A couple weeks ago, I turned the big three-oh. THIRTY. Oh my word, I’m not even sure how that happened. My twenties seemed like they were going to last forever, but I suppose all things eventually end, right?
My twenties were probably the most eventful years of my life. They were when I met my now husband, graduated college, bought a house, got my first “big girl” job, became a mom, and quit said “big girl” job to stay home… yada yada, all that grown up stuff.
Looking back, a lot changed during those years. I grew a lot. My perspective on many things shifted. I gained friends and lost friends. I experienced motherhood for the first and second time. I became okay with not trying to please everybody and stopped trying to cling to one-way relationships.
You know when you suddenly realize that you’ve changed, but you’re not exactly sure where it started? My twenties changed me, but it wasn’t until I turned thirty that I realized it.
So, in honor of this new season of life, I’m listing FIVE things I learned in my twenties:
- When it comes to love, don’t settle. I met my husband when I had barely turned twenty. We have one of those annoyingly passionate love stories that I won’t bore you with, but suffice it to say that he set the bar high when it comes to my view on relationships. We attended many friends’ weddings in our twenties, but what we didn’t expect was the influx of divorces later on. When it comes to picking a life partner, take those vows seriously and choose wisely. Don’t feel pressured to settle down just because; life is too short to be someone’s second choice. Especially with the hardships life often deals, you deserve to be your partner’s first choice.
- Drop the part time relationships. Something difficult for me to accept was how much time I invested in relationships that were a one-way street. You know those people you never hear from unless you reach out first, the ones that always make plans to get together but never follow through? Those relationships are time and energy suckers. Let them fizzle and instead focus your energy on those who show up in the good times and the bad. Which leads me to my next point…
- Time is money. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “Time is money and money is time.” But what does that really mean? For me, it means my time is valuable. Everything from the relationships I invest in to the time spent de-cluttering my home should add value to my life. When something takes away from your life more than it adds, it’s time to re-evaluate whether it belongs there in the first place.
- Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting. Everyone makes mistakes, and I believe that most people/situations deserve second chances. But when empty promises are continually made, at some point enough becomes enough. Forgiving someone means letting go of resentment and ill will, but it doesn’t mean letting them continue to trample all over you.
- Value experiences over material possessions. I love shopping as much as the next girl, but at the end of the day, that new bag won’t matter as much as memories of experiences with the people I love. When I became a mom, I promised myself that I would do my best to raise children who value experiences over material possessions. Those experiences become memories, and those memories will be what you’ll cling to when you’re old and gray. Not that Prada bag, sorry.
- Words matter. It’s true that you can never take back what you say. Words have the power to both heal and hurt those we love. So while it may be difficult to hold your tongue in the heat of an argument, train yourself to remember this. Conversely, don’t wait too long to express your love to those you care about. So much can change in the blink of an eye, and there’s nothing more devastating than wishing you had taken the time to let someone know how much you loved them.
What did your twenties teach you? I’d love to know!