20 Things I Learned in My 20s- Part Five

I was hoping to have this series wrapped up before my actual birthday. But if I’m completely honest, I only got two written out earlier today and by the time I got home from the spa, it took over an hour to finish a third one. Massages make me really lethargic apparently. I promise I’ll finish tomorrow. I’m really excited to share the last bunch because they are some of the lessons that I learned the most from and hold closest to my heart.

Saving money is important, but so is creating a lifetime of memories.

Above the everyday struggle with depression and anxiety, this is something that is constantly waging a war inside my mind. And I’m not even talking about my *slight” shopping addiction. I’m talking about a force of wills: the overwhelming desire to travel and experience all the things this world has to offer versus having savings and emergency funds built up. I’ve made a career in wealth management, I’ve seen people make millions of dollars and I’ve seen people blow through hundreds of thousands of inheritance, which makes this something that is even harder for me. Slowly I am learning to balance out the scales so that both my adventurous and over-analytical sides are satisfied. It’s all about making concessions in your day-to-day spending in order to allow yourself the splurge. Traveling and cons are both luxuries, inimitable experiences that I’m extremely fortunate to be able to do, and sometimes with some extra funds, I’m able to create even more unforgettable memories. It’s all about deciding what you want to get out of something. Whether it’s visiting a place you’ve always dreamed of, an annual outing with someone special that is something just for the two of you, I think that’s its okay to splurge. I’m not saying to max out credit cards or put yourself into insolvency, but with some cuts and frugality, if you can make it happen, do it! Because those experiences and memories can carry you through bad days or dark times. And 20 years from now you are going to look back on those times with such fondness that it may even be laughable that you stressed the money.

Happiness is measured on a scale that only you can determine.

Yours 20s is a decade filled with decisions and change; it’s a minefield through which step by careful step we discover who we are as individuals and what we want to do with our lives. It’s be a confusing time, as search for success and love and happiness, but see your friends and peers doing things differently. Doubt starts to set in, you start to wonder, am I doing this all wrong? I’m here to tell you that no you are not. Because despite what society may say, there is no such thing as standardized happiness. You are the only one that can determine how something makes you feel. You are the only one who can pick whether Choice A or Choice B is the right decision. I don’t care if you think conventions are for losers or nerds, I love them. I don’t care if my friends are getting married, I’m not interested in that. I don’t care that you think it’s weird that I can sit in my house for days absorbed in books, reading brings me joy. You are the only one who knows whether it’s the right time to make a move. All of these, and many others, develop and shape our lives, form our happiness. The great thing about being human is that we are all spectacularly different. As we are all unique, it only makes sense that our happiness comes from things that are just as distinctive and diversified.

Boring is actually not that bad.

I will be the first to tell you that, when it comes to day to day, I’m pretty boring. I’m a homebody, always have been, always will be. My favorite thing to do on a Friday or Saturday night, you ask; that would be curled up with a book or laid out on the couch watching a movie or binge-ing a show with a friend. Not to say that I don’t enjoy the occasional night out but anymore that is just not my thing. But boring means more than just staying in. It means that while my life isn’t perfect and there are periods of turmoil, it’s going pretty well. Drama free, low tension, non-discordant. I’ll take that any day. Life can be exhausting as is, why add to it if it can be avoided?

Five more to go! Check back for tomorrow for that last, and most profound, lessons I’ve learned.

 

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