I’m twenty-seven and by no means do I wish to dwell on the what if’s of the past. But, if I had to give advice to my younger self or anyone that’s in their early twenties, I’d say the overall theme would be to make your experiences authentic.
Let me dig a little deeper.
When you end your teenage years and get thrown into your twenties, there is a shift of invisible pressure that you’ll start to feel. You are no longer a kid, but you may not feel like an adult either. So what are you? Everyone wants to know because everyone will ask about your plans going forward. The questions never end about where you’re and how you’re going to get there. I felt it even without the advances of social media, so I’m betting the weight for someone this age today may feel even more substantial. People will start getting jobs, some will get married, and some will have babies while some will move away, some will move in with their parents, and some will live out the rest of their lives in the small town they grew up in. None of these options are wrong unless you’re choices are inspired by the competition of those around you. If you’re comparing your life choices during this transition, you aren’t freeing your full potential of what you and only you can accomplish.
Follow your most authentic self in real life more and follow those on social media less. There’s a lot of noise when it comes to inspiration today. We have some people in power that are unworthy of their influence that mask a need for validation with inspiration. We’re tricked daily into feeling inspired by people that we obsess and idolize from an altered lense. It’s hard to differentiate what’s real and what’s phony between the constant forces from all outlets. So tune everything out, and follow what lights you up. Follow what you dream impossible. Follow what makes you excited enough to talk about. Follow what makes you different. Love what makes you different.
Be inspired by what you crave, wish, and hope for. Don’t worry about setting yourself up for the next five years, three years or even one year from now. Take uncomfortable risks and never doubt yourself. Drive your attention to what fuels you here and now, and don’t ever stop exploring those passions. The only wrong turn is no turn at all.
Don’t worry about health benefits, saving for retirement, or having a job that fits into small-talk introductions. Find things you love until you’re doing things you love. What matters is how you treat yourself and how you treat others. Falling in line with societal expectations will not bring you fulfillment.
No one will look out for yourself better than yourself so don’t ignore the intuition that lives and breathes inside of you. Don’t neglect your instinct because it speaks a language only you can understand. Failure will come, and then it will come again. But if you can say you followed yourself and embraced your individuality, you’re experience is authentic, and that authenticity is what will keep you going.