Being 24 and having 3 jobs, a boyfriend, living with my family, pursuing my passions, managing my stress and anxiety, and living my faith life can seem like nothing in words, but is a lot in action. “Your 20s is a life-forming adventure” I’ve been repeatedly told by those who wish they can live this time over.
I am so grateful to those who give me advice on what to do and not do, what jobs I should pursue, how I should save my money, and many other topics of life lessons they have learned. I know all of the advice is well intended and often right, but as I have been emerging into adulthood I’m realizing this is MY life. Along with the realizations, advice, and experiences I talk about below, you can read my blog about the “7 Things Nobody Told You about Your 20s” here.
We all become overly self-aware in high school where everything seems to matter, all emotions are heightened and overwhelming, and you just want to be taken seriously. As a teen, we are expected to listen and follow directions when everything in our being wants to do the complete opposite. As a good catholic girl, I followed the rules, did what I was told, and was myself within the parameters I was “allowed” to be.
I was never an overtly rebellious child, but I had my tendencies to fall from my path and *gasp* make a mistake. At the time, my mistakes hurt others and myself, and they could’ve been avoided if I just followed someone’s advice. However, instead of beating myself up over the “could’ve and should’ve,” I have come to be grateful for my mistakes as I’ve learned from every single one.
Entering adulthood has taught me that from now on, my decisions are really my own, and should be my own. Of course, we are considerate of others when making our choices, because of my anxiety I’m one to think of every possible scenario and situation that can result from my choices. In the end, however, my choices are my own and I realized I am the only one truly benefitting or failing from them.
Sure, our decisions in our lives have an impact on those around us, but even when we make choices that hurt others or ourselves, we are immediately presented with the next choice…to turn around and fix our mistakes or continue down this path. These are facts of life I’ve personally realized by becoming more self-aware (and learning from advice I was given).
So many people share how independent you need to or should be in your 20s. How moving away, discovering yourself, being single and living on your own is the way to go. This is one way to become independent, but not the only way. I personally have gained independence while living with my parents, and if you want advice and want to hear more about that go here. Being independent is not just about doing whatever we want or going where we want–it’s about being responsible.
Seeing other 20-somethings on social media, traveling around the world, making fashion statements, decorating their homes/apartments can often make me feel like I’m not living my life to the fullest or taking advantage of my youth. But then I think, how can I do all of that without making money, building my career or forming relationships? Being independent is knowing when it’s time to work and when it’s time to relax, and being able to afford it (time- and money-wise).
Entering the workforce now in 2021 is vastly different from entering it in the 80s-90s when our parents may have entered. Because of our time in quarantine, getting a job and having a job looks vastly different from even two years ago, and us 20-somethings are entering into it.
I cannot express how grateful I am to be doing a job I love, working from home as a freelance copywriter. I didn’t realize this was the dream job for me until I got advice from my Aunt Lisa (our founder) and from a couple of my teachers from my master’s program (one of whom I am currently working with).
Personally, working has never been a worry of mine. I have always put complete trust in God that He would place me where I need to be. Along with this trust, I have a good resume, network and hardworking attitude that will help me get a new job when I need it. God asks for us to put complete trust in Him, and he presents us with opportunities to gain experience, network, and work to help us on our path.
This is also a reminder that working is not everything, and if you’re a workaholic (like me) you can find my guide on how to take a vacation here. We should all learn from the French who spend their 2-hour lunch breaks out enjoying time with friends and sipping wine, and completely clock out of work when the day is over. It’s hard to remember that working isn’t everything when our jobs often demand a lot from us. My goal is to balance the being and the doing throughout my 20s.
Being + Doing
This concept was brought to me by the Monk Manual tool. Learn how about it and how to balance being and doing with it here. About 7 months ago this tool became the key to balance in my life I never knew I needed. If you are someone who battles anxiety and worry, like me, you can benefit from this tool (and read how to combat it here and here).
“The Monk Manual is a daily system designed for peaceful being and purposeful doing,” quoted from their website. I never realized that balancing being and doing was all I’ve ever wanted and needed in my life. I’m a big organizer and planner and found that this tool brought everything that I was doing and wanting to do into a balance.
I can go on and on about the Monk Manual, but you can listen to my testimony and my advice to hear more. I am just letting you know one of the biggest keys to balancing life in my 20s is this tool.
Now to answer the big question: how do you balance life in your 20s? I have no straight answer because I’m not entirely sure how I do it. All I can tell you is my experience above, what works for me and hope you figure out what works best for you.
A piece of advice about taking advice from others (because people often like to give 20-somethings advice)–you don’t have to take the advice–*gasp*…well it’s a gasp to me. Simply listen and take everything with a grain of salt. For example, when I get told I should be working in another profession, put money into my savings, and move out of my home, I can choose to take just the advice about saving.
Know that advice comes from someone else’s experience, and it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be my experience. We all are on a different path, some may be similar to others, but we are all called in different ways, and that’s a beautiful thing.
My biggest key to finding balance as a 20-something has been staying rooted in my faith. My faith life has grown, changed and taken many shapes over the years, but the one truth of knowing I am God’s Beloved daughter is what remains in my heart.
The Lord wants us to simply be His and restore us, and you can meditate on this with Danielle’s 3-minute video here. If you have any comments, advice, or questions for me please comment here! Our team is always ready to chat, pray and journey with you.