Advice I Would Give to My Mid-20s Self

I’m not going to sugar coat it: my 20s were kind of a clusterf*ck.  For a teenager who thought they had the world figured out, my rude awakening came when I found I did not, by any stretch of the imagination, have anything figured out.  I put off for too long things I should have done earlier (moving to Los Angeles), and behaved probably more badly that I should have a lot of the time.  But here’s the thing: that’s what your 20s are for.  With life expectantcies getting longer by the day and 60 being the new 30 or whatever, gone are the days of being settled with kids by the age of 25.  Can you imagine?

People are waiting longer and longer to get married and have kids, and for good reason.  There’s so much life to live.  So here is my list of things that are probably a good idea to figure out, ideally in your 20s, most likely in your 30s.  You’ll be happy you put some thought into them.

  1. Speak up for yourself Oh my god, do I wish I had done this earlier.  For a woman who seems assertive and probably aggressive at times, I did not speak up for myself a lot of times in my 20s when I definitely should have.  I think it comes from not really feeling like an adult, so I allowed myself to be steamrolled.  Replaying pivotal conversations in my head and how I would/should have responded differently is something I indulge in from time to time. I’m getting better at it.
  2. Live on your own So I went directly from living with my parents after college to living with my boyfriend.  It wasn’t until he and I broke up (we later got married, but that’s a tale for another time) that I finally moved into my own apartment, paid all my own bills, and saw what it was like to really be on my own.  Now, I’m an oldest child by 7 years, so I have a bit of only child in me, plus I’m a Scorpio so guess what? I like my alone time.  However, I think living alone is essential for every person at just one time in their lives, preferably before they settle down.  It’s important to learn that you can take care of yourself.
  3. It is never too late to change. . . your outfit, your mind, your career.  Look, I spent the first part of my 20s trying to convince myself that I didn’t really want to be an actress.  But you know what?  I got there eventually.  I switched “careers,” and I use that term very loosely, like, five times before I was 25.  It’s okay to not know what you want. It’s okay if you do know what you want.  But remember that it’s also okay to change your mind.  It’s your life and you only get it once.
  4. Pay attention to your instincts My god, would this have saved me a lot of lost sleep.  See #3.  If I had just listened to my instincts and done what I wanted to do, I probably would have gotten there a lot sooner.  Instead, I’m still struggling with the career that I’ve truly wanted ever since I was a kid.  It’s okay.  I’m good with where I am.  But if I had learned to listen to my little voice, it might’ve saved me some time and some boring hours spent working at a bank.
  5. Don’t. Rack. Up. Debt. Seriously.  This is one I would go back to my teens and tell myself.  Credit card companies should not be allowed onto college campuses to solicit applications from students.  Sure, there are some that knew what they were doing, but I sure as shit didn’t.  And when you’re in college, it’s easy to think, “Eh, I’ll pay it off when I’m out and have a real job.” Don’t.  Just, don’t.
  6. Advice I would Give to my Mid-20s Self Pin | Beauty ChaosIt’s okay to walk away from friendships that are not healthy. I still have trouble with this one.  Sometimes, I get so involved in a friendship that I can’t see the forest for the trees, you know?  I’ve had a lot of friends come in and out of my life over the years, and a lot that have stuck.  The ones that don’t, it’s fine to let go.  You can mourn them, you can cry because you didn’t do your part to keep it, but do those things and move on.
  7. Take a f*cking risk Aaaaahhhh, I can’t even begin to talk about how this applies to literally every area of life.  Kiss him. Move to a new city. Leave the job for the one you want more. Leave the job you hate. Go to the audition. Go to the interview.  But just take a damn risk!  Nothing transformative ever happens inside your comfort zone.
  8. Value your family First of all, this doesn’t have to be your biological family.  I know there are many iterations of “family” these days.  But people don’t stay around forever.  Talk with your grandmother. Go to dinner with your dad.  Have a movie night with mom.  I’ve seen friends lose their parents and it knocks the breath out of me.  So hug whoever you’ve got!
  9. OMG, take care of your body!  If you don’t work out, do.  It only gets harder.  If you drink too much, cut back. Your liver will thank you.  So will your skin.  If you smoke, stop. I would have smoked forever, but my vanity caught up with me.  That shit ages you, yo.  If you eat nothing but fast food, for the love of god, stop.  Throw in a vegetable.  Your skin will glow.
  10. Don’t panic.  Everything will be fine.  Yes, I’m still telling myself this every day.  No, I still don’t believe it.  Most days, I feel like a 16 year old masquerading as an adult.  I think that’s the big secret of adulthood – you never stop feeling like a kid.  They just give you more responsibilities and more bills and shit to deal with.  But they also give you wine so, hey, fair trade?

Look, being in your 20s feels awesome and terrible all at the same time.  30s get better (hopefully), but I still don’t have everything figured out.  Even my most together friends say they don’t have it figured out.  So who the eff knows?  Just do your best, put one foot in front of the other, and for the love of god, Ray, don’t cross the streams ;).

32 Comments

  1. Halley March 5, 2018 at 10:23 am

    Great advice!! I very much rushed life in my 20’s, so I would tell myself a lot of these same things! <3

    1. Amy March 5, 2018 at 11:08 am

      Me too! I feel like they flew by before I could blink.

  2. Annie March 5, 2018 at 10:45 am

    Being in my 20s right now, these tips are so valuable. Thanks so much x

    1. Amy March 5, 2018 at 11:08 am

      I’m happy they’re helpful!

