I’ve stopped reading articles about what you should do in your 20s. Almost every one of them tells you to “be yourself” without even asking you if you know who you are. That’s the exact situation I was/am still in.
I’ve realized that I can’t expect to figure my life out without knowing who I am first. When I do that, I usually end up getting in the way of my own plans and goals and not even knowing it. When you try to figure out your life without knowing yourself first, it’s like picking a major without ever taking a course in it. You could graduate at the end of it all and realize that you don’t even like what you did.
I’ve decided that the two main things I’ve taken from this first year in my 20s are to study myself and apply what I think I’ve learned.
Study yourself first. Spending 5 months in Paris was a great time for me to study myself because I was away from the familiar and was forced to meet new people and learn about myself in a new environment. I realized that I’m a hugger and a crier. I’m a lot shier than I thought I was. I’m way too easy on myself.
Ask yourself a few questions. Do you like yourself? Why or why not? I’m not talking about physical appearances, we all have insecurities and flaws. I mean your personality. Would you want to be friends with yourself? Would you want to date yourself? That last question is what I use to check myself when I get a little out of line. Do you like your career path? Why?
I’ve set goals for myself that are much more intentional because I’m not trying to scratch the surface here. I’m trying to crack the code to my own life. I’m not trying to check off boxes on a New Years Resolutions list, I’m trying to improve myself.
Practice & Apply. So now you’ve done some studying and it’s time to test it out and do some real world application. That’s where your goals come in. I just wrote a post checking back in on my 2015 Goals and honestly grading how I’ve been doing. I’d say a solid B so far.
When you think you’ve got it down and you know something about yourself, see how you do in unfavorable situations that test that quality. I know that I am good under stress because I’m constantly in stressful situations and thrive in them. I try to be patient, but that’s always put to the test when the line for my favorite salad spot is outside of the door. Don’t assume that you have a certain quality just because it’s likeable. Be honest with yourself about everything; what you can handle, what your personality is like, who you can trust, what you can surround yourself with. If you don’t know where to start, try taking a personality test. Be aware of where your comfort zone is and then take a step out. Don’t throw yourself out of your comfort zone because it sounds cool. Getting out of your comfort zone isn’t supposed to be fun. If it is, you’re still comfortable.
I hope you weren’t looking for 5 easy steps to figuring out your twenties. I’ll get back to you on that when I’m 30. I can’t speak for everyone, but my 20s are all about self-improvement. However, I’ve realized that you can’t improve yourself further if you don’t even know yourself. So before you start trying to check things off of that “____ Things You Should Know in Your 20s” listicle, realize that the most important thing to know is yourself.
Until next time,