…stop reading ageist lists!
The twenties are the most complex, disoriented decade. On the one hand, you are told that this is the time to make your mistakes.
- Go on lots of bad dates
- Kiss a couple of frogs
- Get fired
- Drink alcohol all week
- There’s a party over there and a party over here (S Club will show you how!).
But wait, this is also the time to be responsible.
- Move out and buy your own place
- Get married and have kids
- Earn a considerable amount
- Have a stable and successful career
Let’s not forget:
- Travel the world
- Eat at a Michelin star restaurant
- Learn a couple of languages
- Study and work abroad.
With the millennial generation, we are known to be a group which truly reaches for the stars. In spring this year, Merrill Edge reported that “63% of millenials desire financial freedom vs. retiring”.
The digital world has opened up our sheltered eyes and unveiled an endless pursuit of possibilities. We no longer want to have our own office; we want to run an office and in fact we want to travel for work and have our names as brands.
It seems success is earned younger and younger. Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook in his twenties; Huda Kattan launched her eyelashes in 2013 (in her late twenties) and ‘Zoella’ has a few years to go before she reaches 30.
We rarely read about the entrepreneurs who achieved greatness much later. That in itself puts mounds of pressure on the rest of us, who are trying to endeavour our own toes in this online river.
When I read these lists – what to do before your 30’s etc , I feel my anxiety stirring. I do not want to read about my shortages, yet on the contrary, I want to know where I stand. I find it perpetually frustrating when I hear my talented, driven friends, inform me that they are failures – unmarried and in their thirties.
What a breakthrough Sex in the City was, to have older women not all settled down. Yes they still had urges and yes they wanted different things.
Although I know that I aspire for something that my loved ones do not chase, I continually analyse if I am doing ok. My biggest fear is being stuck on a train; everybody has moved on and are now flying in a plane, where as I am trapped at a station.
At my half-way point, I feel an urge to complete my twenty-something list. I have not really travelled the entire world and I am not yet confident enough to communicate Spanish. I cannot control biology and I may run out of time to selfishly complete my own goals when I have a family back home.
The answer lies in my favourite book.
“Hope focuses on a future where you believe that things will somehow get much better for you. Such a desire though, subtly discounts the present moment of Now, by seeing it only as a stepping stone to another time in the distant future where you may, finally, become happy”.
- Chuck Hillig, Seeds for the Soul.
Instead of over analysing my life away, I should be content appreciating the present. As long as I do what I want right now and work towards my own satisfaction, I have to be confident that in the next five years, I will have left my twenties in the best way possible.
A list is just a list; our own happiness determines our accomplishments.
What do you think of these types of lists? Do you find them helpful to read?