The Last 366 Days in My 20s

I am 29 years old today. Until two days ago, I forgot my birthday was this week. I feel both retrospective and future focused.

This past year was very out of my control and that’s not something I handle well. We finally kicked off our parenthood journey. We felt a ton of professional and financial pressure. We grieved harder than we’ve ever grieved before. It was a weird year & I honestly don’t care to look back on it.

I feel like I’m walking into 29 as a complete and total wreck. My emotions & hormones are a mess. My house is a mess. My brain is a mess. For a type-a control freak, it’s actually quite terrifying.

But I also feel a sense of calmness in the chaos. Most things are out of my control right now and there’s a unique freedom in that.

The planner in me wants to list some goals but I already have my 30×30 list (which will definitely not get accomplished). If I had to list three vague, general goals for Year 29 they would be:

Figure out how to be a mom. Hopefully a good mom, sometimes a bad mom probably, but just a human MOM overall.

Wrap Enzo and Bristol in as much love and patience as I can manage. B is still adjusting to our home & both will feel the shift when baby arrives- so I just want them to always feel loved and wanted.

Keep up the incredible, understanding, same-team relationship with K that we’ve had for years. It’ll be weird to bring another human into our mix, but I love my life with Kyle and I don’t doubt I’ll love it even more when our mini arrives.

That’s it. Those are my goals for the next year. That’s where I’m dumping my energy and time and efforts. Yeah, I’ll have other goals like cleaning out the ________ or attend x amount of holiday festivities or train Bristol to not blah blah blah…. but those are the core initiatives for the next 366 days. (I get a bonus day w/ the leap year!)

Very little makes this day different from any other day in 2019, but it feels like a fresh page for me. Things from Year 28 will certainly shape how Year 29 goes, but I want to take on this new age with a new attitude. I won’t be a Pinterest mom or a dog whisperer or a marriage expert by 30, but I hope that I fully experience age 29 and all it has to offer while I’m here.

I also hope to read more books. That seems like the loftiest goal of all given the newborn. Haha.

10 Things to Remember in Your Twenties

Sometimes my posts are conceived from other articles & blogs that I read. Such is this case today after reading this article.

Go ahead and read it. I’ll wait.

If you’re like me, that article made you mad. It’s entitled The 20 Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make in Your 20s. The title actually got me really excited! I thought to myself, ‘Oh, some good advice from the internet about how to avoid mistakes in my twenties!’ But then I opened the article. And I realized that I am making 9 of those “mistakes.” And I am incredibly happy.

So moral of the story here is that this list doesn’t apply to everyone. Actually, based on the comments (“never read the comments!”) it only applies to skeezy men in their twenties. It’s hard to make a list that applies to everyone, but I’m going to give it a shot.

10 Things to Remember in Your Twenties

1 | Don’t Drink and Drive |
Our parents and teacher have been saying this for years, but we all could use the reminder- especially when we’re stumbling out of a bar and home is only 3 miles down the road and you’ve only had 4 or 5 drinks. Just call a cab or a (sober) friend.

1

2 | Don’t be rude |
You never know who might employ you. You never know who might be the one to help you change a tire. You never know what someone may be going through. The world could do with a lot less rudeness. You’re an adult now; don’t be an asshole.

3 | Always be kind |
Similar to number 2, but different. Smile and say hello. Hold the door open for the person behind you. Give the homeless man the granola bar from your lunch. Don’t be rude, but also choose to be kind.

4 | Everyone is fighting a different battle and working toward a different goal |
Your goal might be a plush corner office at a top law firm but your friend Jason might want to be a stay-at-home-father of 5. Be encouraging and be gracious. We’re all fighting sometime and working toward something, and we’re all different.

2

5 | Don’t compare yourself to others |
Currently one of my Facebook friends is in the Peace Corps. Another friend is studying to be a doctor. One girl is teaching English in Japan and another couple is doing a cross-country trip from Ohio to Alaska. Any way you slice it, they’re all doing pretty cool things. My coolest accomplishment this week was getting up (kind of) on time. Often I feel like I could be doing more, but being happy for others is much more healthy than being jealous of them. I am me- my only comparison is the person I was yesterday.

6 | Strengthen your bond with family |
Call your mom. Invite your brother to dinner. Visit grandma. I know that not everyone has a “good” family. Sometimes family members spread more toxins than love. If that’s the case then find some non-blood family and strengthen those relationships. Humans need other humans (and animals) to stay whole. (That’s why there’s a “social” requirement on The SIMS. Duh.)

3

7 | It’s ok to take a break |
The most troubling advice I’ve read as a twenty-something year old has been: “Don’t get comfortable/Don’t Slow Down.” This is the biggest load of crap and it has caused me so much anxiety. If you are happy with what you’re doing then be content in that! And if you’ve worked your butt of in school and right now you’re working a job to pay the bills and provide stability then there’s nothing wrong with that. Being stationary is ok; being trapped is not ok. But there is a big difference.

8 | Believe in something/someone |
If you’ve gone this long without believing in someone or something then it’s high time you start. I’m a Christian and I believe in God. Some people believe in a supreme being. Some people believe in themselves. Believe in something and hold yourself accountable.

9 | Save some money |
This is very, very good advice. Always try to save a little money, even if it’s only $20 a paycheck. I love my Smart TV and my vacations and my grande cinnamon dolce latte, but I also know that in the future I will need money… so putting a little away in my 20s is crucial. (Better yet, find an employer that offers retirement and other savings programs!)

4

10 | Forgive |
My brain is programed to remember old offenses and grievances. Not only do I remember when someone has done me wrong, but I remember the crap that happens to my friends and family, too. I can’t forget these things, but I can forgive people. Holding onto hate and grudges and anger is poisonous (and very easy to do), but I know there are times I need forgiven and it’s better to think of people as mostly good- not the opposite.

 . . .

Not every single point from this post-inspiring article was horrible. I tend to agree with #16, 13, and parts of 8. But overall, the article is pretty offensive- especially toward women.

So those are the tips I try to follow as a 24 year old. What advice would you give yourself (or a younger/older version of yourself)? What did you think of the other article? What’s the best/worst life advice you’ve gotten?

-Louise