Monday, January 09, 2012

A letter to my 20-somethings out there...


Hey young uns!

How you doing? How's life treating you? Never mind that last question. It doesn't matter how life is treating you, blink twice and it will be a whole different world. Listen. No seriously. Unplug your seventeen tech toys, take two deep breaths and actually listen. There are things I wish that someone had sat my young behind down and told me when I was in my twenties. Even more importantly, there are things that people told me that I wish I had listened to. I did not. I was positive I knew everything or that the person telling me was too far removed to really know what they were talking about.

You, my double-decade friends, have an opportunity here. Read it and take in what works for you.

1. You are not entitled to anything or anyone. Nor are you promised anything or anyone. Whatever it is you are positive you deserve, figure out how to live without it. You may get it, you may not. If you do, great - appreciate it and keep it pushing. If you don't... these things sometimes happen.
I say this because in my early twenties, my plan was to run the world by 35. I was going to have 2 kids, the perfect husband, run a multi-billion dollar law firm and look fabulous doing it. Thirty-five is way back in the rear view mirror and all I can say is - I'm fabulous. But you could not have told me at 25 that I didn't deserve the best house with the best man and best bank account ever! As a matter of fact, I spent a few too many years in my twenties cutting brothers that didn't appear to embrace my vision of super-wonderfulness. 
2. Know what to do when detours happen. I'll go with Rascal Flatts on this one - Life is a Highway. But what they don't tell you is that the highway goes up mountains, down valleys, through deserts and jungles. Sometimes the damn highway is an unpaved one lane dirt road. Sometimes it's a tollway and unless you pay - you're stuck.
I say this because I prefer life on the plateaus and I attempted to walk a straight path from A to Z Which may be why I kept getting stuck on E, F, and G. Over and over again. I had no back-up, fallback alternate life plan. And once the first one went kaboom, I spent way too many years playing catch up.  
3. People you love are going to leave you and it's going to hurt like hell. I could spout a million clich├ęs here and tell you that you can bounce back from anything but the brutal honesty is that every loss whether from death, betrayal, growing apart or other life happenstances takes a little something from you. You have to decide what to put in its place.
When I lost the first guy I knew I was going to marry, I was one lost and bitter chick.These sorts of things happened to other people, not me in all of my wonderfulness. There's nothing to prep you for that and everybody has to recover differently. What doesn't work? Pretending everything's okay when it's really truly not. 
4. Your job is just your job is just your job. Rinse and repeat. Everyone tells you that the foundation you build for your career in your twenties will be the stepping stones for your entire career path. Well... sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't. 
I had an ulcer at age 26 because I was determined to be the hardworking, best prepared vision of corporate perfection to ever hit a cubicle. For my 80-hour weeks, I got a layoff package and a lifetime of Zantac for my troubles. 
5. Don't be afraid to take risks in your twenties. (Okay this applies to most of your life) I'm not talking about skiing Mt. Kilimanjaro barefoot or whatever the latest extreme thing that could kill most of us is. I'm saying that 25 is a little early to get in a rut. If you find yourself doing the same things, the same way, with the same people week after week? It  may be time to change it up.
I had just turned 30 and was sitting in my townhome when I realized that I was having the exact same conversation with the same people from five years ago and five years before that. I had to get out. I pack three suitcases and headed to the Bay Area for six months. I spent close to ten years. Sometimes you have to hit the reset button.
Well, that's it for now. Take it for what it's worth. My life... your lessons. Bougie folks - have anything to add? Thoughts... comments... insights?

104 comments:

Sincere said...

This is real talk. I learned all of this before my 21st birthday, unfortunately. And learned it the very very hard way.

Singlelif said...

Welp, Happy New Year, BougieFolks - I've been doing the Holiday thing for the past few weeks, and haven't commented outside of a few Likes..

Anyway, I attended the funeral of a 22 year old cousin of mine on Saturday. She was killed in a one car accident near my house.  She graduated College in May and was just accepted to NYU Law.  I spoke at her funeral, which was packed with friends, family and schoolmates, and delivered a message similar to this post. My comments would have been far more eloquent had this post been available to me. I will now point those who "follow me" via Social Networks to read this powerful message. I'm most positive it will comfort them in some way. Thanks again, 'Chele.

aishao1122 said...

