Friday, November 16, 2012

Surviving the Doubts of a 20-Something Woman

Everyone speaks fondly of “being in their 20s,” as they rightfully should. The 20s are an exciting time. These are the years in which we venture into the real world, begin a career, fall in love, take risks, fall flat on our faces, start a new career path, learn many life lessons, and meet our new families or our surrogate families.

These are years filled with questionable decisions, self reflection, many laughs, and memories that will last us a lifetime. Yet, they are also years filled with a little bit of insanity and self doubt. We no longer have someone to lean on, someone to blame, or someone to rely upon. Instead, our failures rest solely upon our shoulders, and more often than not, our journeys lack a tour guide.

Whether we are trying to decide whether or not to call that love interest back up for a third date or trying to walk the balance between dressing like a 19-year-old on girls gone wild and a cookie baking grandma, the 20s are a time of difficult decisions and trying to figure out who we are as individuals.

For me, my 20s have been a perpetual learning cycle. I have often asked questions like:

“Why don’t they make clothes that look both attractive and professional? I’m not 65.”

“Why won’t he call me? No, seriously, why won’t he call?”

“I think this one likes me a lot…but we have a problem. I don’t like him. Do I need to call him?”

“Could someone just go ahead and invent diet wine?”

“Am I going to lose my job?”

“Is this what I want to do with my life?”

That’s right. My inner crazy girl comes to the surface sometimes and decides to question every move I make—down to whichever pair of shoes I choose to wear with a particular outfit. But, luckily, I have found the secret to getting through these crazy girl moments.

The secret is to share them. Not with just anyone, mind you. I mean, can you imagine walking up to a potential love interest and regaling them with a story of how spanx seem to you a little bit like the torturous corset of the future or how you've been obsessing for the last 45 minutes about what "ok" meant in a text message? No ma’am. Don’t go there, but also don’t keep these inner dialogues and inner self doubts held inside your head where they can no doubt grow and multiply. Instead, share them with a trusted friend.

Find a 20s buddy—someone you can share your doubts, hopes, dreams, and insanity with. Thankfully, I have found mine, and she just happens to be both my best friend and roommate—which is highly convenient. We live together, we have no shame with one another, and we help each other navigate our way through the sometimes turbulent waters of the 20s.

I think that is the secret to finding happiness as a 20-something in today’s world. All we really need is one person who will accept us for who we are, who will talk us down when we need it most, who will help us hate the people who have wronged us—regardless of the reason, who will bring us pizza when we’ve been dumped, who will tell us honestly when the pants we try on look awful, who will occasionally bring us back to earth, who will challenge us to be better, who will remind us why we are special, and who will believe in us with fierce loyalty and love.

Then, we can make our way from the doubting 20s to the “roaring 20s,” if you will.
Also, it never hurts if you and your survival buddy have an amazing theme song, such as the one below:
"A best friend is someone who loves you when you forget to love yourself."

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