“Here’s 10 things you will learn in your twenties…We all know life is one big learning curve. We bumble along in the hope that one day, maybe, it’s all going to make sense. That something will just click, and we’ll suddenly…get it.”
We all know life is one big learning curve. We bumble along in the hope that one day, maybe, it’s all going to make sense. That something will just click, and we’ll suddenly…get it. Some could say this is positive thinking. Deluded even. But it’s how I like to see it. After all, I’ve got this far, and hey! I’ve already learnt some stuff on the way.
I’m sure you’ve all seen the quote:
“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different?”
And my God how true it is! It’s often not until you look back that you realise how far you’ve come and how far you’ve grown. All the things you’ve seen, experienced and learnt along the way. And as much as it may feel like I’ve still got a heap of learning to do – I guess I’ve learnt more than I give myself credit for. So, whether you’re a fellow friend bumbling along in your twenties, you’re creeping up to the twenties mark and want to know what to expect, or you’re simply much wiser than me and purely want to see what I think I know so far – I’m happy to have you.
So, here’s 10 things you learn in your (early) twenties:
1. You’re not supposed to have your life figured out yet.
I wanted to start with this one, because all too often my friends (and myself included) tend to have the odd freak out at “what am I actually doing with my life though?!” It’s a classic occurrence. You finish uni or college. Start a job (if you’re lucky to get straight into one). You question whether this is what you really want to do. And if not – then what the hell do you even want to do?
You think you should be in a good job straight away, setting up a great career, doing something you love. You should be moving in with your other half. Buying a house together. In fact, you should be in the area you’re going to be living in for the foreseeable future. You should this, you should that, you should – shut up.
I’ve very recently had the realisation that we’re (wait for it…) not supposed to have our life figured out. YES, REALLY!
Sure, your twenties can be a little stressful. We’re all trying to prove ourselves. To get ourselves set up in life. To show our parents that our impending debt from uni was all worth it…honest. But the reality? No one knows what they’re doing. We’re all just kind of floating around from place to place in some manner that may look like we have our shit together. But we don’t. And you know what? I’m not sure that ever really changes.
My reason being? Well, for one, my mum actively still says she doesn’t know what she wants to do for her ‘real’ job. I also recently read Vix Meldrew’s post on 31 things no one tells you about being in your early thirties, admitting that nope, you still don’t know how to be, or feel, like an adult. So hey, you can forgive yourself in your TWENTIES for not knowing what the hell you’re doing with your life yet too. Chin up. Maybe one day we’ll get there. And if not? Then hey, we’re all in the same boat together.
2. You realise you have to deal with your own finances.
Yes, this sucks. And what’s even more laughable? Thinking back to when you were 18 and felt like you were a full on adult cos – uni. Duh.
You soon realise how wrong you were. Having to feed yourself, do your own washing and the food shop was just the pure basics, hun. But in your twenties? You soon realise that you can’t ignore this, more important, and very boring (I kid you not) stuff.
You have to manage your money. No one else is going to be able to save for you. Unfortunately. You also have to deal with paying your bills on time, sorting out your council tax, looking into ISA’s and even browsing which bank is best to go with. Yes, really. If you’re like me, money, maths and general knowledge in this area sucks. I mean, they don’t teach you this stuff in school, do they?! (That’s my excuse and one I’m not going to drop anytime soon).
My general suck-iness at all of this is most likely why I’ve been with HSBC since I first opened a bank account at the grand old age of 13 and have stuck with them ever since – despite getting zilch from them as a thank you in return. Hey – don’t judge. At least I’ve thought about getting it changed, right?! I will get there.
3. You’d rather spend your money on timeless clothing pieces, than cheap quick-buys.
Buying cheap and cheerful clothing is something I did a lot of during uni and oh-the-regret. Items of clothing that were worn once, I decided I quickly didn’t like anymore (I mean, what is that pattern?!). To charity they go!
You see, I’ve now realised that it makes so much more sense to buy higher quality, timeless clothing pieces (on the whole). Generally, they’re plainer, which means they’re never going to go out of fashion. Bonus. They may cost more initially, but they last so much longer, and look much better quality too. I mean, nothing quite compares to putting on a quality t-shirt to a cheap, itchy one that you can’t wait to get off. The memories are painful.
Of course, I don’t mean every item you buy needs to be ridiculously expensive or a timeless clothing piece. I mean, who can afford that for one? And two, I still love my cheaper clothing pieces which are purely seasonal. But, it’s always good to keep an eye out for when the more expensive high street shops have sales – just in case.
