Lessons in My Late-Twenties: Doing What You Want To Do, Not What You Think You Should Do
Your late-twenties are weird. If your early twenties are for making mistakes and figuring yourself out, your mid-twenties are for managing them, and your late-twenties are for nesting into all of your choices and taking it all in. However, what exactly is this nesting process? Is the product of your present, an outcome of the decisions you knew were catapulting your life in the specific direction? Did you sign up for all of this? Did you even agree to it?
In your late-twenties, you’ll have the grandest hodgepodge group of people you choose to keep around in your life. You’ll have your high school best friend who stayed in your hometown and had 2 kids by age 26, the couple friends who started dating the same time as you broke up around your wedding, and the friends that left college with you and still party every day but Monday.
By your late-twenties, everyone is so seemingly exclusively focused on their future and the product of their own lives and decisions. They are now starting to settle in and nestle into this freshly welcomed acceptance of self. However, there is a certain inadvertent attention put on your mind-to-late-twenties where there exists an exorbitant amount of things people believe you should be doing floating around your stratosphere. Everyone had an idea of a timeline you need to follow, and as any late twenties person is all too aware of, it’s the oh-so-unenlightened small talk of, “Are you into anyone right now? What’s going on with work? Aren’t you ready to settle down? What about children?”
Then it goes something like “Well you need to…”
“Well you should…”
Checklist, checklist, checklist.
Stop thinking about what you think you should do. What do you want?
That’s it, make up your mind about who you want to be at this moment of time. Go ahead, switch it again in five minutes.
Fear makes trusting yourself dangerous, trusting yourself to make decisions for yourself makes you responsible. The key is making sure whatever you’re doing ignites your soul and checking that your choices aren’t solely fulfilling your ego but really lighting your spark. Your soul knows what you’re talking about — don’t confuse your ego’s sense of self-fulfillment with authentic self-fulfillment (this is where all the work from managing your earlier twenties really becomes beneficial).
The sustainability in this concept directly coincides with tending to your own side of the fence. Your choices are for you — stay in your own lane, water your own grass, etc. You are having your own spiritual enlightenment on any given day, so stop trying to drag others with you or catch up to someone else. They’re in their own paradigm.
The strangest part to me is that, while I have always received my integral happiness from flowing to the rhythm of my own yoga move, we seemingly glide into this idea of the things we’re told we should be doing in our late-twenties so happily, with no questions asked. What kills me is that we are nesting into this constrained, constricted, self-induced box; we then imitate this conditioning and contribute to the idea of what we should be doing to ourselves and everyone else. We are picking out our furniture, steering the direction of our careers, and deciding the appropriately timed postmarks of adulthood all based on what others believe. We’re creating our overly-thorough Pinterest boards to decorate and nest into our own glass boxes self-willingly, and we act like we love it. This is the dream, everyone told me so. This is what you should be doing.
What do you actually want? Follow what lights you up. This is your soul connecting to whatever life path and purpose you’re divinely invited to take part in, and may I dare say, don’t ever question that voice.
Any voice in your head that starts with “I should…” needs to be stifled. Flood it in your own thoughts, because this is a conditioning of someone else’s stifled glass box that you’ve inherited into your own being willingly.
My favorite retort? “Let me live.”