I could have used this advice then. Somewhere along the road the adventurous 18yr old got lost in the hustle of finding career, and making perfect life. Then i hit 27 and shyt got real; and I had to make some serious changes, including going back to school and starting all over again, now I'm wishing I had take my own path before instead of doing what was best for my parents, but you live and you learn and hell i wouldn't be the woman today if I hadn't been that young lady before. 

Great post
Aisha
bythebroomstick.blogspot.com

Sol_dier said...

^^^THIS IS LIFE^^^

Additions from me: 
1) You are kind, nice, open e.t.c. but you keep getting treated by poorly by people you give everything to. It is a sign?. It means stop giving everything you have to any and everybody. No-one respects it and it will exhaust you.Learn to be strategic with your time and help, do not abuse yourself to heal someone else

2) If you think you are here to teach the world about morality or kindness, the world will soon correct you. Contain yourself, hold your truths to your chest only share when it is safe to do so.

3) Just because you mind your own business doesn't mean people will not mess with you or try to hurt you. 
Form alliances you are not and never will be an island. Learn to listen to what the world is saying, learn to wear a mask and only reveal your self in TRUSTED, SIMILAR company. I can't say it enough, BE STRATEGIC

4) Run from negative people especially family.
5) Listen with your ears, your eyes, your nose, your head. 
6) Whether you like it or not, people are watching you. They see you, they look at you & they study you. conduct yourself appropriately
7) Do not let people push you into the forefront of 'their' movement. Do not be the 'grunt' for other people no matter how better 'equipped' you are at doing something. Ensure that you are getting what you need and want from it before committing.
8) Your environment doesn't determine your destiny. You are capable and you can do it.

Sol_dier said...

Thank you for this.
Wipes tears & grabs gym bag. 

thinklikeRiley said...

Real talk. This is one for the ages. Some 30/40/50 folk who missed the boat need to gon on ahead and hop on too.

Angela said...

Beautiful!

Make sure your words and actions line up.
Recognize when the words and actions of others don't line up.
Incorporate into your life as many things as possible that make you smile!
Get a mentor--someone who can help you set goals and direction for your life.
Understand that everyone has a right to feel whatever/however they feel (don't try to make others responsible for your expectations).

Jubi The Great said...

I'm in the last 6 months of my 20"s & I learned/experienced all these things that you listed Chele. Looking back at my life plan at 18, I'm nowhere near where I thought I would be at 29...and not only am I ok with it, I'm actually happy about it. The biggest thing that I've learned is that I can & should design my own life. I am the master of my happiness & living my life the way I want is the best.

Sunshyne said...

Great post! I would add don't wait to do what you really want to do! If you want to travel - make plans now to go soon. If you want to learn a skill - learn it now. Life keeps on going and  before you know it you're 35 and wondering "WTH have I been waiting for?" Life will never be perfect! If you find that it is just wait a minute and it will change! One other thing don't let life's circumstances determine your mood. Find joy in everything. Happiness is an emotion that comes and goes but you can always have joy!

William Martin said...

*prints and passes out to everyone I see*

maureen said...

Great post! Life is not a sprint  but a marathon=lessons learned.

JaymeC said...

The twenties are all about figuring out if your mind and heart are on the same page with your body and soul. Then as soon as you figure it out, it all changes. Here are a few of my "postcard philosophies":

Your first love is not your only love unless it's a great love.
Choices are meant to be broken, not promises so make each with care.
The only thing you can't make more of is time.

maureen said...

 1,3 & 4 lawd have mercy *Birdman hands rub*

maureen said...

My condolences.

Carolyn said...

And let the church say Amen!

I'll add a few more:

1. Stop thinking of the end of your twenties as "old." If you're lucky, you still have another 50+ years ahead of you. Nothing bad is going to happen to you if you don't do it all by 30...or 40...or 50...or ever. As long as you're still breathing and of sound mind, it's not too late.

2. Women, forget the biological clock. Focus on finding a good partner, not getting pregnant before age whatever. If you have a child with the wrong dude, you'll love the child but wish he/ she had a different daddy. Not a place you want to be in, trust.

3. Sex gets better with age. Nuff said.

4. Quit worrying about the ho ish you did in college, grad school, etc. Everyone else has. You're the only one still judging yourself for it. Forgive yourself and move on.

5. Learn to like yourself AND love yourself.

6. Don't be afraid to change and don't fight change. You may find yourself suddenly questioning your faith. Or attracted to the same sex. Or wanting to move to a different part of the world. Do it! Your parents want you to live your life, not remain tethered to them. If they don't, you both need to let go.

