It’s amazing how much you can learn about yourself in the span of a few months. In your 20s, it seems like it’s often assumed that you only get to know your true self and how far you’ve come only once that time of your life is over. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told “Once you hit 30, you’ll look back and think ‘Wow! What the heck?’” Maybe for some of us at this age, that’s true. We are too consumed with our lives to really take control and assess until we’re too far gone. For others, I think by a certain age in your 20s, you really learn to slow down and take your time a bit more. You make decisions with more caution, you reflect as you go, and you become more mindful of your actions and in which ways they may ricochet. You can get from day to day as you must and let life fly on by or you can learn from day to day and do your best to live your best. Why wait for an outcome in order to improve yourself? You’re better than that.
Cool, Liz, so what are you getting at here? How are we supposed to be patient when we’re so busy trying to make ends meet? I can barely keep track of what day it is let alone what I expect of myself.
Believe me, I hear you. I’m living this too. However, here’s something I recently learned at 26 that served as a reality check for me not too long ago. In life, specifically in your mid 20s, you are faced with one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever have to make: choosing between what is right and what is easy. When you’re young, it’s natural to act irrationally without any sense of how it will affect your future. Desperation eats away at you and attracts you to what’s convenient versus what is best [for you]. The reason I sit here and write this post today is because I was recently graced with this decision, which not only left me feeling confused and frustrated beyond belief, but (in the end) inspired and truly in control of my life for once.
To put it simply, I was presented an interesting opportunity to make a drastic and exciting change in my life. However, because desperation was tearing me apart, I was willing to sell myself short just to move forward in a new way. It took all of my willpower to pump the brakes, lay out my road map of options and make the decision to proceed on this bumpy road ahead of me until the time was really right to veer off in another direction. I wanted so much to go a different way, I had so much support from family and friends, but when I was up against the clock and it came down to saying yes or no, I had to do what was right for me. That wasn’t an easy decision, but my gut did all the work and that’s how I knew. If I had said yes, it would’ve been the convenient way to move forward, but it wouldn’t have been what’s best for me. It may have made me happy for a bit, but ultimately would have led to the cycle repeating itself.
In that moment of chaos, I made a conscious decision to take control. I was moving a mile a minute, I was so overwhelmed that I thought I was going to crack. When it became too much, I slammed to a halt and did what I had to do. I turned around. Of course, regret did that thing it does and poked at me, but eventually that fuzz began to fade.
My hope in writing this post is that you will understand the importance of slowing down and proceeding with caution when you come to a big fork in your road. Don’t make rash decisions based on what is easiest or what will make the chaos end quickest or peer pressure or how you think it will make others feel. Proceed with patience and make your decisions for you in your present, but for your future. It is one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do. This isn’t just deciding what to eat for lunch next week or what new shampoo to buy at the store. You will literally be faced with a decision that you don’t have an immediate solution to. You’ll have that “Should I? Shouldn’t I?” battle with yourself and it will feel like hell, but just know that it’s up to you how you move forward. My hope then is that you recognize your value and know not to sell yourself short. That you care so much about living your best life, you take control and move forward like a boss.