5 Things I Did Right In My 20s
I was going to make this long and funny. Instead, I’ll opt for short and sweet. As I reflect on the last decade, there are five things that I can say went well and mattered more than I thought they would.
I made friends with women who challenge me in the best ways by just of being themselves. Elizabeth has an unassuming bravery that stares me straight in the eyes and shakes me every time I think I can’t do something. Sabrina’s grounding and wit asks me to think deeper about my surroundings and come back to earth. Jessica’s every word is always an embrace. Anyone can choose to accept. Thus, she pushes me towards compassion – every time. I really could just go on and on with this: Pamela’s spiritual ease, Allie’s straightforward vision, Ari’s enabled enthusiasm, Casey’s sense of adventure, the way Kelsi cares for people, Michelle's sweet glee, Sara C's unshakable determinations, Sara B's limitless warmth, Ashley's sneaky smile, Yusra's stillness, Elisa's ability to get shit done, and on and on.
I answered my own questions. The moment I went back to Italy, I realized I had the power to answer my own questions. No one could tell me what I had lost by not growing up there, I had to go back and see it for myself. I did this again and again. And as I’m writing this, I see how this is what taught me to be a creator.
I started over – again and again. When there isn’t a two-year-old clutching on to your leg wondering where dinner is, you have the flexibility to move, change careers and try new things. I wanted to move to Italy longterm. It didn’t work out. I wanted to move to New York and ended up in California instead. If you are going to try something, you will fail, but if you are willing to try again, you’ll figure it out.
I traveled and learned to listen. Jess and I were sitting at the airport, waiting for our last flight home after three weeks in Europe. There was a man in his 40s sitting next to us in a business suit typing up an email on his laptop. He asked about our trip. After we told him about France, Scotland, Malta and Italy, he replied: “Do those things now while you still can, I never got to do them.” People find a way to travel at all different times in their lives, but I knew I needed to have my eyes opened in my 20s. To hear people’s stories and learn about different cultures. So, I went.
I was romantically involved with really incredible guys. I want to tell you this is a side note, but it’s not. Rebuilding trust and being open was really hard for me, and I got really lucky with the men who I was involved with during my 20s. A girlfriend pointed this out to me recently. I should not take this for granted. I had really great experiences and while everyone deserves them, it doesn’t happen to everyone. So, I’m really grateful.
From one used-to-be-20-something to you 20-something, I hope you have a list that becomes a fire you can sit by when you are by no means old and by no means a child – when you turn 30.