Monday 12 March 2018

Absolutely whatever you want, and when you want to do it. If you've been visiting my blog over the last month then you might have noticed I am a now proper adult who watches Ted talks before bed and calculates their projected monthly expenses. This week, I stumbled upon a video at lunchtime that was talking about how our 30s are not our new 20s and we shouldn't be procrastinating life - relationships, careers and stuff because we are using this decade as a trial period. Times have changed, and we are no longer the generation that takes the first job they're offered after university and leaves when it's time to receive our pension. We are a generation that are curious about the world, a little lost and we are not ready to settle and be moulded into what society thinks we should be doing in our 20s. 

living your 20s

I'm currently 23 and have friends who have kids, friends who are travelling the world, friends who have just only gone to university and friends who have no idea what the next page of their book is going to look like. We are all on different journeys and what may be someone's short-term goals may not be the same as mine or yours, but that does not mean that they mean any more or less. Yes, our 20's are meant for experimenting, exploring and making mistakes, because we're now officially legal all over the world chances are that in a couple of years the decisions you make won't just be affecting yourself, but you might have some more baggage to worry about. That aside, we shouldn't be spending the next few years wasting our time having dead end relationships, working underpaid job s or blowing all your money on overpriced coffees and expensive things to impress people on social media. 

In my case, I think I have it all figured out, I am a Virgo after all. I've calculated that if I visit 3 new countries every year I'd have seen the whole world before I die, I want to get married by the time I'm 28 and have a child at 30 and retire in a beach house in the Caribbean. As lovely as that plan sounds , we all know life has a lot of twists and turns and there are some things that are just out of our control, but there are some things we do have a say in that could essentially shape the rest of our lives. 

Do save some money (aside) from your savings. Now that I've paid off my overdraft the only thing my savings are going to are funding all my up coming trips! There's only so many accounts/places you can store money, so I think I'll be getting my mum to put 20% of my pay check away for me to forget about. As much as you should make the most of your money whilst you're young and owe nobody anything, it's always a good idea to have some back up money for all those unexpected costs like paying a deposit for a house or for when you have a mid-life crisis and want to get a sleeve tattoo. 

Do get out and see the world, if you want to. I know I always preach about going travelling when you are young, but I understand that it isn't for everyone, and some people are content staying where they are. BUT there is just so much to learn out there!! Not only about other cultures and people but about yourself (deep). If you'd like to explore a whole continent, it's going to be a lot harder to do when you're 35 and have two kids and your husband Dave to think about. 

Do play the career field. Changing job every 6 months definitely won't look good on your CV or to your next employer, but if you're still unsure what it is you want to do for the rest of your life now is the time you can afford to test the waters. After all, you're going to be spending 40 hours a week working for the next 40 years or so, so you might as well be sure you're in the right place. Want to try working as a singer in a cruise ship? Go for it. Thinking about whether you want to turn your passion for baking into a full-time business? Now is the time you can afford to fail, or succeed greatly!

Do things you're uncomfortable with. The only way we grow is by doing things we're not used to doing or are new to us, and sadly this sometimes means doing things that leave us a bit red in the face. Whether it be doing karaoke, giving a presentation in front of 30 strangers, going on a date, or saying no to someone's face - after the first 10 seconds it always gets easier. 

Don't date losers. I mean I'm sure none of us intentionally go into a relationship thinking 'this guy is an idiot and is going to screw me over' but I'm sure we've all had our fair share of pointless flings and relationships. Personally I don't like wasting my time, so if someone is giving 50%, or I know things aren't just going to work I don't entertain it. Likewise I prefer someone tell me straight up there just isn't that beloved 'spark'. I know people who are exclusively dating but are already planning on breaking up in a year or so when their circumstances are going to change. If you're going to date someone, do it because you think you could actually see this person as a partner for life (or a night for your own enjoyment). Or else you'll be reaching your 30's thinking oh damn I have to marry this loser I met last night in the pub or I'm going to be alone for the rest of my life!!

Do make your life have purpose/meaning. Sure earning a salary, having a full-time job and people you can tolerate around you is enough to get by, but are you really living? As much as we all love a couple of days of doing absolutely nothing - make an effort to do things that bring you actual joy and a sense of accomplishment. A lot of people tell me why I waste £10 most weeks on watching a movie in the cinema when I can stream it online for free. For me going to the cinema with friends is an experience, I enjoy discussing a film with my friends and eating popcorn and having inside jokes after the film and making memories that I won't get by laying in bed and paying more attention to my Whatsapp messages than the movie.

Obviously this is just a small example, I'd like to actually do something that helps other people in any shape of form. When I write posts like this I hope at least one person reads this and leaves the page feeling like I've shared something they empathise with, or at least leave in a better mood than when they got here.

Do speak up and stand your ground. Remember when you were l5 and if the majority of your friends wore flat shoes out then you too had to wear flat shoes? No, neither do I because I've been 5ft 7 since then so that was always a relief for me. I think it's so important to have your own opinions about people, ideas and places and not be afraid of a little confrontation or disagreeing with the circle around you. There's a difference between having an opinion and being judgemental, so if everyone is having a gossip about Penelope, it's ok to turn around and say, 'you know what she's actually an alright person'. Speaking up about something you believe in or think is wrong is usually better than saying nothing. 

Do be open minded. Moving on, I think it's also important we don't have our whole life plan set out in stone. I won't be joining a tribe in the Amazon or anything, but hey if I won a prize to spend a month with the Yanomami's I'd probably take it. It's easy to say 'I don't want a boyfriend or kids until I'm 30' or 'I am never moving from home' or 'I don't have anything in common with them' - but hey, they say you need to experience something 3 times before you can decide if something is for you or not. Take me and olives for example, all my life I've hated them after trying a disgusting one in Spain in 2008, but after a rumbling stomach waiting for my dinner at a restaurant last year, olives were the only things on the table keeping me occupied, and here I am in 2018, an olive lover.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post, I may have got a bit side tracked but we all know all my posts that are written past midnight are basically censored diary entries.  Us millennials get told a lot what we should be doing with our lives and when, but at the end of the day it's YOUR life, YOUR decisions and YOUR consequences. Here's to making this decade count for YOU! 


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