I was doing some "research" for this post idea I had and in .45 seconds Google confirmed the need for me to write this. There are <wait for it> 1,320,000,000 Google results on "lists of things you should do before you turn 30". If my math is accurate, that's 26,400,000,000 things we are supposed to "fit in" to our 20's before we turn the dreadful age when we may as well just die (based on these lists containing approx. 20 items each). Well crap.
I love a good BuzzFeed list or a good Huffington Post piece on ways to feel inspired as a young, single woman. However, the media's OBSESSION with getting all your sh*t together in your 20's is personally starting to piss me off. Do you understand the kind of pressure that puts on an almost 28 year old? Like, I may as well have parents who expect me to become president (side note: my parents are extremely proud of what I have accomplished even though I do not run the free world).
Many of these lists include items such as:
- Make mistakes, this is the time for it
- Fall in love now so you can enjoy a few years alone with your life partner
- Make good career decisions that will allow you to grow in your company
- Go back to school now while you still have time
- Save money (hahahahahahaha - this one has to be a joke)
- etc. etc. etc.
If I worked for one of these lifestyle sites or magazines and my editor assigned me a similar article topic, my piece would go a little something like this....
- Make mistakes, but don't actively seek messing up - fixing or enduring said mistakes is a huge pain in the rear (ie. planning impromptu vacations when you have $24.00 in your checking account or buying a dog at age 22 - I love you, Jack!).
- Fall in love and do it A LOT. You learn from each relationship and you won't end up a 32 year old divorcee like half your high school.
- Work at a job you like - you don't have to LOVE it, but like it enough to get excited about it occasionally and make sure there are good peeps in your company. I've learned I could essentially do any job out there, its all about who I am working with that make my days fun and exciting. And don't just stay at a company because your 62 year old dad said to "ride it out" -- go where you are appreciated and make the most money - this ain't the 50's no more, for realz.
- School is great, I am a huge advocate of any form of education. I went back to school about two full years after I graduated from undergrad. But only go if it is going to directly impact your future. A lot of careers don't give two craps about grad school (mine is one of them) and experience usually equals more money than school. I don't regret my choice, but it wasn't completely necessary.
- Save. HAHAHAHAHHA (that's not going to happen, don't even bother to try unless you make more than 80k)
Oh and one for good measure:
- 30 doesn't mean you are done being a kid. I am probably less mature now at 27 than I was at 23 when I moved ALONE to a new city and made a completely new network of friends. The thought of that these days scares me to death. We ebb and flow in life. 30 is a number on a continuum of life that may be long (g-d willing) or may be shorter than we'd hope for. Live in the moment whether you're 15 or 87 and stop reading these ridiculous check lists that no real life human being could actually complete in 30 years. We're all doing jussssst fine.