4. Maintaining a home is hard work.
I’ve spoken quite a bit on here and over on Instagram at having my own home and how much I love it. From sharing the things I wish I’d known before moving in to my own place, I feel like I’m slowly but surely getting through all topics house-related. But as much as having your own home is great in terms of having your own space and all of the interior you can buy, it’s also really hard work.
From the constant need to wash up the dishes, to doing your clothes washing, hoovering, general tidying up after your other half (and yourself too, of course) to the general maintenance needed to the interior and exterior that a house (or flat) requires. It never stops. The sooner you accept it, the better. Either that, or you’re going to get a little exasperated at how much needs doing every. single. weekend.
Get your mind in the mentality that you’re expecting your list of house maintenance to never end, rather than being shocked that “my god the bricks need repointing don’t they?” after you finally venture out your back door to sit in the garden because spring might have finally shown it’s face for one day.
And yes, I totally know what repointing bricks is now too. So adult.
5. You reminisce about the “good old days” way too much.
From where you lived (yes the countryside might have been boring to a fiesty teen, but boy do I have a soft spot for it now), to getting in from school to a cup of tea with biscuits watching ‘My parents are aliens’. I mean, what a great TV programme if ever there was one! Ahem…
Anyway, when you get a glimpse into adult life and how much there is to friggin’ do, it’s only natural to wish you could go back to the simpler days. More often than not you’ll find yourself starting sentences with “Do you remember when…” and “Don’t you just wish you could go back to…”. Hey, at least it shows we all have great memories to look back on, right?!
6. Candles will become life.
I’ve always had candles around the house, but bizarrely they used to be for show purposes only. Now, 6 out of 7 nights I light all the candles. They instantly change the mood of the room you’re in. They smell divine, and they also make you feel super calm and relaxed. I find them to be a perfect way to wind down after a busy day at work and I’m happy to say I’m obsessed. Candles, what would we do without you…?
7. You realise you’ll never have a proper ‘snow day’ ever again.
This is one that struck me fairly recently, what with all the delightful snow we’ve been treated to late last year. Snow days won’t ever be like they used to.
Even if you can’t get into work because of the snow, you’ll be expected to work from home. Even if the office shuts, if you have access to your email and documents – you know what you have to do. Gone are the days where you used to make snowmen and go sledging. What does a gal have to do to get a break around here?!
8. You’d rather have a small group of loyal friends, than just a big group of friends.
It may seem as you get older, the less friends you have. I mean, where did they all go?! You see, throughout my school years I’ve been lucky enough to have lots of different friends. Of course at the time I thought they were all really great. But when push came to shove, we drifted. We didn’t survive the distance of uni, and you realise it’s because they were acquaintances, more than friends. Sure, you had things in common. But they weren’t ever going to be real, best friends who would always be by your side. Clearly. And you know what? I’m so okay with that. I’ll always be fond of our memories, but I don’t wish they were still in my life.
The thing is, I would always choose to have one true, real, honest best friend by my side over 10 friends I didn’t even know I could truly trust. When it comes to friendship, it really is quality over quantity. You have a small group of friends? Good. Then you have a really great bunch of people around you. Talk to them more. Tell them. And don’t lose them. I’m learning to be a better friend in my twenties, and so can you.
9. You understand that life isn’t easy, or fair.
This is something that doesn’t really hit us until we’re a little older. When we’re younger, our parents tell us that “life isn’t always fair” when we don’t get what we want and throw a tantrum. But we really don’t realise the truth of it.
By now, we’ve most likely experienced heartbreak, or friendships break down, a loss in the family, or just a really crappy situation happen to someone who totally doesn’t deserve it. Life isn’t easy on any of us. It’s not fair, and the saying “everything happens for a reason” couldn’t be further from the truth. Does everything really happen for a reason? Good, innocent individuals get hurt or ill for a reason? The kind-hearted, generous type experiencing hardship – for a reason? You see, it’s really sad when you realise this one. Life isn’t all butterflies and hearts and rose tinted glasses. It’s harsh and unpredictable, but it’s life. And it’s for living.
Sure, it’s never always going to always be easy or fair. But don’t let that stop you! Go out there, put your best smile on, and enjoy it. Your twenties are for living!
10. And you realise that you enjoy writing lists a little too much…
Daily to-do lists, jobs to complete in the house, monthly lists, food shopping lists, blog post idea lists…the lists go on. And on some more. Like this one now I’ve come to think of it.
Yes, I’m a sucker for a good list. It makes me feel like I have my life together. And I’m so okay with that. Whether it’s writing a list on my notes on my phone (so modern), or writing a good old fashioned pen to paper list, I’m your girl. And hey, if it means we can get cute stationary too? We’re all winners.
But I’ll stop now, I promise. Just this once…