Thanks!

Only1DivaC said...

*waves* Hey Doc! Good to hear from you!

Lady4Real said...

28, married for the 2nd time, 2 kids (teen mom) seen my share of death, experienced my share of disappointments. Didn't create a 5year/10 year/ 20 year plan. Learned a poem in high school that changed my life forever and keep the latin in my heart Carpe Diem. Have a rap song that follows, "life's a b*%@# and then ya die." Daddy is always keeping me linked up to mentors, I have always admired older folks with great wisdom, all of these things add up to me not being like most 20 somethings. The one place that I am like my counterparts was my understanding of love and believing that without it my life was lacking but now I know that the love of myself is most important and if any one else shows me love that is just icing on the cake. My family believes that when I was born an old soul hopped into me and never left and I am forever thankful for the old soul that dwells within. Youth is wasted on the youth, I try not to waste mine but I'm not perfect.Now my teen years I spent like I was 20 something and my 20 somethings I spend like I'm 30 something, but I open my ears and eyes wide and take in all that I can when my elders speak because they've been there and done that and got the shirt to prove it. What better way to get to where I've never been then to follow the direction of those who have been? Thanks Chele for the post, it's post like these that help me through life and make me the woman that I am today. Let the older teach the younger!!!

NY2VA said...

I offer my condolences as well.  The world is definitely small because I do believe that one of my former students from NYC was friends with your cousin and traveled down on Saturday to say her final goodbyes.  I pray that she and the other young men and women who were in attendance heed the words of your message.

DCbywayofCali said...

Those prayers older people say thanking God for "the health of their limbs and being clothed in their right mind" are real and serious.  You have no idea what health is until you've lost it, and sometimes losing your health happens in your youth.  Respect your bodies.

Lady4Real said...

Sorry for your loss.

Only1DivaC said...

One thing I learned at the tender age of 29 is that life is a marathon not a sprint. I co-sign 2, 4, and 5 all day, every day. It wasn't until I hit 29 that I realized I needed to get over myself and start enjoying life. As Dr. JaymeC said below, you can't get more time so I'm living it up. One thing I refuse to do is look back over my life and have regrets on things I wished I would have done because I was too scared or I worked too much. Guess what the world still turns if I don't send out that report, fail at something, etc.

ClayJones said...

Sitting at 52 and looking back I have to wonder - where were you when I was 22? Not that I would have listened. In fact, I would scanned this, decided you didn't understand my struggles and keep it moving. There are definite privileges to longevity one of which should be evolving from year to year and decade to decade. All of this 50 is the new 40 and 40 is the new 30 - why don't we each just do the best at the place we are and stop worrying about the numbers. I don't want to be 25 again, I think I'm doing 52 pretty proud.

Lady4Real said...

Just had a thought, when you sit through enough funerals and listen to what is said you get to thinking about life, how short it truly is and what is truly important. When you lose enough people that you truly loved it gives you drive and purpose. At 20 I sat at my best friends funeral, she was 19 and had been my friend since that day she was born, at her funeral I vowed to live for her and for myself to not take a single day for granted. A few years later I lost one of my Dad's frat brothers who was like an uncle to me and vowed to make him proud and when my eulogy was read it would be as inspiring as his was. I've lost a few more people since then, just lost a good friend 25 years old 3 days before Christmas and I promised him that I would "Live, laugh and love."  Age is nothing but a number, but life is what we do between our day of birth and our day of death and I plan on enjoying everything in this in between.

Deesha said...

Piggybacking on what Aisha said...I would add:

It's okay to be disappointed in and to disagree with your parents, and it's okay for them to be disappointed in and to disagree with you."  Remember (because your parents may not) that you are grown, while your parents are due respect, they aren't owed control over your adult life.  Insist on healthy boundaries, and know that sometimes you have to love boundary-violators from a far.  No one ever got struck down for this, lol.  Seriously: You get this one life, so don't get to the end of it wishing you'd lived for yourself rather than out of a sense of obligation to your parents...or anyone.

Reecie said...

 this  is a great post. I am no longer in my 20s (turned 30 last fall) but I still needed to read this. #1 and #3...lawd lawd lawd #3! "you have to decide what to put in its place" THANK YOU!!! 

invectiva said...

