10 Essential Lessons You Need to Learn in Your 20s

Over the past several years, I have come across several different “Things I have learned in my 20’s” articles.  The beauty in all of these posts is that every individual post is different because everyone experiences life differently.

1. Choose your happiness

In the past, I have written posts about the things I have learned over the past 13 years, but today I wanted to talk specifically about my twenties.  My twenties have been a fun and exciting time in my life.  During this time, I graduated college, got married to my high school sweetheart, started my first big kid job, bought a house and even started a little family with our kitties.  And during all of those fun and exciting things, I have even had the pleasure of learning some awesome things about myself and about being an adult.

There has been a quote floating around all of my social media feeds lately that has been speaking directly to me lately, “Happiness is a choice, not a result.”  My twenties have taught me that my happiness does not depend on anyone else’s feelings toward me; rather, I get to determine my happiness.  And determining my happiness has been one of the most exciting and adventurous journeys I have been on.

2. The sky is the limit, but you have to help build your rocket

In my twenties, I spent a lot of time reflecting on exactly who I wanted to be “when I grow up.”  But bringing your dreams into reality takes hard work.  It takes more than just deciding that you will do something, you have to put the time into the dream by making a plan and sticking to the plan.

3. Some friends are forever; some are not

Over the past several years, I have started to realize that there are friendships that are meant to be temporary and at a certain point in your life.  I had to realize that just because I have been friends with someone for forever, does not mean that we are meant to be forever friends.  I had to take the time to evaluate how each friendship was good (or bad) for me than making the difficult decision to cut some of them out or let them drift away.

4. Hold onto the good friends

In high school, I was able to see my friends every day, and the friendships happened naturally.  It is straightforward to be close to someone when you are seeing them every single day and spending several hours of them daily.  When I got into college, I realized that if I wanted to maintain my friendships, I needed to put in the effort.  And the people that value you will make time for you.

5. It’s okay to fail

This may sound weird, but looking back at it now, I realize the importance of failing.  There is something to be said for trying and failing.  I tried a few different things on my bucket list and was not successful, but I am glad I did because I at least now know what I want out of that part of my life and can say that I tried and realized that it was not for me.

6. We are all lost

Just because someone looks like they have their life together, does not mean that they do.  My twenties were a very confusing time in my life.  I thought that I would have so much more and be further ahead in my life than I was when all was said and done.  If there is one thing that my twenties taught me it is that I was not the only person who felt like I was floundering.  Almost every single person in their twenties feels this way, and it is perfectly normal to be lost at this point in your life.

7. Just be yourself

The best thing I learned about myself is that I march to the beat of my drum and that it is okay to be individual.  That quote, “Just be yourself, everyone else is taken,” has become my life motto.  There is no need to be exactly like everyone else when you can just be your person.  It brought me so much happiness to just be myself.

8. Listen to your gut

When it comes to your gut if it is I putting up red flags chances are it is right.  I am not just talking about situations that can be dangerous; I am also talking about people.  If you feel someone is taking advantage of you or is not being 100% truthful, chances are your gut is right.  Take a moment to listen to it and make sure that you are not ignoring the bigger picture.

9. It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it

For as long as I have been with my husband, his mom has always said that just because you meant something to be one way, how you deliver it can be taken completely different.  Always take time to process your words before they leave your mouth (or your fingers) – taking time filter your words can go a long way and save you a lot of grief.  I know it has saved me a few fights with my husband.

10. Apologies go a long way

In general, I am extremely stubborn, but one thing I learned in my twenties is that when I am wrong, I need to admit it.  Saying, “I’m sorry” takes a little bit of humbling and a lot of self-grace, but over time it gets easier and can help heal any damage more quickly.

My twenties brought with it a lot of adventures and a lot of trials, but the biggest thing is that I learned along the way.  If you are in your twenties, I hope you have the best experiences of your life and get the chance to learn some of your lessons.

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