Our early twenties are a roller-coaster of emotions, laughter, tears, on-and-off again relationships, friends both lost and found, and crazy deadlines. However, in this exciting and frustrating time we can learn one important thing: We’re exactly where we are supposed to be.
1. You are loved beyond measure.
Even at your loneliest time, you need to remember that love surrounds you everywhere. Your friends love you. Your family loves you. Your dog surely loves you. Your coworkers love you (or some of them do at least). The list can go on and on. However, you are completely causing yourself to miss out on this time of your life if all you can focus on is the people who don’t love you the exact way you want to be loved.
2. Single does not mean alone.
During this time of your life, it can be especially hard to accept this truth when you see engagements or people having babies left and right on Facebook. However, you need to remember that finding love is not a competition. It is a gift that will be given to you only when you are open to accepting it for the right reasons. For now, realize you have people who want to spend quality time with you. Go out and have fun. Meet new people, and remember: companionship comes in all shapes and sizes.
3. It is better to be single than with the wrong person.
This truth cannot be stressed enough. You are only wasting your own time (and the time of the person you are with) if you continue a relationship that does not bring you fulfillment. Love yourself enough to understand you deserve the best, even if it means being single for a while first.
4. You will make mistakes.
This is not the time to be hard on yourself. You will make mistakes, and if you’re anything like me, you might make horrible ones. But you will also learn from these mistakes. You will find out more about who you truly are through these mistakes and you will grow. When all’s said and done: Forget the mistake, but remember the lesson. Then move on from it with a rejuvenated mind-set.
5. You need to ditch the personal timeline.
Most of us have previously developed timelines such as: I’m going to graduate college at 22, get married by age 24, and then have my first child at age 26 after I’ve settled into my career. This all sounds perfectly attainable at age 15 when the future is still far away and we are simply daydreaming in the home paid for by our parents. But the harsh truth is: your life will probably not turn out this way. The beautiful truth is: it doesn’t have to. You are not defined by your degree, marital, or career status. Take this time in your early twenties to develop who you are…not being defined by a timeline you believe will suit other people.
6. Break-ups happen, and it’s OK.
Relationships will come and go, whether they are romantic relationships or simply friendships. Accept that some people come and go in seasons. They serve a purpose, and then you either grow together or grow apart. Either outcome is perfectly fine. Allow yourself to see the beauty in seasonal relationships, as most of the time they come into our lives when they do to teach us a lesson about ourselves. Use the lesson to develop yourself into the best you that you can possibly be.
7. You need to focus on yourself.
This is the time of your life to develop your own personal viewpoints and beliefs, even if that means venturing out on your own for the very first time. Find out what is important to you and stop caring so much about what others think. At the end of the day, you need to live life for yourself, and not for others.
8. Everything will work out the way it is meant to be.
Take this time of your life day-by-day. Allow yourself to enjoy the present because nothing is permanent, and work on developing memories and a persona that you will be proud of twenty more years down the line.
Overall, during your early twenties it is important to have faith that wherever you are, it is because you are meant to be there at that moment in your life. Have no fear, everything will work out just fine. It may even work out better than you could have ever imagined.