Sunday, January 4, 2015

No Strings Attached

Dear Every 20 something year olds…

This year you will probably see a minimum of at least six couples get engaged, five couples from last years engagements get married, and at least two are bound to announce an impending baby.

Here is what I have to say:

“Nah, Nah, da boo boo, goody two shoes for you.”

Not really mature but honestly, sometimes I'm just at a loss for words when I see the news.

While all of those individuals just tied themselves into a nice little box, can check that item off their life to do list, you can move on because you don’t have to answer to anyone else.

Some people say that those in their twenties don’t have enough direction and I used to agree. Now, I’d say some of us have TOO much direction.

We set these milestones that have to be accomplished by this age, do this before any of my other friends, and obtain approval from everyone in my family about the path I’m on.

And you know what?


We seem to be on this frenzied path to accomplish so much that we are running ourselves into the ground to obtain everyone else’s approval without bothering to stop to realize if we have truly found happiness for ourselves.

I don’t mean we should be so negligent that we run up extravegent credit card bills, never get jobs, have no direction in life, and never take responsibility. I think that we should slow down to evaluate who we truly are, rather than letting society or our friends tell us what we should be doing.

This next statement is probably going to really upset some people and while it’s certainly not aimed at everyone, some people could benefit from hearing that tying yourself to someone else so early and so seriously is the worst thing you could possibly do for yourself or to someone else.  

For the past year and half since I graduated college, I’ve watched couple after couple get engaged and subsequently married and some even start having children.

And I just have to ask, what did you truly give up in the pursuit of having this “perfect life?”

How can you possibly know what you wanted when you’ve never truly experienced being on your own in the world away from mommy and daddy, away from the confines and safety of college where some of the biggest choices you had to make were: Do you go out on Thursday or stay in to study?

The point I’m striving to make is, some of us have yet to understand what we really want and have settled instead, on the first seemingly best thing we could find.

Every year I’ve done the New Year’s Resolution route. Just like so many others, by February, I’ve already broken them and resolved to make better ones for the next year.

This year, I think I finally found one I could stick to. Those that know me probably would describe me as the responsible, mature, old beyond my years friend in the group. The one you could always rely on to help out, say yes to volunteering, heading that project, joining that initiative.

Now, I’m going to follow my own advice. I’m only in my twenties once. It’s the only time I can rationalize taking two weeks off to go on that Europe trip I keep talking about or going on 20 first dates in a year if I want to. Don't attend a wedding for someone I didn't really ever like or keep in touch with just because it's the proper thing to do. I'm going to find out what's like to have free time on the weekends instead of scheduling every spare minute. Whatever it is, I’m done doing what everyone else thinks is the right thing and I’m going to do what I want. I’m going to do me.

My New Year’s Resolution?

“Say no to responsibility, and yes to opportunity.”

I might make some of the worst decisions I’ve ever had, but I know that somewhere along the line, I’m also going to create memories that will last forever and stories to tell friends sitting across from one another drinking a beer. For once, I might just be the irresponsible one instead of the dependable friend. Maybe I'll find that person along the way I want to spend the rest of my life with but you know, I'll make sure I've been able to make the decisions that suit me first and I'll do it on my timeline, not when society or anyone else thinks is the right time.

My roommate Georgia is the perfect example of this. She just accepted a great job offer to move to another position within her company but she had to transfer to Atlanta. She could do it because she didn't have anyone else to consult or base her decision on. Those are the opportunities I'm just not willing to give up on.

For me and others, that’s okay because it’s better to do this now, than decide I didn’t get enough freedom when I’m 40 and have that mid-life crisis that now, affects an entire family.

I just have to answer to myself and God.

And I like that concept.

(Feel free to leave me great opportunities I should explore and I’ll make a list. Or not. I’m not committing to anything just yet :D)

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