I'm not quite sure what I thought my twenty's would be like. I think I assumed that everything I desired most would somehow just fall into place without much work. Somewhere along the line while working in my dream job I'd be taken by surprise by the man of my dreams, who would sweep me off my feet. We'd start a family and I'd immerse myself into being a young mom, a devoted and super involved member of my church, of course all while still maintaining my strong since of womanhood. Most of this would be accomplished by age 25.
I never voiced any of these things out loud but I'm fairly sure I was thinking it at age 18 and 19. I was still hopeful at 21 and 22. At 23 I knew it would take a miracle, and by age 24 I was in denial.
My twenty's were looking nothing like I imagined. Instead of feeling put together with purpose, I was feeling lost at sea. And the worst thing was, I thought I was alone in all of this.
When I turned 25, the age where I was supposed to have "arrived", I realized that it was time to wake up and get a grip on my life. It was time to let go of some things I'd been holding onto for too long and open my hands to whatever opportunities might be worth pursuing, things I hadn't given the time of day to before. The problem was that changing is messy and brings up emotions and stuff you need to talk through. Stuff that feels shameful at times, stuff that's hard to admit. The worst thing was that I felt like an island, alone in the ocean. No one else was experiencing my feelings, my frustrations, my disappointments and my questions. At least, no one was talking about it.
Until, a few months ago I came across an article entitled "21 Secrets for your Twentysomethings" and from there I found allgroanup.com. I began reading article after article talking about things that I was feeling, fears that I had, realities that were the same as mine. For the first time I was hearing about other people who were feeling like I was!
I heard about Paul's (the author) upcoming book and I knew I had to get a copy.
I'm a lover of books, but it's rare for me to find one that somehow speaks to me from start to finish. No word of a lie, this book did that. I recommend it for every single twentysomething! It doesn't matter if you're in college or university, working the late shift at the local gas station, newly married, forever single, living on your own or still in your parent's basement....read this book! I promise you that somewhere in these pages you will find your story. You will nod your head in agreement, you will laugh out loud because you've lived it, or you will cry because it's what you needed to hear.
A few of my favourite quotes from the book are...
"I don’t think our plans and dreams are the problem. Our krizaaaazzzy timeline of how quickly we wanted those plans and dreams to be sitting on our doorstep with a big Christmas bow is the problem."
"But we’re not settling. We’re visiting. This is a season, a stage, the perfect place in time for us to prepare to take the next needed step. You can settle for a season without settling. You settle when you completely give up, when you let your dreams be suffocated by your current reality. Visiting is simply a pit stop, and even though it might feel like the pits, don’t let it stop you."
"God gives us what we can handle, and sometimes that means not giving us the exact thing we cry out for the most."
"Because your 20s really aren’t about jumping off the plane and going back home. The life of a twentysomething is that of a nomad. Picking up your tent and continually traveling to locate the herd and test the soil so that you can find the right place to land, the right place to call home. Your 20s are not about finding home; your 20s are about finding the right place to build it."
"Are you freaked out that you have no idea what you’re doing? Perfect! So is everyone else."
"Being lost might be the exact spot that I can be found. Explorers get lost on purpose, with purpose. Explorers only find something greater if they first lose site of the familiar."
The words in this book have encouraged me beyond belief and I honestly think they will encourage you, no matter where you're at.
Because you're not an island and you're not alone.
You can order 101 Secrets for your Twenties here or find a retailer near you. Check out the blog here.
Here's to not just surviving your twenties but learning to thrive too!