I have reached a milestone in life – turning 25. What makes 25 a milestone? I can now officially rent a car on my own. My car insurance (should) go down and I’m a quarter of a century old.
Now that I’ve reached that point I guess it is acceptable to have a quarter-life crisis, virtually the same as a midlife crisis, only midlife of a midlife. Follow me?
That’s because 25 is the ripe old age where if you are lucky enough to be out of school long enough and far enough into the workforce to say, “What the hell is going on?” It’s easy to second guess every decision you made – the major you studied, the car you bought, the person you’re dating. It’s easy to let crisis hit you because 25 is give-or-take the age when for the first time you hit a major life transition. Sure college from high school was a transition, but you had a similar routine of classes to keep you comfortable. Now it is a whole new ball game, a whole new set of rules and expectations that can easily make you second guess everything.
When I turned 25 I decided to dive right on in! Maybe that is why I created a hashtag for my birthday – #diveinto25. It rhymes. It works. I’m such a millennial. But the reasoning behind the hashtag is twofold. My big adventure this year is to go skydiving. The second is that diving into something usually means going into it full force. I’m not simply testing the waters of 25 with a toe-dip, I’m plunging right in and making the most of it.
Call the nice number of 25 a good excuse to reenergize myself, but I really find that that is what birthdays are all about. You look back on the year that passed – boy what a whirlwind 24 was – you see where you grew and where you need some much-needed improvement.
I read a book not that long ago, The Defining Decade, which I think all twenty somethings should read right now. It really helps twenty-somethings (a majority of millennials) realize that in your 20s you are growing, physically and mentally. You are still maturing as a human being and shouldn’t think your life needs to be 100% figured out.
Not married with kids? It’s okay.
Not even in a relationship? It’s okay, too.
Not currently working your dream job with the fancy title? It’s okay.
Not currently working a job in your field? It’s okay, too.
Not currently where you want to be living? It’s okay.
Not out of debt and financially secure? It’s okay, too.
Not sure what the hell you are doing? It’s okay. Trust me, it’s okay.
Uncertainty is not a bad thing – even though we all (myself included) tend to make it a bad thing. When you look at uncertainty as a motivator, a the-world-is-your-oyster mentality, then the world really is your oyster. We have nothing but the greatest potential to carve our life out the way we want.
I’ll never forget the first icebreaker I encountered in one of my freshmen English classes in College. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Five years after that it was a complete 180 from where I initially thought I’d be. It continues to surprise me how life has taken me on a pretty incredible journey far from what I imagined. But that is the beauty of Life – she has a far better imagination and sense of humor than we do.
Yes, your 20s are the first time that you are independent and on your own. It’s the first time you can make the world your oyster without worrying about what class credits you have to fill or what paper is due by midnight. You are on your own and you can start to really make your own rules. It’s scary, but it’s exhilarating.
That doesn’t mean you should spend your 20s away as just the time to be alive. Sure, that can be the case. What good is life if you aren’t enjoying it? But it never hurts to have goals that will get you to your best and truest self in line first. For me, I want to enjoy the moment, I want to carpe the hell out of the diem. But I want to also set up myself for exciting, successful and enlightening times in my 30s, 40s, 50s all the way up until I’m at the pearly gates.
Life will surprise you and probably throw your plans to hell. But you need to have a vision for yourself. Envision where you want to be, what you want to be doing and who you want to be. Let your vision be dictated by the passion that exists inside your soul because you cannot go in the wrong direction if you listen to that. Life may take you on a few twists and turns, but I assure you will get you somewhere you only dreamed of.
So now that half of my 20s have come and gone, I want to make sure I make the most of the half I have left. Sure, planning things like skydiving and a tropical vacation (and maybe white-water rafting in the Grand Canyon?) are in the works, but I also have a plan for my career lined up, too. I’m hustling more now than I have before and I’m not slowing down by any means. I may be done with school (for now) but that doesn’t mean I want to stop learning. I want to push the limits of my comfort zone until I can’t even tell what makes me uncomfortable.
The next half of my 20s look like they will be a promising and exciting couple of years, and I’m ready to dive right into them! God knows 30 will be here in the blink of an eye, and that means I’ll be over the hill. Kidding!!