6 Things My 20s Taught Me

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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…
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!


LINKING UP TO: Posh Classy Mom / Straight A Style

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31 comments on “6 Things My 20s Taught Me

  1. i enjoyed reading this…im still in my mid 20s and i think my 20s will definitely be the most eventful n my whole life! I loved your notes about Love in your 20s

  2. Yes to #2. I’ve lost a few people in my life because of this. I no longer had the energy to entertain people that were not fully for me. I’d add that I learned to stop comparing my life to others. Just because someone accomplished it by 25 doesn’t mean that I have to be where they are. Your journey is your own.

    1. Exactly, Rhonda. And excellent point about not comparing your life to others. All of our journeys are different!

  3. These are spot on! “Time is money” really resonates with me because sometimes I feel like I spread myself thin with so many events/activities that don’t necessarily add value. I do them to make other people happy even though it takes away from things that make ME happy. I definitely need to work on that! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Absolutely. I should have added “learn to say no.” Because you’re right, we don’t need to take on any more things that don’t add value. Thanks Allie.

  4. It sounds like you’ve learned some valuable lessons. I can’t even pick a favorite. It’s probably a 4-way tie between #2, #3, #5 & #6. Oh, and happy belated 30th! 🙂

  5. Yes , there’s a lot of changes that happen after the 20s are over. It’s just a different kind of life after certain milestones drop. Some poeple have them at 20, some later.

  6. This is such a lovely read dear. I always think forgiveness is really important not always because people deserve it, but you deserve peace. By the way, you look absolutely stunning with that dress dear! Loving the luxurious look.

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

    1. You’re so right- forgiveness is for our own wellbeing more than anything else. Thank you so much, Jess! You’re always so sweet.

    1. Haha I totally hear you, Taylor. Don’t worry, I’m told that 30 is even more fabulous than 20! Thanks girl.

  7. Love these! Especially valuing experiences over possessions. I actually told my boyfriend a year or so back that I prefer presents (birthdays and holidays and things) that are experiences over physical products, so now he opts for paint nights and concert tickets and things for me. In fact, we’re seeing Creed from the Office and Tom Misch (on different nights of course, not one act together) in April both as part of my birthday presents this year!

    1. That’s awesome, Jordin! I’m thinking of implementing something similar in our home. Such a great birthday present, I hope you enjoy!

  8. I love what you said about how “time is money”. I’m learning to cut things out that don’t add value to my life because they are worth my time. I also resonate with what you said about experiences being more important than possessions. This is so true. Last summer we flew to Colorado for a family trip and spent time with each other and visited the zoo. Our son, 4 years old, still talks about this trip as if it was yesterday. Those memories are so precious!

    1. Exactly, Lindsay! I love the memory you have with your son- it’s more for you than him at this age, anyway 🙂 Thanks!

  9. First off Happy belated b-day! I LOVE this. I just turned 27 and feel like I have learned a lot of these. #3 and #5 are very important to me. I am especially trying to pick experiences over material items lately.

    1. I still feel like I’m 27! Enjoy it- it flies by soooo fast. And I hear you on the experiences over material items, it’s harder than it sounds! Thanks!

  10. Nice words and so barely true! I agree with all your points and as I already told you on Insta, the most important thing I learned in my 20s is, that you can’t be everybody’s darling. It can get tough from time to time, especially when you work in a business like me, where people are rude to each other to get the next promotion, more money, better projects and so on…

    Xo, Sara | missesviolet.com

  11. Such a great, well-written post. I love reflective posts like this, Natalie. The twenties taught me to live each day to its fullest and enjoy the young age and enjoy time with your partner before kids come along. Speaking of, you look amazing and that burgundy maxi dress is just stunning on you! Love it with the booties.

    always do a great job with your hair.

    My new Thursday Moda linkup for this week is already LIVE. Come join it babe. Thanks. =)


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