  3. Taylor Renee Griggs March 5, 2018 at 11:21 am

    Such good advice and such a good point about people settling down later in life!

    1. Amy March 5, 2018 at 11:42 am

      It’s an interesting trend, I think, especially because it took a generation or so for people to move settling down further out in their lives. It took me into my 30s to get married, but I’m one of my few friends that didn’t get married in my 20s.

  4. Alecia March 5, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    I’m turning 30 this year and thought about writing the same type of post. Some of your advice is exactly how I feel now lol. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Amy March 5, 2018 at 1:48 pm

      I’d love to hear your views! I think everyone takes something different away from that time in their life, and I had a really good time writing this and thinking back on those things.

  5. Jenny March 5, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    I love the workout section – because it’s completely true haha.

    1. Amy March 5, 2018 at 3:51 pm

      OMG, I cannot believe how much harder it is to get into shape every year! I try to stay on top of it, but if I even slip a little, it’s absurd.

  6. aly March 5, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    Thank you for the advice! It’s true! 22 seemed a lot older when I was younger!

    1. Amy March 5, 2018 at 6:41 pm

      It always does! It’s like Deana Carter said, “I still remember when 30 was old…”

  7. A. March 7, 2018 at 8:26 am

    Finding my “voice” is the one of my biggest personal accomplishments in my twenties. I’m glad you included it. It’s so so important. But this whole list is so spot on! I found myself saying “yasssss” after every single one. lol

    1. Amy March 7, 2018 at 9:42 am

      I’m so glad it resonated with you! Honestly, my 20s were so fun but I was really irresponsible in a lot of ways lol

  8. Victoria Shari March 14, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    This definitely hits home. Oh, how I wish my mom and wiser women gave me a book of advice for each stage of my life. Love your no BS approach, uncensored advice is THE BEST advice you’ll ever get!

    1. Amy March 14, 2018 at 6:29 pm

      Thank you! Yeah, I’m not great with BS. I pretty much cut to the chase. And oh, how I wish I could go back and whisper some words of wisdom into my younger self’s ear!

  9. Marina March 14, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    Pay attention to your instincts how important is this point! Sometimes I’d like to go back to my 20s only to do some important things not in a different way but with a different mind! Thank God is not possible…without all those mistakes I wouldn’t be the person I’m today x

    1. Amy March 14, 2018 at 6:30 pm

      Right? For me, it’s not about regret, it’s just about being more at home listening to my gut than anything else!

  10. Kayvona March 14, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    I’m 26 and definitely already am feeling like I had figured a few things out 5 years ago instead of still trying to figure out now. These were all really great things to think about!

    1. Amy March 14, 2018 at 6:35 pm

      I’m so glad it’s useful! Yeah, every time I look back at any age I think “wow, I really thought I knew everything when I actually knew nothing,” lol. Such is life, I suppose.

  11. Amanda March 14, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    Great tips! Living on my own made such a difference for me… especially moving a little further from home…:)

    1. Amy March 15, 2018 at 8:48 am

      Yes! I didn’t live too far from home, but the independence made me feel like I was totally out on my own.

  12. Msddah March 15, 2018 at 8:01 pm

    Hahaha, love the dont rack up debt bit. Wish someone told me that in my mother’s cannon!

    1. Amy March 16, 2018 at 8:11 am

      Girl, you are preaching to the choir, LOL!

  13. Denise March 16, 2018 at 5:47 am

    These are great tips and solid advice, and you know what? They can be applied beyond a person’s 20s. It’s never too late to take stock and, as Walt Disney said, “…keep moving forward.”
    ps One never really has it all figured out, but that is what makes life interesting.
    Love, Mama

    1. Amy March 16, 2018 at 8:10 am

      I feel that more and more every day! I think everyone feels like they’re “faking it ’til they make it” in adulthood.

  14. Chloe March 20, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    I am currently 21, these tips are great! I can get quite stressed about the future and I overthink things quite alot, I need to remember that I have time to figure it out 🙂

    1. Amy March 20, 2018 at 2:12 pm

      You have SO MUCH time! Enjoy it :)!

  15. Victoria April 2, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    I did the opposite! I had my kids at 19 and 21. I wouldn’t change a thing! Now that I’m almost 30, they are self sufficient and we are now able to travel more and do other fun things. Meanwhile some of my friends are just now having kids and I just feel happy that I’m over the whole pregnancy/baby stage! It’s a beautiful stage but a hard one. I DEF agree about taking care of your body and not going into debt lol huge mistake for me.

    1. Amy April 2, 2018 at 4:18 pm

      I think it’s a huge mistake a LOT of us make. So great that your kids are at an age where they’re able to travel and do fun stuff with you! That has to be a blast.

  16. Rachel Dellaposta June 12, 2018 at 10:29 am

    Love it!! I got a divorce last year so am living alone for the first time…. it gets lonely sometimes, but it’s also sort of great!And the part about how it’s never too late to change.. spot on! I think we should continue to change. We’re constantly outgrowing things, people, etc., and it’s ok to admit that.

    1. Amy June 12, 2018 at 1:09 pm

      Living alone can be lonely, but it’s incredibly liberating at the same time (at least, I thought so). And allowing ourselves to change is so important for finding happiness. I think we often cling to ideas of what we “should be” instead of letting ourselves change and go through ugly times every so often.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.