In the midst of our 20s, we come to the slow realization that this era, like our carefree teens, will end faster than we are ready to accept.
All too soon, we will be entering the dreaded and formidable 30s with nothing in our future, but the ugly 40s and even uglier 50s.
I'm not quite sure where this aversion to age came from (cough, the media, cough), but I've decided to look at it another way.
In this pointless, yet riveting journey we call life, every era has its own feel and sentiment. There's a beauty to each decade and a calmness that should come with getting older and growing into oneself.
Because that's all we're doing… constantly growing into the people we're destined to become. Constantly molding from new experiences and opportunities, looking back on the past as lessons and stories that made us who we are right now.
Our 30s aren't something to dread, but wholeheartedly anticipate as the wiser, calmer years of our still youthful lives. Our 30s are for all the lessons that come with all those horrible, embarrassing and sometimes dangerous mistakes of our 20s.
They are for the smooth sailing and the comfort that comes with being established and somewhat saner. However, I think we can all agree, the biggest mistake of your 20s is looking back and realizing you wasted them.
Falling for the wrong guy/girl
If you loved everyone you met, you'd be married by now. There's nothing wrong with trying people out and others on because they each had a purpose, each one teaching you something about yourself.
Just because they aren't in your life anymore doesn't mean they weren't meant to visit.
Getting too drunk
If you're going to drink too much and make some mistakes, it's better to get it out of your system when you're 20 when you still have the excuse that you’re “young and dumb.”
Because the “dirty 30s” is just not a group you want to be in.
Trusting the wrong people
Nice to your face doesn't mean nice to your back. Sure, if you didn't blindly trust the wrong people, you might never feel the sting of betrayal… but you’d also never learn to recognize the people who have your best interests at heart.
Never giving the good ones a chance
We all have that person(s) whom we love now, but took years to truly get to know. It takes a few wrong first impressions to learn never to rely entirely on them.
Getting caught in a lie
This sentiment only comes after countless moments of being caught in a web of your own making.
The burn of just the one or two times stays with us as a constant reminder to just tell the truth… It’s never worse than the lie.
Living with the wrong person
You won't know what to look for in a good roommate if you haven't had a bad roommate. The common logic of “you live and you learn” is most applicable when it comes to the person you're living with and learning about.
Renting that horrible apartment
If you start with a Bentley, what else is there to look forward to? The joy in life is experiencing the rush of all the different sh*tty cars on your way to the big one, the prize one, the one you'll get when you've paid your dues and earned it.
It really does makes the leather smell that much better.
Bad one-night stands
We've all had a few nights we still cringe at the thought of. Under impaired circumstances, we let the loneliness (horniness) get the best of us.
From these awkward encounters, we learn a valuable lesson: Don’t look for love when you’re lonely, look for love when you’re ready.
Eating all that sh*t
There's nothing like gaining weight at 25 to get you started on a strict gym routine that will become habit by the time you're in your 30s and your metabolism really takes a hit.
Staying out way too late
Even club promoters go home. The nights that end with morning are ones that you get away with on the sole idea that you're young and hot enough to pull off the grungy look that comes with 6 am.
Sleeping way too late
Sleeping the day might be cute in your 20s, but it’s intervention-worthy in your 30s. There's too much to do to keep wasting your Saturdays unconscious. It really was good while it lasted.
Spending too much money traveling
Make more money and travel more. So you spent a good portion of your savings on traveling the world. You'll never be more ready, willing and able than in your carefree 20s.
You should, however, feel invigorated and inspired to work hard enough to get back there.
Falling for a scam
If you don't get scammed at least once, how will you ever know when it's happening to you? It’s better to have someone take you for all your worth when you aren’t worth much at all.
It's best to lose some dignity and a few hundred bucks in your 20s than thousands and a reputation in your prospering thirties.
Taking that horrible job
…If only to learn that you should never follow the money. It takes a few rude awakenings to learn to follow your gut and ignore the money.
All those jobs you took that you hated were worth the knowledge that money really never does buy happiness… even if you get some cool stuff out of it.
Not wasting Saturdays away with Netflix
You might feel bad about staying in while at your prime, but when it comes to shows, like “Breaking Bad,” “Orange Is The New Black” and “Game of Thrones,” you’ll learn that binging on some of the best television the world has ever watched could never be a mistake.
Buying all those clothes you'll never wear again
Those tight red dresses from your days clubbing that you wouldn't be caught dead in are just evidence of a phase you needed to go through to come out the other side.
At least you got it out of your system before you became that thirty-something in platforms, belly shirts and tight skirts.
Overdrafting your account
You’ll learn that's it’s never worth living on ramen for days on end. Now that you've experienced life as a degenerate, you understand how to budget your money so you (hopefully) never have to live that way again. At least, not without your consent.
Things happen for a reason, and refusing to see it that way will only make you miserable. Getting fired meant you weren't supposed to be working there.
Take it as a small bump in the road and find a better job for revenge.
Spending money on something you didn’t even want to do
In your 20s, it's okay to be too timid to want to let people down, but in your 30s you should know that standing up for yourself and what you want isn't rude, it's just being comfortable saying no.
Not saving a dime
“Don't save money, make more money” may be the theme of our twenties, but once we hit our 30s, it will be more like “I wish I saved that money.”
Going on a Tinder date
No guy is ever really 6' 5”, “caring” and “charming” with perfect abs. Those bad Tinder dates just make you appreciate the expensive dinner dates in your 30s that much more. Gotta start bad, then work to the good, right?
Not listening to your parents
It takes growing up to realize your parents may actually be right. It's a credit you're not ready to give them in your 20s, but by you're 30s, you should know to use them as a tool to help you.
Following someone else's dream
The regret of never following your gut is much worse than the pain of disappointing the people around you. Your 30s should be spent working on those dreams, not regretting what could have been.
Holding on to friendships you’ve outgrown
Unfortunately, relationships come and go, and just because you were friends in your 20s doesn't mean you'll have the same relationship in your 30s.
Your 20s are about growing and changing and that also includes shedding a few friendships.
Taking a job just because it was offered
Your 20s is about the struggle and the fight to work for your dream job. Any job that’s handed to you is most likely something you’re settling for.
Not sticking up for yourself
Learning to stick up for yourself usually comes second to sticking up for others. Only through growing up do we learn it’s better to disappoint other people than to disappoint ourselves.
Texting (or responding to a text) at 2 am, “Do you want to build a snowman?”
Even creative booty calls are still booty calls. Men will send and women will receive (and vice versa), but a booty call is still a booty call whether it’s a text or an actual call.
It takes some bad judgments in our 20s to learn to pick up on even the most creative of the sort.
Staying past last call
It’s not cool to be the last one at the bar, even if you’re just not ready to go home yet.
In your 20s, you can get away with leaving when the sun comes up, but that’s a schedule you should get out of your system before you’re that creepy old dude at the bar.
Worrying about turning 30
Never waste the present, worrying about the future. The worst thing that could happen in your 20s is worrying about turning 30.
Spend your 20s, like all your years, with the carefree spirit that you will never be at this time or place in your life again. Don’t worry about the future, because that’s the only way to really ruin the present.
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