Sort of expanding a little bit on #4:

The people you love don't *always* mean you well or care about you the way you care about them. Don't be bitter, but keep your eyes open for those who would see you fall rather than help you succeed.

Only1DivaC said...

Um, # 4 all day everyday. Those Debbie Downers will suck you bone dry with their negativity.

FreeBlackMan said...

Number 3 has my entire thug on the floor. I'm done for the day. *goes to play Sade in my room*

Regina said...

25-year-old checking in here (26 in exactly seven weeks and four days!) so really feeling this one.
I think I've come to grips with 1 and 3, although I'm not quite as good as just letting go of disappointment and moving on.
Number 2 is really a struggle, because I've always felt like I needed to have my life planned, know the next move, know the "only other alternate" and be ready to deploy that. But really, life will throw you curves you weren't expecting, with problems and options and questions you never thought you'd have to answer. But when that happens, I just have to take a breath, let out a little frustrated yell or cry if I need to, and just take it one step at a time.
But this ---> "Don't be afraid to take risks in your twenties" is the hardest lesson I've had to learn. Again, I've always felt I had to plan and have everything figured out. I thought at 25 I was supposed to be settled and accomplished and put together. But then that quarter-life crisis hit me (dude, that is no joke! I was eight kinds of depressed), and I've realized I no longer want the career path I worked so hard to establish. I'm taking a leap of faith and planning to go to grad school this fall to pursue something completely different, all while my mother is pleading with me to and to stay put where I am. It's scary, the thought of starting over, and I wish I had more well-wishers in my corner, but I'm okay. This IS the best time for me to try something new, without a husband or family in the way, and if it doesn't work out, at least I can say I tried, vs. regretting making a change.

William Martin said...

*waves*

Regina said...

This --> "Just because you mind your own business doesn't mean people will not mess with you or try to hurt you."
and this --> "Run from negative people especially family."
TRUTH!

bashowell said...

Hmmm...imma have to come back to this...

Regina said...

I'm feeling you, but is it really that simple? I'm trying to do something different in my life, a pretty risky move but one I feel will pay-off in the end, and my mother simply refuses to see any good in it. It's maddening. To the point where I don't even want to discuss it with her at all, just to keep my peace and sanity. But this is something that's going to consume my life for the next two years (grad school), I can't NOT talk about it. But at the same time, it's always going to be an argument, and I don't want to argue with my mom for two years, with her waiting on the ish not to work.

maureen said...

Regina, to this I say something I have found to help me over the years. " Do not write your life in permanent marker, erasable marker does the job."  I hope it makes sense.

Penny said...

Good advice for any age/decade.  Different things happen to people at different times.  You may have your first romantic loss in your 30's and your first career trouble in your 40's.  You may have to take some unanticipated risks in your 50's. It is crucial to be able to understand detours at any age-none of us what tomorrow has in store.

JohnKinPDX said...

Number one hits too close to home. Number 2 is pure gospel. Number 3 needs to be etched in stone and brought down from a mountaintop. Number 4 is hard when you've been told that "hustle till you drop" is the only way to get ahead. And number 5 fits all decades.

Great post.

OneChele said...

Because DISQUS is cutting a fool, some of you may be able to see this comment from @CarolynEdgar and some of you may not. At any rate - it was awesomeness so I'm embedding:

And let the church say Amen! I'll add a few more: 1. Stop thinking of the end of your twenties as "old." If you're lucky, you still have another 50+ years ahead of you. Nothing bad is going to happen to you if you don't do it all by 30...or 40...or 50...or ever. As long as you're still breathing and of sound mind, it's not too late. 
2. Women, forget the biological clock. Focus on finding a good partner, not getting pregnant before age whatever. If you have a child with the wrong dude, you'll love the child but wish he/ she had a different daddy. Not a place you want to be in, trust. 
3. Sex gets better with age. Nuff said. 
4. Quit worrying about the ho ish you did in college, grad school, etc. Everyone else has. You're the only one still judging yourself for it. Forgive yourself and move on. 
5. Learn to like yourself AND love yourself. 
6. Don't be afraid to change and don't fight change. You may find yourself suddenly questioning your faith. Or attracted to the same sex. Or wanting to move to a different part of the world. Do it! Your parents want you to live your life, not remain tethered to them. If they don't, you both need to let go. Thanks! 

tishatweets said...

