One of my nursing school classmates posted this on Facebook last week. I think everyone in their 20's should read this and take it to heart. I've added my two cents in italics.
20 Things to Let Go of in Your 20s by Brianna Wiest
Source: Thought Catalog
1. The phone numbers of people you should never have the option to contact again if and when temptation strikes, social media connections with people you feel you have to constantly prove yourself to, and the general presence of those who you’ve simply outgrown.
I've done this, for the most part. Unfortunately, my phone syncs up phone numbers from Facebook, so I have contacts in my phone that I do not need. I don't use Facebook enough to feel I have to prove myself to others on their, although I see it constantly. I really love Twitter and Instagram because, this may be strange, but I feel like I don't have to prove myself to people on there.
2. The timelines you crafted for yourself in the past. There’s no right time for anything, and what’s most painful is being attached to what’s “supposed-to-be” as opposed to whatever is.
Something I struggle with regularly. I think a lot of people in their 20s, girls especially, struggle with this. I know my friends and I have spoken about this to each other numerous times...how we feel we've kind of let ourselves down by not doing what we thought we would be doing at this point in time. We all had time frames when we were in junior high/high school of when we thought things would happen. We would graduate high school, spend only 4 years at college, graduate at 22, get an amazing job after, move into a cute apartment, still be dating our soulmate, get engaged around 24/25, married at 26, first baby at 27 or 28. At least that was my timeline. And it is painful knowing none of that has really happened.
3. Speaking ill of people for leisure. Making commodity of someone’s life over drinks or at a party is not only something you shouldn’t have done in high school, but should have left back there if you did.
I'm so happy that this is one of the things I have dropped within the past year, year and a half. I choose positivity. I choose to surround myself with positivity. Other people's opinions and your feeling the need to justify yourself and judge them for what they do can only serve to bring you down. If people are sitting around talking down about somebody, whether or not I may feel the same sometimes, I choose to get up and leave the situation. I know what it's like to be on the receiving end of those words and, teenager or adult, no one deserves to be talked about like that.
4. Waiting for a relationship to save you, because doing so is a dangerously unstable foundation on which you’ll end up building the rest of your life.
I guess I've never thought of needing a relationship to "save me" per se, but I have felt like if I was in a relationship I could be a better me. Which just sounds screwed up to me. In the past few months though, I've become more comfortable with not being in a relationship, engaged, or married like plenty of people my age. And I'm not judging those who are. Hallie wrote a great post about marriage and her age, which I loved. I'm just okay with being single right now because I want to find more out about my true self before I commit to someone else.
5. The old stuff on your résumé, like the service work you did in high school or the club you belonged to for a week your freshman year of college. Nobody cares about it professionally, and probably not personally either.
I did this a long time ago. I still feel like my resume could use some work though.
6. Remnants of former loves that you keep around because you’re still holding onto a part of them. You can say they’re sentimental things you’ll want to have in the future, but the reality is that if they only serve to remind you of something that’s missing in your life, you can do without them.
Well, since I have no former loves, I think we can skip right past this one...
7. Feeling as though you are obligated to be the person someone else sees you as. It doesn’t matter if it’s your parents, your former self or someone you love, you can respect all of those authorities and still realize that you are not required to be anybody but who you choose to be in the present moment.
I actually wrote a little bit about this after reading "He Never Liked Cake" by Janna Leyde. I feel like, in the past three years, I have changed so much. And I feel like some people still see me as the person I was in high school or my early years of college. When, in reality, I feel almost like that is a whole different person. Reading Janna's book and re-reading this blog post I wrote really opened my eyes to the fact that, even if others don't recognize me as someone different than who she was, I don't have to feed into that. I can choose who I am.
8. The need to always have the last word and win every argument.
Still working on this one. I'm opinionated and stubborn, what can I say?
9. Abusing your body with crash diets, dangerously excessive alcohol consumption, disregard for what nourishment means, etc. It doesn’t prove that you’re cool because you’re “reckless but in control”– it just shows that you aren’t being responsible or realistic about your body or health.
