Decade of Doom: Your Twenties
Updated: Apr 10, 2020
Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and Facebook are all filled with cutesy quotes about your twenties. They encourage you to live life to the fullest. They tell you to pack a backpack and go hiking across Europe. They convince you that nobody has it together in their twenties. They want you to feel comfortable with your (stupid) mistakes because, HEY, you are only twenty-something after-all. For some reason, I never viewed my twenties as a decade to live carelessly and use my age as an excuse. I have ALWAYS viewed my twenties as the decade that would make or break my life. The decisions I make in my twenties would either make my life journey easier or harder.
The biggest lesson I was taught as a teenager was that (almost) everything I think I know now (and even in my twenties), would change by the time I got into my thirties. I held tight to those words. With age comes inevitable growth. Keeping that in mind, every decision I have made has been based on me making sure my future self would be proud. I never want to sit back and think about the complete idiot I was just because I was only twenty something.
I put in my mind that my twenties would be set on being draped up and dripped out with degrees and starting my career. I was not interested in dating- in fact- I had ZERO plans on EVER getting married and having children until I fell in love with Bossman. Prior to that, I was dead set on being Gabrielle Union's prototype character. You guys know who I am talking about. Daddy's Little Girls, Deliver Us From Eva, Being Mary Jane, etc. My twenties were NOT a time to "play the field". I had no intentions on going to college for friends and fun. In fact, I was completely unaware of the college experience until I actually got to college. I always thought college was just school. (Yes, I was a bit sheltered). It is actually quite surprising that I did not step foot onto campus and lose my mind.
Your twenties are ABSOLUTELY a time to dip and dab in different industries. I explored numerous fields within the fashion industry before falling in love with the legal sector, and even with that, I moved from law in the fashion industry to law in the education field. Yes, you should absolutely have fun (although I do not reserve just my twenties for fun). If you are into serial dating, then yes, your twenties are absolutely a time to DATE (not commit seriously to or sleep with every Tom, Dick, and Harry) and figure out what you want in a life partner. Yes, you should absolutely find yourself/create yourself, and fall in love with every inch of yourself.
NO, your twenties are absolutely NOT an extension on your teenage years. Period. "At 23, JK Rowling was broke. Tina Fey was working at the Y.M.C.A. Oprah had just gotten fired from her first job as a TV reporter and Walt Disney had declared bankruptcy. “
*Rolls eyes* JK Rowling was broke at 23, but the idea for Harry Potter had been festering within her since the age of 20. Tina Fey was working at the YMCA at 23, but she had just completed her degree the year before, and during the next five years, she worked on her comedy and improv before landing her gig at SNL at the age of 27. Oprah was fired from her first job at 23, only to become co-host of a local talk show at the age of 24 (finding her passion). Walt Disney declared bankruptcy at 23, packed up and moved and started building his new company and developing new comics. Mickey Mouse was developed when he was 29. Michelle Obama completed her degree at Princeton around the age of 22 and completed her law degree at Yale at the age of 25. Her and President Obama were married when she was 28. Beyoncé launched her solo career at the age of 22 winning 5 Grammys off of her number ONE album. She was married to Jay Z at the age of 27. Bill Gates dropped out of college and was successful, but guess what? He scored a 1590 out of 1600 on his SAT. Also, he dropped out of HARVARD, not ICDC College. He began developing Microsoft the following year around the age of 20.
I know we want to pinpoint the low points of successful people's lives and convince ourselves that it's okay for us to intentionally live carelessly because no one has it together in their twenties, but I am here to be the Fun Police and burst your bubbles. Mistakes are bound to be made, shortcomings are going to happen, we are going to fall down, but guess what? No successful person was just sitting around in their twenties.
I am 110% sure I do not have life figured out. I have so much more growing to do, and I am fine with that. What I am 110% sure about is the fact that if I had the mindset that my twenties were my do-over years, my future would be screwed. Cosmopolitan is filled with articles encouraging you to sleep around in your twenties, dance in your underwear to Taylor Swift, and to just breathe because life will automatically play out. My biggest piece of advice? Ignore Cosmo and these stupid Instagram posts. Work HARD, plan AHEAD, and play SMART. I am only 23, but somehow, I have managed to avoid any major meltdowns and uncertainty about the future. My Jordan Year has been a solid foundation for the rest of my life and I have such a sense of relief because of it. I just want everyone else to shimmer and slay in their twenties too.