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?