Growth: On Facing Your Mid-20’s

Happy Friday! Yesterday the sun came out for a little bit and the weekend is supposed to be gorgeous! Some warm weather and sunshine is exactly what my mind, body and soul needs.  I’m not heading home for Mother’s Day and will definitely be missing my Mom.  I’ll be enjoying the day with Michael’s family instead but will be sure to FaceTime with my Mom before the day ends.  I also have a haircut on Saturday and I’m so looking forward to it! My hair needs to be freshened up!  We have a birthday party to go to on Saturday and I plan to get some running in.  It should be a good weekend!  What do you have planned?

I’ve been mentally writing and rewriting this post in my head for months.  I’ve put off writing about it because I’ve always felt that I’ll never quite get my thoughts and emotions down in a way that truly expresses how I feel.  But I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately so I’ll give it ago.  I want to talk about facing your mid-20’s.  I’m 25 and if you asked me to describe my life in one word I’d say HARD.   I’m fortunate that I have a good job that allows me to live a life I enjoy, I’m lucky to have a family that is always there to support me and love me no matter what.  I have friends who at some point or another felt or experienced what I’m going through.  I have a boyfriend who is my best friend and picks me up when I feel down, makes me feel like I can do anything and constantly reminds me that it’s ok to feel what I feel because as he says, “25 sucks”.  But what I don’t have is life experience or all the answers and I am constantly wondering does it ever get easier?

When you are growing up no one ever tells you that in your 20’s you change in a million ways.  In fact, I always remember hearing that being a teenager was tough and that life gets easier.  Please, I’d take being 16 over being 25 any day. When I think back to myself at 21 or 22 I’m completely different than I am now.  My friends are completely different too.  As you go through your 20’s you change, you figure out who you want to be and who you don’t want to be.  You realize that some of your friends aren’t what you once thought they were and you move on.  That’s hard.  If you are like me, you moved to a new city and knew NO ONE.  You are forced to make new friends who come from all walks of life and backgrounds. You learn that it’s hard to make true friends.  And you learn to value the friends you already have, who have been there for years.  In your 20’s you learn it’s better to have a few great friends than a lot of  mediocre ones. More so, I’ve learned that the best friend you have in life is yourself.

Dating is hard because you are constantly changing and evolving. It’s hard to find someone who can change and evolve with you.  But when you do, it’s amazing and it feels incredible to have a partner by your side.  When you fall in love you begin to build a life together, you have mutual friendships, vacations together, you share a home together, and you talk about getting married and having a family.  Some of your friends are two steps ahead of you and some are still searching for Mr. or Mrs. Right.  You can gush and share every detail with some of your friends because they are genuinely happy for you and with other friends you have to hold back a bit.  Your family has to adjust to you sharing your life with someone, sharing holidays and your time with another family.  With that comes sometimes disappointing them and hoping that in the end they just realize how happy you are.  Navigating each relationship and allowing them to grow with you is hard.

In your 20’s you realize that you can probably do your boss’s job and you are stuck in an entry-level position.  You have enough experience to gain more responsibility but not enough to get a promotion or that next level position.  You are navigating the always challenging road of speaking up and finding your voice but being professional at the same time. If you are like me, you have experience that translates to a million different careers but you are lost and confused as to which one is the right one.  In your mid-20s you learn more through failure than through success.  And that is HARD.  You think you find the answer but a month later you figure out that for one reason or another it’s not. Some days you feel like all the pieces are falling in to place and other days you feel like you can’t even find a piece to begin.

They say life is a marathon not a sprint right?  Just like marathons there are easy miles and hard miles, big hills and little hills.  Michael recently compared your mid-20s to Heart Break Hill.  When I was running up that during Boston I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and kept on going.  It was hard.  Your mid 20s is like that.  Sometimes you just wish you could quit and life would be easy but it’s all part of the journey so you just keep putting one foot in front of the other.  Like a marathon you keep hoping for mile 25 and I suppose your 20’s are like that too.  You keep hoping for 30 and keep hoping that it will all seem a little easier.

“As every runner knows, running is about more than just putting one foot in front of the other; it is about our lifestyle and who we are.”
– Joan Benoit Samuelson

You have to stay true to yourself.   You can’t be something or someone you are not.  You have to follow your heart and trust your gut.  And as I like to remind myself, “Your smarter than you think you are.”

Were your 20’s hard? Are you struggling to make it through the mid-20’s? What are your thoughts?

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13 thoughts on “Growth: On Facing Your Mid-20’s

  1. Christine @ Love, Life, Surf says:

    Mid-20s are hard!! There were so many things happening plus the pressure to feel like you had it all “figured out” and that you should be starting to settle down when that was the last thing that I felt like I was ready for. While there isn’t the huge milestone of graduating college like your early 20s, there are so many smaller ones that populate your mid-20s that, at least for me, I wasn’t really expecting. It wasn’t until my 30s that I felt like I have come into my own. All this to say that it IS hard and that’s totally normally. It is a process like Jess said and you will come out much stronger in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. runcupcake says:

    I just turned 30 in November. My 20’s were filled with life changing experience (marriage, divorce, and a lot of other ugly stuff in between). Now, as I am 30, and had so much hard experience in my 20s, I can relate to what you’re saying completely.

