If I’ve learned anything these last few years of my 20s (yes, I’m turning 30 soon!), it’s that we are all truly on our own journey and life is going to look different for everyone. And you know what? THAT’S OK! It sounds like an easy thing to wrap your mind around, but for me, it’s taken me well into my 20s to learn to feel OK about certain things. This post is a little more personal than I usually go with y’all, but I just felt like it was necessary to write because I think so many of us feel this way.
I really hope this resonates with anyone struggling with these things like I have. I’m growing and learning and accepting every day though, which feels really great. Here are 5 things I’m OK learning to be OK with as an adult.
Timelines work out differently than you imagine in your early 20s
Even before I was in my 20s, I had a vision of how the decade would play out. I’d go to college, I’d find a great job, I’d meet someone, I’d get married and start a family, etc, etc. I’m sure I wasn’t the first person to be naive to the fact that sometimes things just don’t work out that way. I mean I had absolutely no clue my career would take the turn that it has and I’d end up being a blogger. That definitely was not in 20-year-old Brighton’s 10-year plan LOL. But here I am. On a different path than what I ever thought possible. It’s definitely not what I thought it would be, but I truly believe I’m exactly where I was always meant to be. And that goes for my career, my relationship, my house – everything. Did I get married at 24 like I thought I would? Nope. But those timelines work out differently for everyone and to be honest, I’m really happy with my mine and it feels SO good to be at peace with that. I’m obviously engaged now but it’s just way later than I would have guessed, but I’m JUST as happy if not more because I know myself so well.
If you’re reading this and you’re just starting out your 20s or maybe you’re 25 or 26, my best advice is to just eliminate the pressure of trying to live up to what you thought your 20s would be like. You’re not failing if you don’t hit a certain milestone by X age. You’re not failing if your plan changes completely and everything you thought you wanted no longer seems important. That is LIFE. It looks different for everyone, so try not to compare your journey to someone else’s.
Balance doesn’t always happen
When I was younger I’d imagine this perfect life where I’m done with work every day by 5 pm and then I’d come home to my family where the weight of my job would never affect me. Ha! Such a funny joke looking back now isn’ it? I thought achieving the whole work-life balance thing wasn’t going to be hard, but I could not have been more wrong about this one. Around this time last year, I came to the realization that “balance” doesn’t mean being able to do everything perfectly. It means choosing which “buckets” (family, friends, work, relationship) of my life I want to give more time and attention to and that those buckets would change all the time. So now, to me, balance means knowing that I actually can’t do it all. But instead, deciding where to focus my energy.
This whole thing really was a revelation for me, which is why I wrote a big post about it at the end of last year. I’m a perfectionist by nature, so discovering what balance really means (at least to me – it’s different for everyone) and learning to be OK with it was a game-changer for me.
Motivation comes and goes
This has been a really huge lesson for me to learn throughout my 20s. If you struggle with feeling guilty or bad about yourself if you’re not super motivated all the time, I’m here to let you know IT’S OK! One day you’re going to kill it and get #allthethings done and the next you’re going to wonder how you were ever so productive.
Just like everything else in life, there are going to be ebbs and flows and your best bet is to just roll with it. The key to rolling with it is to not get on social media and compare yourself to others. You’re seeing their highlight reel (just like they’re probably seeing yours)!! Don’t compare someone’s best day to your meh day. This is a constant work in progress for me, but I feel like the fact that I’m aware enough to know I need to work on it means I’m heading in the right direction.
You aren’t always happy
Important PSA: You can still have a very satisfying and GOOD life and not be happy 100% of the time. I mean who the heck feels completely happy every day, all day? Not me and I’m OK with that. Bad days are going to happen, the important thing is how you respond. I hope I don’t sound too much like a coach or something right now, but it’s just what I’ve learned in the last 10 years. And that popular saying we all probably rolled our eyes at when we were younger is so true – “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”
Stressful times are going to happen
Just like being happy and feeling motivated, stressful times are going to come and go. This is one area I’m definitely still wrapping my head around because I’m still learning how to best handle myself during stressful times, but I feel like I’ve made a ton of progress in the last year or two. I think it’s because I’ve gotten to know myself better and have figured out what my outlets are. Like brain dumps, walking, quiet time, etc. Try to pinpoint what works for you so you know how to de-stress in a healthy, productive way.
All I know is, when I was younger all I wanted was to be older. And I’d envision how fun it would be to have a house, a relationship, be able to travel, etc., but once you actually reach adulthood and see the other side of things, you realize that although it is great, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. Know what I mean? But with the harder times, there are even more good times. So if you’re struggling to be OK with your life looking different than what you thought, don’t! You’re actually killing it, I guarantee it.
Is there anything in your life that’s totally different than you thought it would be or is “off-timeline”?
Brighton Your Day
Get exclusive content, sale items, and lots of fun stuff, straight to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!