I'm reading this and thinking....my mom did a pretty good job!! :)

That said, it YET hurt when #3 happened the first time. All of the cliches and religious platitudes in the world don't/won't change that. It just.....hurts. But it won't last forever. And thank God for that.

I guess if I had to sum it up, I' d caution twenty-somethings to be free enough to make mistakes, to get the lessons from them, and don't let them hold you bound.

DB said...

"I'll go with Rascal Flatts on this one - Life is a Highway."

Somewhere Tom Cochrane is saying "I did the original, which was way more popular than the Rascal Flatts version, and I still get no love from One Chele.  Granted, it was twenty years ago, but damn."

JoycelynC said...

I have to co-sign this entire list.  So, so, so true.  To add: It is ok to have a life plan but don't be so focused on it that you miss opportunities for a life you never imagined. 

I had this plan of what I would be doing when I got out of college and I can honestly say my life has not gone too according to script.  I learned so much about myself and what I truly value when it went off course however. 

blackprofessor said...

Chele, Great post as usual!  20ish crew? I am going to tell you one thing I learned early in life and one thing I wish I had known early in life.

1) Life is precious!  I have talked on this blog about losing a dear friend at 16.  Instead of being hyped about my junior prom, I was bawling my eyes out at his funeral.  That gave me perspective, which is why my motto is Carpe Diem, Latin for seize the day.  I have lost more family members, friends and sorors since then which has reinforced the idea that life is precious and can be snatched in a moment's notice.

2) Love is precious! I wish someone had told me when I was younger that everyone is not on the same page regarding love regardless of what they say.  I have learned the hard way to be discerning and figure out is worthy of attempting to love and who isn't.  I love hard and I love selflessly, which means my love isn't for everyone only a man on the same page as me.

JoycelynC said...

You only have one life.  I think a lot of people, myself included, have a moment when they have to do what they want even when they know their parents may not like it.  Be firm in your decision and be willing to deal with the fallout.  Your parents always love you and will come around in the end.

Just_A_Thought1218 said...

Condolences, and my thoughts are with you and your family.

TrulyPC said...

This is a great post!!!  I will be sending it too all the 20 somethings in my life. 

1.  LIVE life.  When you live being honest with yourself doing what you want without others expectations clouding the journey, it is so worth it.
2.  Seconding all of those that says stop making the chronological number a deterrent in your life.  A certain age doesn't corner the market on new things or experiences.
3. Yes, yes and yes. A broken heart does hurt like hell but it does get better when you own it and choose not to let the loss feed your spirit.
4. It's okay to make a life plan, just do it in pencil and not ink.  Things change and people change.

La said...

Oh, so you're just gonna lay my whole life out in your post today? That's cool, Chele.

I have never struggled with entitlement; my childhood taught me better. And I think more often than no life, REAL life, is in the detour, so that doesn't particularly plague me. But 3-5? Lawd, lawd, lawd. I had my first soul scorching heartbreak in my early twenties... and it took me til 27 to completely get over it. And I am largely getting to a point where I'm realizing my chosen career might not give me the life I want. In any respect. The changing of which would involve some risk. So, I needed to read this today. Thank you to you, and everyone else in the comments who have lived thru your 20s and shared some words of wisdom. =)

Ms. LTB said...

Love the post.  The entire post.  Only 2 things that I'd add:

1. It's your life.  You are the only one that can live it and you're the only one that has to be happy with it.  You can't always make momma/daddy/cousin/friends/significant other/children happy.  At the end of the day when you look in the mirror/back over your life you're the person that has to be content with the decisions made.
2. Not everyone will believe in you or your dreams.  It's cool.  Believe in yourself/your dreams enough to make them happen anyway. It sounds cliche' but whether you win or lose in life really does begin and end with you.

Ms. LTB said...

Ooops make that 3 things :-)  I left one out.  3. - It's okay to say NO. You do not have to do everything that's requested of you.  It's exhausting. Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself or the person asking is to just say No. Explanation optional but really not needed.

BklynBajan said...

To expand a little more - look beyond the superficial when deciding who to include in your inner circle. It may not be in your best interest to have someone that always agrees with you.  Its (usually) easy to recognize blatant haters - much harder to view those who are genuinely afraid (albeit selfishly) of what your changes will mean for them.

CaliGirlED said...

My condolences for the loss of your young cousin.

CaliGirlED said...

3, 4, and 6 are crucial!

BklynBajan said...

