A Letter to My 20s

Dear the 20s,

I feel grateful and fortunate to make it to year 30, but also have felt a bitter-sweetness as I’ve approached this milestone. And I doubt I’m alone in this feeling! Many peers are also approaching or have already approached year 30. And ultimately, we all have different milestones and new chapters we are approaching in our lives. With new milestones come new changes, new fears, and new expectations. But as we turn the pages in our lives, I always think it’s important to reflect on the chapters we are now leaving behind. I can now reflect on my 20s and acknowledge all I’ve gained, and also lost, during that time in my life. 

The 20s are supposed to be a monumental phase within our lives, and I couldn’t agree more. This is a time where we are entering into adulthood and have huge expectations to take on the world. We have all these plans in our head, and different time frames we are determined to reach. But my 20s (very late 20s!) taught me that these time frames and expectations do not always work out, and that’s okay! I’ve learned that I have to live life on my own terms, and not the terms that society creates for us. We may not always be where we want to be, but if we can just hold on and stay true to ourselves, we will eventually end up right where we are supposed to be. So thank you 20s for the times I saw my failures as a dead end, for the comparisons to others that decreased my self worth, and for the unrealistic expectations I placed on myself. Without these moments I would continue to be running from failure, I would continue to allow shame to make me feel less than what I really am, I would be continuing to chase perfection, and I would be continuing to let fear dictate my path rather than following my passion. I’m human and will continue to have fears and anxieties, but thank you 20s for opening my eyes to the countless possibilities that exist when I am outside my comfort zone. 

I’ve gained so much from my 20s, but the losses experienced were the most life changing. The 20s brought a lot of unexpected events. Certain events make us question the world around us and question the essence of our existence. There are always things we wish didn’t happen, or that we wish we could change. But all we can do is reflect, learn, and move forward. We don’t always get the answers we desire, or get the closure we need; and this can be heart breaking. But in these moments we gain a different strength that we may have never knew existed. Although the sadness isn’t completely gone, I can still say thank you to my 20s for changing the way I now view the world. I know that nothing is guaranteed and that life is extremely fragile. I’ve learned to take nothing for granted, to be intentional with my time, and to value those around me. Thank you 20s for showing me that my strength is immeasurable. Thank you 20s for showing me that if I can just show up for myself, sometimes that’s all we need. The present moment is all we have, and I want this next chapter to embrace the present and let go of the anxieties that exist outside of the present. 

So as I continue to reflect on the 20s and move forward, I can honestly say I have no regrets. I am content with what I’ve done and who I’ve become, but the striving for better will continue. So thank you 20s for setting me up for a successful 30s. Thank you for the lessons about self worth and self love. Thank you for the changes, big and small; which I have now learned to embrace. Thank you for showing me how to stay true to myself, while also seeing the truth of others. Thank you for bringing amazing people into my life and excusing those that no longer provide what I value in a relationship. Thank you for allowing me to recognize what no longer serves a positive purpose in my life. Thank you 20s for creating a stable foundation for me to flourish in. We can’t be for sure of what’s to come, but I know where my 20s have taken me, and I’m hopeful for the path ahead. Thank you 20s for the fun, the relationships, the losses, the growth, and the lessons. I’m turning to the next chapter in my life..a chapter full of unknowns, new lessons, new challenges, and new joys. A bittersweet goodbye to the 20s but an exciting and hopeful outlook on my 30s. Thank you 20s for this woman you’ve created; she’s strong, fierce, and unapologetic, and she’s now ready to say hello to the 30s!