This is a response to 21 things I learned by 21.
Many of us know a certain person who seems to have it all figured out by age eighteen. They've got their sights set on their dream college and career, and are willing to do whatever it takes to get there. They know exactly what they want out of relationships and friendships, and they have the fortitude to easily cut out anyone who falls short of their expectations. Their lives seem laid out ahead of them like one perfect map.
I remember feeling so envious of people like that in high school and college. Truth be told, I still do. There's a lot I wish I knew already, at the ripe old age of 25. There's a lot I wish I'd known since I was eighteen. Who doesn't want to feel like they've got it all figured out?
Some days, it's hard to convince myself that it's okay not to know everything. But deep down, beneath the anxiety and insecurities, I have a feeling that it is.
Even the most put together people have probably questioned their decisions before. Even if they don't, they might've had the advantage of being born with positive role models who encouraged a sense of judgment and conviction within them. Support and a nurturing environment do wonders for one's ability to make choices and feel confident in them. Not all of us were given that advantage.
So, if we don't have that sense of confidence fostered since the time we're young, it makes sense that we need more time to figure things out. We need to explore our interests, build our self-trust and self-esteem, learn to make mistakes and forgive ourselves for them. We have to learn by trial and error. Truthfully, I think most people do.
Believe it or not, your twenties are a perfect time to learn, grow, and make mistakes. People say this to me, and I don't always believe it. But at the same time, I can't ignore how many great examples I've seen personally, in the media and on the internet of people who truly started to blossom once their thirties came around. They took the time in their twenties to figure out their passions with trial and error, and to sometimes even make big mistakes and recover from them.
Whatever they needed to go through to discover themselves, whether it be fun or challenging or both, they went through it. And they came out stronger on the other side. I like to think they'd tell those of us struggling in our twenties that it was all worth it.