You have to decide what's more important. Pleasing your mother or going for it. In the end if you try and fail your mom will have her "I told you's" but you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you tried and did your very best. If you never try and she is the reason for it then resentment will fester and sprout into a division you will not be able to overcome. Its your  life. She lived hers. Its up to YOU to fill in the dash between your date of birth and your death. I say this as someone that had (& lost) a LOT of friends when I went back to school for my MBA. I have NO more time for people that can't support me after all these years. I didn't even tell my mother until the day before classes started - she came to my graduation but never mentioned it in her annual Christmas newsletter. Did that hurt? Hell Yes! But I also know not to depend on her for that level of support.

CaliGirlED said...

I'm with you, probably wouldn't have listened at 22. But I definitely would have remembered and reflected in my 30's. However, now at 40 years 11 months and 22 days old, I am making sure that at 50 I will be doing great and will be proud of my 40's.

BklynBajan said...

I posted above - I went back to school at 40 - mom didn't like it but she got over it. If I could do it at that age you can certainly do it and succeed at your age. You only need one well wisher and you can contact me through twitter if you need a second. That's it. Just do it. Keeping your eye on your goal will keep your focused when folks start complaining about how your desire to do for yourself is affecting them. Turning 40 & attending more funerals then weddings at this point has turned  up my nodamnstogive meter. I can't live to make other people comfortable. How can they claim to have my best interest at heart if they can't see (or care) how miserable I am living THEIR truth? My obituary won't have a disclaimer listing all the comprimises I made so I'm no longer living my life as if I need permission from others to be happy.

CaliGirlED said...

It may not be "simple", but most things in life that are worth having do not come by us easy. And that includes peace of mind! If your parents are not taking care of you, then you respectfully go on about your business and do what you have to do knowing that you may not be able to depend on them, if your risk fails. But like Jocelyn said below, "Your parents always love you and will come around in the end."

If your parents are taking care of you, you may first want to become independent of them and then hedge forward; or do it simultaneously. It's very to hard to take your own path when your parents (or anyone) are supporting you.

Best of luck to you!!!

BklynBajan said...

Great post!! I've commented throughout the posts already just wanted to add these lessons don't have to be acted upon in your 20's. If you findyourself on the cusp of 40 wanting to make changes dont you dare let anyone talk you out of it. As long as you have breathe then its up to you to live.

CaliGirlED said...

Regina now is the perfect time, pre-family and all! Not doing it will be YOUR regret, not your mother's. No one in my family wanted me to move to Houston, NO ONE, including friends. (And my daughter was 12 at the time). I've been here over 2 years now (1 for my daughter), we are both happy and this is now home. It was the BEST and biggest decision I had made up to that point! And yes it was scary because I didn't even have a job! I stepped out on faith and the rest is history!

CaliGirlED said...

*drops $100 in offering plate*

CaliGirlED said...

Awesomeness indeed!!! And #2, not a place you EVER want to be, TRUST! So wait and evaluate, and then wait some more!

As for #3, I'm going to seriously hurt the next man I'm with! (God please make him fit and potent!) That.is.all

CaliGirlED said...

THIS^^

Regina said...

Aww, thanks! You're right. I guess for me it's crazy that parents always want their kids to dream big and be successful, but the moment you step out of what they're comfortable with it becomes a problem. But I don't want to look back knowing that I could have done this but didn't because someone else didn't want me to. *encouraged*

Regina said...

 I'm on my own and supporting myself, I'm just scared to go back to school (and give up my full-time job, which is the part that has my mom freaked out, and work part-time), so I wanted some encouragement from my parents. But it looks like that won't happen, so I'm going to have to keep it moving and maybe they will come around as I get to my goal.

And girl, I didn't know you were in Houston! H-Town, born and raised! But I've moved to Central Texas for my job, and would stay here at least until I get my masters.

GuessImJay said...

I missed some of these in my 20s so I'm going to try to do the rest of these 30s up right.

MsJamie14 said...

Great post, and great discussion. Some people need to touch the fire to see if it's actually hot, others will take your word from it. While I probably won't have a shocking tell all memoir when it's all said and done, I can say life's been better because I've been willing to listen and learn from others mistakes. A lifetime of guilt and/or regret can be a very hard monkey to shake off your back.

DeLurkingForaSecond said...

I don't know, I think those of us in our twenties get a bad rap. We're not all selfish and indulged and expectant of handouts. I'd like to like most of us know this stuff.

