A NY (+ Universal) Guide

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A 20-Something Reflection: Anonymous 24/F/NYC

In reflections on August 5, 2013 at 11:55 am

My mom has many framed photos of a younger version of me around the house. I always stare at them incredulously – this little child, so tiny, so small, so eager. A child whose face brimmed with uncontained excitement in anticipation for a life that was still being formed. I couldn’t wait for what life had to offer. I especially couldn’t wait until I had it all figured out by 25 – for sure it would all be figured out.

Right. I remember ringing in 2013, the year I would turn 25: Jay-Z and Coldplay. I had such a fantastic time that I could barely remember the concert the next day. That following Tuesday I had the disorienting feeling of déjà-vu: I’d done this before. Yes, the year before, and the year before that. I looked at my 2013 New Year resolutions. They were written with such optimism, with such hope, and with so many action steps to ensure that my goals would be completed this year (unlike last year’s resolutions where I crossed off not one thing from my list).

And then it suddenly hit me. Here I was, 24 years old, and it seemed like my life was on repeat. I was dancing to the song of the decade; I would dance wildly to some of the lyrics, tried to fast forward over others, but ultimately hit repeat and raged to the same song all over again. I was engulfed by the lyrics. Ones that told me I was supposed to work hard, play hard. That was what your 20s were for.

I looked at the picture of a 10-year-old me again, brimming with hope for the future. But, this was not the future I had anticipated then. I didn’t anticipate the uncertainty and the loneliness that comes with being a “young adult.” And I didn’t anticipate all the mistakes I would make along the road to adulthood. In my quest to attain the life I thought I always wanted, I had fragmented, pulled, stretched, and deformed the person I was at the core.

Waking up into a newly minted 2013, the year I would also turn 25, I realized that it isn’t too late. It is now my turn, it is my show. It was my turn to let go of the pessimism; my time to stop blaming others for everything that seemed to go wrong with my life. If something was wrong and if I seemed to be repeating it year after year- the fault was completely and totally with me. Something had to change, or else I could be waking up later not having truly lived the way I would’ve liked.

The time is now. I am going to say yes. I am going to spend less time thinking about why he doesn’t like me and more time getting to like myself. Less time worrying what happened in the past, more time getting to be the person I want to be in the future. Less time looking for love, more time loving me.

The past 6 months have been incredible. I’ve visited friends in California, went on a soul-searching trip to Japan, and spent time with my girls in Mexico. I launched my own non-profit and took a new direction at my job. I’m going to own my twenties. I’m not letting that little girl down. The time is now.

A 20-Something Reflection: Julia Kim

In reflections on July 11, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Somewhere in between licking my Cheetos dusted fingers, listening to T-swift on repeat and re-watching every episode of the Mindy Project off of Hulu, it all hit me. These are my mid-20s. There’s something incredibly petrifying, suffocating and yet liberating thinking about those words. I am a mid-20something year old, and it’s no longer cute to pretend like I’m fresh out of college.  I’m in that incredibly awkward phase that I didn’t quite know existed.  College kids make me feel ancient, and yet I am too embarrassed to reveal my age to the 30-year-old something who looks like she can actually afford to shop everything organic. Instead, I am in that middle ground where I not so secretly love nights in by myself, would rather go out in flats than heels, and would rather arm dance casually at a bar than actually go to a club. I hate clubs.

I want to embrace my twenties—all of the complexities, anxieties and whatever-ties. And that starts with a commitment to doing things for myself and for only myself.

Desperate times call for drastic measures, right? So if your twenties feels at all like a “desperate time” – if you will, then take drastic measures. Do something you never thought you could or would do. And do it alone. Make it yours and discover what it is that makes you happy before you share that with someone else and then have to well…share it. Sounds selfish, I know. But be selfish. Care for yourself and prioritize that because if you don’t then no one will and you may find your hand meeting the bottom of a Pringles can, “drinking” the crumbs without a clue what it is that makes your twenties all about YOU. I am a firm believer that when you start putting yourself first and doing things that you love, then you can share that love with others and love will follow you. So start doing, dreaming, and living. The 20s are the best decade to dedicate to yourself, so define your 20s and don’t let them define you.

Love,

Julia, your fellow 20-something year old

Julia is a 20-something living in Los Angeles, California. She loves to hike, do yoga, cook, and be outdoors in her free time. She is pursuing work in Autism therapy and advocacy.

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