on relationships in such a short period of time but instead take each one slowly and gracefully to see what may blossom through time.
So instead I continue to invest in my husband. He is the only one who I have to spend the rest of my life with so I am continuing to give him the majority of my free time to set a foundation of friendship for the rest of our lives.
My family is important. Like my husband, they will always be there.
I no longer live under my parent's roof and my brother is grown, married, and with his second child on the way. What relationship I had with my family as a teenager is no longer. Instead we are adults with an opportunity to support, encourage, and be there for one another.
I see that making time for family is important and that I need to give them the honor and respect they deserve. Like my husband, my family will always be there and so I need to continue to invest in those relationships just as much, if not more, than the others in my life.
I have learned to let go of grudges, change expectations, and not live a daydream that I thought adult family relationships would be like as a kid. They can be hard and uncomfortable but by setting boundaries and extending grace, I can have a support system like no other in my life.
I have had a lot of time to play around with my personal style both in my home and wardrobe. I have learned to embrace my signature style, dress for my body, and decorate based on how my home functions. I make getting dressed and living in my home both functional and comfortable.
Still a work in progress, I am embracing my body for what it is. I have learned what my body type is (no matter what my weight) and have learned to shop for it. I embrace the colors of navy and black as they are both slimming and work with anything. I have found that having a smaller wardrobe that I love full of spandex and elastic allow me to be comfortable, confident, and low maintenance. I dress for myself--to have confidence in the woman that I am.
My home is full of things I love. Nothing too expensive so that things can fall and break out of fully living and enjoying the home that we have. The decor reflects our family and my creative spirit instead of just what is on trend. Our home is a place to love on others so trying to make it perfect only scares people away. Instead I choose to cover my home with love and thoughtfulness so that when I spend each day in it I am reminded of how grateful I am to have it.
I feel best when I am taking care of myself.
When I am eating right and exercising as well as taking care of myself emotionally and spiritually I feel better all around. My skin glows. I don't feel the need to wear makeup or do my hair as much. Being healthy allows me to feel more free in my own skin. I will continue to take the time for myself. All around life is better when I do.
I have had time for yourself. It is time to extend some of it to my children.
Though I love my free time and barely give it away to anyone or anything, I have realized that having a family is something I want deep in my heart. It is hard for me to cope with a busier schedule, a not so glamorous sleep routine, and giving up space in my home for someone else. But I will. I have had my years at home all to myself. It has allowed me to work through things, soul search, and become the woman I believe I am supposed to be. It is time to share some space in my home and my heart with little ones. I anticipate my thirties will be even more about family (and in case this is confusing--we are not pregnant, nor trying, but slowly moving that direction...like in 2015).
// What did you learn (or are learning) in your 20s (or even the decade you are currently in)?