C Nelson said...

So much good advice, especially #5, and yeah, not just for your twenties. Sometimes you get to 35, ask the "what am I doing here still?" question, and make the
jump. I turned 36 on the 28th of December. The 5th of January saw me
boarding United Airlines flight 839 for a fourteen-hour trip to the
other side of the world and my new home in Melbourne. I'm loving it. The
last time I did something remotely like this, I was 24 and boarding a
Greyhound from NYC to Toledo, and I loved every minute of that too. Ten years was too long to wait to do it again. Up next: going back to school (I might be done before I turn 42 and know the answer to life, the universe, and everything), getting married, new career.
If you're not a tiny bit nervous, you're not pushing yourself, and if
you're not pushing yourself, just a little, you're probably stagnating. You want
to be deep waters, sure, but be the ocean, not a landlocked pond.

CaliGirlED said...

This does not apply to everyone in their 20's, some definitely have it together. (But since we try to be honest and realistic on this blog, I'd have to say that "some" should really be "few"). However it's all relative to still being 20ish vs. looking back on your 20's when you're 40ish. When that time comes, you will see that some of it did indeed apply. But none of it is a put down to those of you in your 20's because there are folks 30+ still struggling with the same issues, and some always will. As someone implied below, life lessons are learned at different stages in life for different people.

bashowell said...

Did you say potent?  OK day made.

Singlelif said...

It sure is ! So many of Jenice's friends came down to the funeral, and it was so sad to watch them grieve as they did.  She considered most of her friends to be her family, and their emotions were laid out for the world to see. We all appreciated the outpouring and the sacrifices they made to be with the family. I just hope they received and digested the message I intended. Thank you.

invectiva said...

I had the Quarter Century Depression, too. I remember wailing at my best friend/coworker in the parking lot of our building at lunch, saying, "I'm 25 and I've accomplished NOTHING!!!!" She replied to me, "Oh, honey, it's taken me *40* years to accomplish nothing. You are *way* ahead of the game." :)   Ah, perspective.  

FWIW, I didn't let 30 hit me without accomplishing something important to me. It looks like you're taking your best next steps, too, and I think that's a good thing, with or without your mom's support.

Singlelif said...

Thank you so much to everyone for the words of sympathy and offers of condolences.  It's difficult to accept that such a young, bright light has been dimmed.  Especially when we feel that it was avoidable and unnecessary, but we must "make it well" within ourselves, and look for the greater good. It is there. Somewhere.

BB Waite said...

One thing you know as you get older is that you knew less than you thought you did when you were younger.

Angel Blanca said...

This is a great list!  One of the things that I might add to the list is to encourage those who are twenty-somethings is to make sure to expand your friends/acquaintance circle to include those who hold different opinions/POVs than you do, as this will help you better experience more of the world in which you live. Don't confuse different opinions/POVs with values, and really try to enter into difficult conversations with them without denigrating those differences.  In other words, be open, as your understanding is limited both by experiences and age; don't be afraid to question what you believe, why you believe it, and what difference it should make in your lives moving forward.

blackprofessor said...

Caligirl is a mess, lol!

CaliGirlED said...

Ask and it shall be given right? LOL

BB Waite said...

Testimony for #3. Amen. Praises and amen. I'm waiting for Chele to share some of those Bougie Cocoa Tales, over there glowing like a night light on the regular.

CaliGirlED said...

I know, pray for me!!! But y'all think I'm joking about that huh? Ask God, He'll tell you, that's on my "The Perfect Man For Me" list. Closed mouth don't get fed and all...

CaliGirlED said...

*drops $100 in offering plate*

OneChele said...

Ma'am? Please have some seats.

Sent from my Kindle Fire

_____________________________________________

Jamie Wesley said...

Six years ago, I was where you are now. Twenty-five about to turn twenty-six with a big girl job about to quit so I could move to another city and go to grad school. Was I nervous? Absolutely, but I knew I didn't want to look back thirty, forty years from now wondering "What if?"

It wasn't easy, especially when I graduated and the economy went in the toilet and finding a job in my field was next to impossible, but I wouldn't change a thing.  I'm not doing exactly what I thought I'd be doing when I went to grad school, but I was open to whatever experiences came my way. I've had a few jobs since I graduated, all of which were building blocks to where I am today. I'm happy to be here.

You have to live your life, not your mother's or anyone else's.

ShawnSoze said...

