Thursday, June 30, 2011

Truth about the twenties

Sure we have it all as twenty somethings.  Our youth brings endless opportunities, wrinkle free skin and the ability to follow our passions without too much responsibility hampering our dream chasing efforts.  Some call it the peak years, the good ol' days, the world is your oyster decade.  And yes, my 3 almost 4 years in the twenties has been grand.  But in all honesty, it's also brought out insecurities that I never knew existed.  Don't get me wrong, I've always had things about myself I'd like to tweak or even change altogether, but this self doubt has been magnified and even multiplied into other new found insecurities.

Part of me thinks it's our self-imposed time lines that are to blame.  Masters degree by age A, marry by age B, land dream job by age C and have the first baby by age D.  And the twenties, well that's the decade all these dreams are supposed to come to fruition.  It's as though we're racing to meet all of these unnecessary deadlines with the thought that a missed goal will send us spiraling into a life of failure with our friends lapping us on the track to the thirties. 

Another part of me thinks it's because all the years leading up to the working world were scheduled for us.  School serves as a crutch allowing us to postpone what we really want to be when we grow up.  Especially nowadays when those decisions have to be decided on so early.  I mean how are we supposed to know what we want to do for the rest of our lives when we're 18 years old deciding on a major?  Then that major dictates the classes we take, the internships we embark on and ultimately the jobs we land.  All leading back to that industry we decided on when we were much more focused on what we were going to wear to Senior Prom.  Then you find yourself in the working world with no one but yourself as your career coach, your motivator, your counselor.  That's a sure fire way to highlight insecurities and self doubt.  No more As and solid GPAs to confirm that you know what the heck you're talking about.

Lastly I think that the twenties are all about finding yourself which can be a painful process.  I oftentimes find myself feeling less than after reading all my favorite blogs.  I don't sew (the sewing machine T bought me for Christmas hasn't even been plugged in), I'm not a professional photographer, I don't garden, I'm not a good cook, I'm not a fabulous DIYer or interior designer or a musician.  But why spend life trying to be someone you're not or imitating others?  I don't want to wait 20 years to find myself and be comfortable in my own skin.  I want to discover my talents and figure out how God wants me to use them.  Being true to myself all along the way.

To accomplish this, I think it's important to have a strong group of girlfriends who humbly approach conversations without a competition filled agenda.  I'm so blessed to have friends like this, and I'm so thankful for each and every one of them.  I just got off the phone with my sweet friend, Lo, reminding me of how lucky I am to have people I can share my insecurities and doubts with.  Who reassure me that they're going through the same thing.  And instead of spending the time on the phone commiserating we cheer each other on and genuinely wish the best for one another.  Feeling refreshed and inspired after we hang up the phone.

So here's to the twenties...learning to love yourself for who you genuinely are and what you're capable of accomplishing without comparing, competing or imitating.  To following your passions and discovering what God wants you to do and who He wants you to be in this big world.  And if you're feeling insecure or less than along the way, know you're not alone!  We're all in this together.       

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