“Nothing will ruin your 20’s more than thinking you should have your life together already.”
I have very mixed feelings about this quote that I see all the time. On one hand, it is reassuring. I am 25 years old and don’t have life figured out. Currently, I work four jobs, with no particularly strong pull towards or away from any of them. I still think that filing taxes is the most confusing thing ever (although four jobsmay have something to do with that). So many of my fellow twenty somethings are married and having babies. But me? I’m still content borrowing other people’s kids. There are so many different paths and choices that it can all seem overwhelming sometimes!
Too many choices make it easy to give up
Sometimes, I feel like I’m not at all where people told me I “should be” at 25. The world is telling me to have it all and do it all right now. The pressure to keep the house clean, volunteer, have my dream job, be an awesome wife, take trips, and have babies all while knowing how to cook perfect meals, read every book, and stay caught up with “This is Us” is so intense. Can’t I just go to work, come home, and watch Netflix?Life will still work out fine, right?
Some would agree, saying there is no point in trying to have it all together in your twenties. After all, at this stage we’re all just figuring things out, and we’ve barely outgrown our high school and college days. In fact, some of us still live with our parents. We’re barely looked at as adults by the people around us (we’re just those “millennials” that cause so many problems), so is it even worth the effort? We may as well take life one day at a time, right?
But what is the alternative?
People rarely work to fail; we want to be our best! We hear a lot about how setting goals and making wise choices every day helps you be the best version of yourself. The preschool students I work with talk about what they want to be when they grow up with such excitement, yet it seems that many of us lose that drive when we finally reach adulthood.
I can’t help but wonder, what stops us from at least trying to have our lives together in our first years in the “real world?” Is it a fear of failure? The fear of the unknown? Or is it the desire to be carefree children again? It is probably a mixture of all these reasons. Regardless, I don’t think we as twenty-somethings can justify not trying our best with every single day we’re given.
The turning point for me
Eagle Brook Church had a sermon on this subject a few years ago. One quote in particular really jumped out at me:
“The decisions you make from ages 14-25 will absolutely affect what kind of life you will have from ages to 25-95. So decide right now, in broad daylight, to avoid the things that would damage your character and handicap your future.”
We often think that these early years as adults can be throw away years. That’s silly! If you want to be a doctor, you don’t start studying anatomy the day before you begin a new practice. Successful athletes train for months before big events, not just a day or two before. We know how silly those things sound. Still, we think that someday we will suddenly make the most out of our lives with no preparation.
So what other choices do we have?
We don’t have to have it all figured out right now, it’s true. However, we should be conscious of the choices we are making. Today’s choices affect our future. Shaping our futures in the way God wants us to live is a constant decision-making process. Will we make mistakes? There’s no doubt about that. Instead of living carelessly, I believe we ought to choose every day to make wise decisions. I want to make purposeful decisions that will create a better life for me in the future.
With this, I am pledging to do my best to be a real, functioning adult. I am setting goals, stepping outside my comfort zone, and living out God’s plan for me. It’s guaranteed that I will face setbacks and failures, but there are also lessons to be learned and successes to celebrate. The version of me I hope to be down the road won’t just happen! Dedication and discipline will be key.
Are you willing to take a step today towards being your best self, even in the mess of life? If so, I hope you’ll subscribe to this blog and follow Cody and me here.