Thankfully, I've never really experimented with crash diets. I went through a party phase during my senior year of college, which I think a lot of people do. I got it out of my system and I know my limits.
10. Financial dependency, because there’s a difference between receiving help when you genuinely need it and using someone under the guise of it.
I am working towards this constantly. Yes, I still live at home. Yes, I don't put money towards groceries. Guilt me about this all you want, but I don't have a job. I pay my loan and took responsibility for putting off my other loan until I get a job. If I want or need something that's not necessary for my family, I pay for it out of pocket. I never ask anyone in my house to loan me money. I am 25 years old and am an adult.
11. Deciding who you are based on upward and downward comparisons to people, or worse – believing that you are the projection of what you assume other people think of you.
Problem area. Mostly in regards to employment compared to the other people in my nursing class. And part of the reason I stay off of Facebook as much as possible. If I see a classmate post that they just got a job at a place I had been interviewing at multiple times + I graduated a few months before they did, I project that onto myself and tend to think I'm not as good of a nurse or "if only I would have done this or had this job".
12. What success means. Not being able to pursue a passion in the same way you support yourself is not a mark of failure. But not being able to incorporate those passions into your life outside of work usually is.
I am proud that, in the time I've been unemployed, I've found a second passion outside of nursing. And I've found ways to incorporate it in my life. I don't necessarily equate this with success, but I'm proud of what I've done in the last few months to contribute towards this passion.
13. Excessive consumption, and spending as a means of validating self worth. You are not what you have nor are you what you can convince other people you are.
I definitely don't spend to validate my self worth or anything; I just have a shopping problem and a coffee addiction. Thankfully, my mama taught me well and almost everything I buy is on sale or clearance. Except for that coffee.
14. The idea that you’re “above” any kind of work. Entitlement regarding what kind of job you should have is a real thing. In my book, doing whatever it takes to provide for yourself is a success in that it’s a display of one’s resiliency and character.
I'm a nurse. I'm not necessarily "above" any kind of work. I just can't see myself working retail or at a restaurant or something and being happy, even if it meant earning a paycheck. I went to school for nursing so I could help people. I want to help people.
15. Being too passive about things that very much matter to you and then getting upset when they go ignored by the people to whom you should have voiced your opinion.
Like I said, I'm opinionated, so I'm going to tell you my opinion if you ask for it.
16. Anxiety over the way your body fills out– or doesn’t– as you enter adulthood. Fat is not a thing you are, it’s a thing you have, and having too much or too little does not make you any less capable of the things that genuinely matter. The body is just a vessel.
I love this. I wish 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th grade me could have known the current me and been more comfortable with herself back then. I want to adapt a healthier lifestyle, but I'm comfortable with who I am right now. And I think that's important.
17. The illusion of control. You can work hard, be devoted, care infinitely, and things could still crumble. Nothing hurts worse than spending your life desperately grasping at having a kind of control that is only viable by delusion.
I honestly don't know what to say in regards to this because I don't really fully understand this yet.
18. The desire to settle because you’d rather not be alone. You will pay for it eventually.
I refuse to settle. With anything. My job, my looks, who I marry/date. Settling for something sends me the message that my opinion and thoughts never really mattered in the first place.
19. Insulting people’s life choices out of your own resentment and bitterness. People who get married young, or work at jobs that pay well but aren’t fulfilling are easy targets, but are ultimately neither inherently sad nor wrong, though neither is doing the opposite. But the need to insult them is almost always a reflection of yourself (and p.s. I’m guilty of it).
Refer back to number three. Each person makes their own decisions and who am I to judge that this was a bad decision for them?
20. Acting on the idea that any other person is beneath you, especially for what they think, feel or believe. There’s a lot to be said about a person who can discuss an issue with someone who inherently disagrees, and a lot more to be said about a person who can’t.
I love debating issues with people. Even if that person has an ignorant opinion, like this guy or this guy. They aren't beneath me, but they seriously need to be educated about their viewpoints.
If you are in your 20s, what point do you like the most?
If you are older, do you still need to work on some of these things?