*snickers* I could say something but I like it here.

SassyJJ said...

Thoughts and Prayers to you!

SassyJJ said...

Great post!

I will be 30 a month from today and lawd, lawd, lawd...I need this.  That is all.

OneChele said...

Shout out to Tom then? ;-)

David Chase said...

*scandalized* Miz BB!

Regina said...

Thank you for this! I think that's one of the things I was worried about, going back to school then coming out with no job (and probably owing an eff-ton in loans). And I'm glad to hear that it worked out for you in the end, even if you still had some bouncing around to do. That's something I'll have to be ready to accept (trying to prepare for that possibility). But I know if I stay put. those "What ifs" are going to haunt me til I take my last breath.

Regina said...

HOLLERS! --> Oh, honey, it's taken me *40* years to accomplish nothing. You are *way* ahead of the game." :)   Ah, perspective.

Rubie said...

OMG I am so ready to hit the reset button I just want to pack my clothes get on a plane and start fresh in a new city with new people. I am 35 single no kids and ready for Act II

OneChele said...

So where you headed?

Sent from my Kindle Fire

_____________________________________________

rhenewal said...

Cocoa Tales of the Bougie Bachelors?

Sol_dier said...

oh for sure. 

rhenewal said...

"If you're not a tiny bit nervous, you're not pushing yourself, and if you're not pushing yourself, just a little, you're probably stagnating. You want to be deep waters, sure, but be the ocean, not a landlocked pond. "  <<-- That is pretty profound right there. I was reading through the comments and not paying them too much attention, but these two sentences drabbed me.

I've spent the past four years (post-college) settling into my job/career, finances, and life in general, and have recently started to feel that the "contentment" I had a couple years ago is more of a stagnantion now. As a result: back to school, back to being out and about, minor change in job (with plan to keep moving upwards and possible outwards in the next 6-18 months).

Sol_dier said...

If this ain't gospel, I don't know what is. 

You must teach people how to treat you, and that includes your parents. 

Sol_dier said...

Regina,  Yes, it really is that simple.
I have been in your position and here is how I resolved it.
I told my mum that I will no longer discuss this with issue with her, I invested in a good journal and from time to time found other people to talk to.
Once I made this decision, I stuck to it. (It worked for me, nor saying it will work for anyone else) 

You must guard your dreams. Dream killers are not always evil people, sometimes they are people who love us and are so scared and concerned about our well being, that they will try to keep us away from the very places we need to go. Even those places are there to teach us a life lesson.

This is your life and your journey, you will either live it yourself, or let others live it for you.

p.s. there are many other less clinical ways of doing this, but I know my people lol and it wouldn't have worked. 

Sol_dier said...

CaliGirl, It's cos of you I remember my roman catholic roots, penance be thy name :p

Sol_dier said...

There are a few key phrases in the original post which puts things in perspective.
in case you missed them: 

1) There are things I wish that someone had sat my young behind down and told me when I was in my twenties

2) You, my double-decade friends, have an opportunity here. Read it and take in what works for you

If you read closely to a lot of the responses they are personal reflections not a reflection on you or your generation. If nothing appeals or applies to you, great! no need to mount a defence on something that wasn't even stated.

Sol_dier said...

wondered where you'd got up to :) good luck in sunny melbourne.
p.s. props for the 'hitchhikers guide to the galaxy' solution.

Jeannette said...

I have a disdain for Millennials, so i'll just hush.

Lady4Real said...

Thank you. I tend to have issues with my husband because we share totally different POV's and I am a stubborn mule. He isn't trying to change me, just simply sharing his outlook and I get so tense and judgemental sometimes. Any more advice? How do I open myself up more?

Lady4Real said...

ahh my kindred spirit. I thought I wrote this if not for the different username.

Lady4Real said...

My obituary won't have a disclaimer listing all the comprimises I made so I'm no longer living my life as if I need permission from others to be happy.<<<<<copying, printing and posting where I can always see it!!! This is truth beyond truth.

Jennifer said...

Hey lady, so sorry for your loss
*hugs*

Sol_dier said...

*hugs*

CaliGirlED said...

Wow! I just quoted you on facebook. This is some truth right here!

Nadette said...

I got a little nervous at the title of this post, but I have to say THANK YOU for this post. I've heard messages like this several times in the last few weeks...I think someone is trying to tell me something. Take risks, make change, make waves. I got it!

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