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  3. Jess Sutera says:

    I have to say that yes, the 20s were such a growth time for me but also very up and down. It wasn’t until I hit my 30s that I truly found “me” and am in the best place possible now. I feel comfortable in my own skin, I’ve hit my stride at work, with friendships, in my relationship with my husband, etc. It was a long road, but it’s that path we need to follow and trust and embrace that will get us to where we want to be in a couple of years. Just remember that and try to embrace the process as best as you can.

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    • liverunloveyoga says:

      Jess, I can totally grasp that about you in your writing on your blog and in your choices you make. I hope to be the same way when I’m 30. Some times it is a fun ride while other times it is a bit harder to embrace! I do my best though!

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  4. niki b says:

    As a teen, I thought the best best age to be was 25. It didn’t help to have shows like ‘Friends’ on the air to give a visual of what your 20’s should look like. 25 wasn’t the best year – I graduated college, moved cross country, started a new entry level job – hard! But then 26 was the most amazing year – I think if I could live one year over & over again, it would be that one (although, my life may be a bit boring). I was playing outdoor & indoor volleyball 4 days a week, meeting people, having fun, traveling, & coaching. I am not sure life is “easy” at any age. All ages have their own challenges. I was told while in my 20’s by friends in their 30’s that 30 & beyond was AMAZING! And I would say that is also true.

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    • liverunloveyoga says:

      I agree with you about shows like ‘Friends’ making it seem so exciting! It certainly does have it’s ups and downs. When I was 23 life seemed easy and carefree, I was in my routine. Life is always full of challenges that is true! I hope 30 is awesome!

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  5. chmgirl says:

    I’m 29 and can totally relate, I conquered my own hill at 25 and again at 28. But I can also say that having gone through these tougher time I could not be any happier now. I now have a much better understanding of who I am and what I like and don’t like. I am more confident to stand up for myself and my ideas. By the time 30 comes “adults” give you more respect and you have a bit of experience under your belt which means it’s about time for that big promotion. You also find out you are now mentoring people just starting out in their early to mid-twenties. However, new challenges arise. Your body feels different because at this point you are aging (yes, random aches and pains). Also, that added respect puts a new pressure on you. Now I am in multiple leader roles. Before I did many of the same things, but there is new difficulty in staying strong as the person in the front. My twenties were about trying everything new. Now, it’s about making something meaningful out of the things I have come to love. (By the way Whitney, you are doing some of these now like this blog! so hang in there). The difference is if I fail now the impact is greater than it was a few years ago. The other part is that I know I will fail because I am taking more risks, but those failures are not the end of the world and can be minor blips that will pay off more than if everything had gone smoothly. I mentioned two hills. The second represents the life events that are out of your control. Loss of a loved one (especially if it is unexpected) or realizing that no matter what you can’t have some things in life (intangible things). No matter how much you learn about yourself and how capable you are these events can totally rock you to your core. Going though them changes you. Up until something like this happens you are mostly in control of your life changing moments. Whitney, I know you’ve had at lease one of these- or you wouldn’t be in Boston now. Just this past Sunday I was jogging along Lake Michigan in Chicago. I had just thrown a baby shower for a close friend and thinking about all of the weddings and babies and how that has changed many things in my life. I then got a phone call that my best friend mothers had died suddenly. After dropping to the ground and lying there for a long while (this is the first time I ever actually had to sit down upon hearing bad news), I got on the train to Michigan and could not think about anything but going to my friend and hugging her. We grew up together. Her mother was an amazing woman whom I have known since I was a child. Life will never be quite the same, but life is better for having known her. I don’t really know what to make of this. At the other extreme I can not even begin to describe the amount of love I have experienced this week. I’ve spent the week back in my parents house spending time with my friends family going through pictures and reliving our childhoods (right down to my mom carting me around in her minivan). I fly back to Albany tomorrow and then go back to work on Monday. My friend will still be here, without her mother, and all of the out of town visitors will be gone. This breaks my heart.

    So that’s life I guess. It’s a marathon alright, only it’s kinda like those old mario games with the scrolling screen that just keeps moving. You can’t pause too long in one place but you also have no idea what comes next. During the baby shower, a retired woman gave me the advice to slow down and enjoy life as it happens. I have always felt I live my life that way, but I understand it more and more now. Don’t dwell too much on what happens next because you might be missing something happening right in front of you.

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  6. Emily says:

    I’m in my mid-20s too and I can completely relate! I actually thought I’d be settled down by now, but my life is constantly changing and evolving. I wonder if there even is such a thing as “settling down”? I’m excited (and only a little bit scared) for all of the great things to come.

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    • liverunloveyoga says:

      I am beginning to think there is no such thing as “settling down”. Life always seems to be changing and evolving! I’m excited too, the best is yet to come! I’m so glad I am not alone!

      Like

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