I see it in most of their faces. They’re in a hurry to “get there” and they’re panicked that they never will. Oh how I remember being in my twenties!
In your twenties you’re an adult but you haven’t yet become the adult you’re going to be. You don’t know this, of course, until much later. A column by famous designer Jonathan Adler on his advice to twenty-somethings got me to thinking. What would I do differently, knowing what I know now?
Adler said, ‘Be super patient in your 20’s. Don’t be too worried about the future or too terribly ambitious. Enjoy yourself! Stay out all night! Jiggle about on a go-go box! I think a misspent youth can be a marvelous thing. When you’re 30, consider getting a little more varsity about your future.”
Jonathan’s advice takes into consideration that you won’t pitch a tent in a park or assume someone owes you a living.
It got me thinking about what advice I would give my younger self. I have no regrets. My twenties were what they were and I had lots of adventures and fun. But if I could do it again, surely there would be a few things I would alter. These are my top five, in no particular order.
1. Drink less. Sure, getting loopy seems like fun when it’s what all of your friends are doing, too But it really is a waste of money, time and consciousness.
2. Wear more trendy clothes, more often. Who cares if they don’t last a long time? That’s the beauty about being young. Even if you’re in less than perfect shape, you can get away with the clingy, short and trendy fashions. You’re young and that’s enough.
3. Be nicer to your parents. We all get impatient in our efforts to break away from the family ties but if you survived this long, they went through hell to raise you. You owe them some patience and to ask them a question about themselves once in a while instead of prattling on about yourself.
4. Don’t take the world so seriously. Life’s little dramas are rarely fatal or even terminal. And they happen to everyone so lighten up, Buttercup.
5. Stand up for yourself. Measured confrontation can be healthy. Properly expressed anger is a good thing. If someone enters your force field uninvited, kick them the hell back out. That little twinge in your tummy that tells you you’re being bulldozed is twinging for a reason.
So twenty-something, my dears, have some fun, take some risks, try some things. There will be plenty of time to settle down when you’re older.