Blog posts about the transition from early twenties to late twenties are so hot right now. I’m sure you read at least five of them on Buzzfeed’s home page, or sandwiched in your newsfeed, you know, somewhere in-between recently posted engagement announcements and baby photos. Most of them are equipped with a SO TRUE tagline and at least five SPOT ON comments.
And yes, most of these articles are spot on. Our metabolisms do slow down after 25. We can’t guzzle handles of Popov vodka and expect to be perky in our cubicle the next day. We can’t eat a giant burrito at 3:00am and still make it to Yoga the next morning. Our parents won’t loan us anymore money and our definition of a great Friday night has drastically changed (Binge watching Orange is the New Black seems to be a favorite). We used to black out and wake up with penises drawn on our faces. Now we pass out at 9:00 p.m. after a glass of Merlot and a rigorous day of what the real world likes to call WORK.
And while these articles are pretty sweet (I've done a few myself on BF), they all fail to define what it really means to be in your late twenties, beyond less sleeping in, more responsibilities, slowing metabolisms, student loan deferment, horrible hangovers and not giving a shit what people think.
In my opinion, being in your late twenties is about self-awareness (I know, super serious word). It's about recognizing the limiting beliefs and shitty scripts that have been running on autopilot. It's about shedding light on your shadows and demons, and making empowering choices to evolve as a person. And while these ideas don't make for a viral Buzzfeed article with amazing GIFS, I think its important to recognize...
Being in your late twenties is about finding the person capable of greatness and facing the side of you that wants to hide on the sidelines. We humbly acknowledge our bad habits and self-limiting beliefs and we face them head on. We shine a light on them. And in this awareness, they lose their power.
We don’t have to people please anymore. We are grounded in who we are and what we can accomplish. We make decisions based on our own ideals and not the need for outside validation.
We don’t drink every night because we have too much at stake the next day.
We no longer have "we'll get there one day" dreams. We have achievable goals with real deadlines.
We understand that some people won't give us high fives and unconditional support. Haterade can be the preferred drink of many of our peers, coworkers, and family members. They are scared of their own greatness so they discourage our ambitions. It's up to us to ignore the naysayers and proceed anyway.
We understand that doing things that are scary is necessary for growth. We don’t have to take shitty jobs on Craigslist anymore. We know our worth and what we can accomplish.
We understand that an adult relationship shouldn't feel like a drug addiction. If we date the same type of shitty people over and over, it means we still have unconscious habits and demons that we haven't addressed.
We understand that avoiding risk is actually more risky in the long run. We know the worse case scenario is never that bad. We understand that creating something meaningful requires us to take the road less traveled.
Being in your late twenties is about possibility. I love being in my late twenties. Yes, I have to stretch more. Yes, my metabolism sucks and my newsfeed is a constant reminder that I have twenty weddings to attend next Spring. And sometimes I’m still riddled with self doubt and fear. But I have seen the light and there is no turning back. I was a zombie in my early twenties, running from one distraction to the next, living off outdated habits and limiting beliefs. I never want to go back to chugging Jack Daniels in a frat house and waking up naked. I love my slow metabolism.