I am 26 years old and embarking on the latter half of my 20’s. I am at a bit of a stand still right now with what I want to do with these last four years of my 20’s.
What is something you wish you did when you were in your 20’s?
Thank you in advance for your help!
-In a ‘YOLO’ State of Mind
Dear “In a ‘YOLO’ State of Mind,”
Ahhh… A girl after my own heart. I remember thinking the very same thing as if it were yesterday, (probably because I’m in my early thirties), and anyone who knows me has heard me say, “You couldn’t pay me to go back to my 20s.” Why? Because, like you, in an effort to not squander the decade where total freedom and tons of self-discovery meet and say “Whazzzuuuppp!!!!” I consciously decided to take full advantage of it. I did everything I wanted to do, and if I liked it, I did it twice.
To be clear, in my 20s I:
Got a college degree, left a cushy job in Hollywood, broke up with the awesome guy I started dating in high school, moved cross-country, went to and dropped out of law school, got married to an amazing guy, got a dog, dived into the performing arts, got divorced, discovered ex-husbands can make the best best-friends, said goodbye to a dog, wrote my first book, had a threesome, traveled to a crap-load of countries, lost all my money, started a business, made a shit ton of money, drove a car through a guy’s house for being a jerk, bought property, bought my first dream car, paid off my student loans, dated a surreal amount of men, including some of the most interesting men in the world, pled guilty in front of a judge, moved cross-country again, learned that volunteer work can be very rewarding, made very little money in the stock market, lost very little money in the stock market, thought I fell in love with a boy overseas two or three times, lost friends, made friends, partied my ass off, and started giving a huge shit about my mental, spiritual, physical, and emotional health.
To be even clearer, my budding “young, wild, and free” lifestyle did not come without its fair share of unexpected, and sometimes undesirable, consequences, as I referenced in “The Dirty Little Secret to Living the Life of Your Dreams.” But was it all worth it? Helllllsss yeah.
So, outside of maybe trying to meet Justin Bieber, I can’t really say I have an “I wish I had done ‘x’ in my 20s” regret. I made it a point to not assume that tomorrow is promised, and about once or twice a year I’d compile a “If I were to die in 2 months, what would I do with my remaining time” list. Then, I’d look at the list and go about doing whatever the hell was on it. I took full responsibility for my experience on this earth, and didn’t place my happiness in the future. I was going to do whatever I wanted to do, or die trying.
So, enjoy this time in your life, “In a YOLO State of Mind.” Dive deep into exploring your interests, no matter how scattered and pointless they may seem, because it’ll all make sense later. And unless you bring a life into this world, or take one out, pretty much every other consequence is short-term, so don’t be afraid to take risks. Be brave, and don’t take life too seriously. After all, nobody gets out alive. Best of luck.
Note: As this column is designed to be a judgement-free zone, only those who have been, (or know someone who has been), in a similar situation are invited to comment; especially if the question is unorthodox or hard for one to relate to. And for even more relevant insight, those seeking answers are always encouraged to go within.