People often hear that life in your 20s is the best it’ll ever be. You’re young, often free, generally healthy, and able to do whatever you want. But are your 20s really the best time of your life?
Or is that just a myth?
Are Your 20s Really the Best Time of Your Life?
If you ask around, you’ll hear a lot of reasons why your 20s are the best time of your life.
You graduate college. Start your career. Date (maybe a lot).
You get to party (maybe a lot). Live on your own. Make your own rules.
For me, though, my 20s… weren’t horrible, but I wouldn’t call them the best time of my life, either.
I met my ex-husband at 21. Got pregnant very soon thereafter, and married soon after that. By 24, I was divorced with a second child. I was a single mom raising my kids alone, with no help from their father, financially or otherwise.
I dated sporadically after my divorce, but very few dates turned into anything serious. I lived on my own at times, with my parents at others, and went from one job to another as the economy went up and down and caused layoffs and other problems.
Maybe Your 30s Are Better?
After I turned 30, things changed. I stopped caring so much about what others thought. I dated much more mindfully. I stopped working for others and decided not only to work for myself, but to work doing something I truly loved and felt passionate about. My kids started to mature and grow and became people I could have conversations with, instead of just being a parent.
My late 30s, especially, have been so much better than my 20s. I’ve come into my own, figuring out who I am and who I want to be. I’ve embraced my individuality, the uniqueness that makes me who I am.
I started dressing the way I want to dress, reading and watching what I want to read and watch, doing what I want to do, and saying the things I want to say – even if other people don’t particularly like it.
I met my soulmate, the man I’d been looking for all my life. To be honest, he’s a large part of how I started doing all the things in the paragraph above. His love, so honest and unconditional, gave me the security and freedom to be myself.
I found an inner peace and joy that I’d never felt before. I settled into my life – I no longer felt the need to try to force my life to be something it wasn’t. I knew that the way my life is going – the dreams I chase, the relationship I’m in, the future I envision – are all attainable. They’re right for me.
What About the 40s and 50s?
I’ll be honest. I make a lot of jokes about dreading 40. I say I’m not looking forward to it, or that I’m celebrating 21 for the X time.
But the reality is, I’m not dreading 40. With each year that has passed, my life has improved. I found love, I found freedom, and I found friendship. I found the things I’m passionate about, and I found the courage to start going after the things I want.
Because of that, I look forward to my 40s. Now that I’ve found the life I want to live, I can only anticipate things getting even better.
I’ll get to wake up next to the love of my life every morning, and fall asleep beside him every night. I’ll get to watch my sons turn into the most amazing men and start chasing their own dreams. I’ll get to continue down a path of happiness, joy, connection, and freedom.
How could I not look forward to all of that?
If Your 20s Aren’t That Great, Just Wait
If you’ve been told that your 20s are the best time of your life, and you’ve been looking at your life and thinking life must really suck if this is the best your life will get, just wait.
I think your 20s are a time of learning, adjusting, and growing. And sometimes that leads to some amazing things, and sometimes it really sucks. Sometimes, it tends to suck way more than it tends to be amazing.
But it’s part of the process. It gets you to where you need to be. It allows you to open up and be yourself in your 30s and beyond. It lets you figure out what you want to do, who you want to be, and who you want to share all that with – if you want to share it with anyone at all.
If your 20s are awesome and wonderful, that’s great! I’d bet that your 30s and beyond will be just as awesome, if not even better.
But if you’re feeling like your 20s are just a miserable time, don’t assume that it means your whole life is going to suck. Instead, know that it’s a growth process. It’s a process that will spring you into an amazing and incredible life, if you let it.