Turning 26: 26 things I’ve learnt in my ‘early twenties’

Turning 26: 26 things I’ve learnt in my ‘early twenties’

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16, 18, 21, 30, 40… you could be mistaken for thinking our life is defined by these birthday milestones. In some ways they are, but then others creep up on you out of the blue and you suddenly realise that this is it. Now you’re in the second half of your twenties, you can’t get away with using being ‘the young one’ as an excuse anymore and people actually start thinking it’s acceptable to start asking you when you’re going to get married. For myself, and most people I imagine, the first half of your twenties are all about self discovery. Figuring out who you are, what you like, what you don’t like, taking risks, making mistakes, falling in lust, falling in love… Your early twenties seem like a whirlwind of trying to find out how to go from lazy, and consistently drunk, uni student who lives on a diet of super noodles to fully fledged working girl boss who lives on a diet of Starbucks and chia seeds. There’s no guide book. However I did manage to learn a few things along the way to 26…

  1. Tequila shots will always spark the downfall of any night, but it’s OK because you won’t even remember it in the morning.
  2. You can quit a job that makes you stressed and causes you constant anxiety and still survive, even though you have absolutely nothing else lined up.
  3. Bleach blonde hair only suits a very specific skin tone.┬áIt’s not yours.
  4. No meeting or interview is ever as terrifying as you have imagined it to be in your head.
  5. Work friends can become non-work friends if you keep up the important things – like tagging them in memes and meeting for pizza and wine.
  6. It’s going to take way longer than you thought to be able to buy your own house.
  7. Diet coke is an addiction.
  8. Not even living on opposite sides of the world can break your core high school friendship group.
  9. No job is 100% secure but at least you can survive redundancy.
  10. You don’t have to buy a new outfit for each new night out anymore. No one cares.
  11. You can find a man who loves you, Mark Darcy style, ‘just as you are’.
  12. Just because other people shout louder it doesn’t make their opinion more valid than yours.
  13. You are your own harshest critic.
  14. You don’t have to follow fashion trends if they don’t work for you. Skinny sunglasses can stay away.
  15. Seeing both sides of an argument is not the same as sitting on the fence.
  16. Even people you consider ‘proper adults’ don’t feel like proper adults.
  17. Almost everyone is winging it and hoping for the best.
  18. You are, slowly but surely, turning in to your mother.
  19. Hanging out with your uni friends will always make you all immediately digress to being 19 again.
  20. On that note, pub golf should absolutely have a maximum age limit of 22.
  21. Pointing out your own flaws to other people does not make them go away. It just brings attention to them.
  22. Your hair, nails and tan all determine what sort of mood you are going to be in.
  23. The risks you are most uncertain about are often the ones that end up paying off.
  24. Be nice to everyone. It’s a small world and you never know when they are going to pop up again in the future.
  25. People can die at any time. People you know. Completely out of the blue. It puts your life, and the lives of everyone you know and love, in to perspective.
  26. It doesn’t matter if people you haven’t spoken to in years don’t like what you write on the internet.

Obviously there is a whole bunch of things I haven’t got my head around yet so in the next few years, fingers crossed, here’s hoping I learn:

  1. How to stop saving everything for best
  2. How to get things done rather than perfect
  3. How to completely relax without worrying I should be doing other, not that important, things.

It’s worth a try at least.


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