Twenty Things I want to do in my Twenties
I turned twenty yesterday
While I am maybe not technically an adult (though it is a debated topic), I have dropped the "teen" clip-on the end of my age and I am now an official member of the twenty-somethings club.
The twenties are a defining decade of life. It is where we use all that we have learned and acquired in our childhood and teenage years as we are sent out into the big wide world. We have the opportunity to make what we want of this freedom - and with that comes great responsibility. These are the years where the foundations are built for the rest of our lives. I want to make sure I am building my foundations right and enjoying the process along the way.
Here are twenty things that I want to do in my twenties:
1. BE FLEXIBLE
To me, flexibility is the ability to cope with change and unexpected events. It is showing initiative and making quick and pragmatic decisions to find creative ways to manage tasks and deal with problems. I don't want to over-plan things. I want to leave space for people, experiences, and new opportunities. I don't want to be thinking of my schedule so much that it distracts me from being fully present in beautiful moments. That being said, I don't want to under-plan either; moping around without a sense of direction or purpose. I want to live in a place where I am flexible; with goals that I am working towards but an attitude of adaptability and openness to change. I want to be able to easily work around the unexpected without throwing in the towel and calling things quits.
2. LEARN TO FALL PROPERLY
When you are heading with momentum in a certain direction, the last thing you want to do is to fall over. It is embarrassing, it is time-consuming and if you don't fall properly it can leave scars that you will keep for the rest of your journey. I know that there will be times in my twenties where I will fail badly, but I want to learn how to fall properly; I want to choose to not let failure make me bitter or crush my sense of self-worth and identity. I want to learn to get up and dust myself off and keep moving forward. Failure isn't the opposite of success, but part of the success journey!
3. GET ON MY FEET FINANCIALLY
I'm not going to lie, I love the feeling of spending money, but that short term feeling of happiness is so fleeting and when discipline is not practiced with spending it can lead to pain further down the track. I want to learn the power of delayed gratification and start investing into my future. I'm not a teenager anymore so it is probably time that I start taking responsibility. Yes, this means cutting back on the impulse buys, putting a serious saving plan into action and eating less 'smashed avocado', but it will be worth it in the long run. All of this starts after Coachella of course!
4. LIVE GENEROUSLY
Being generous is a way of demonstrating that you control your money and your money does not control you. Being generous however does not only involve finances, that is just one aspect of it. I believe that generosity is freely giving the resources that you have without expecting anything in return. I want to be generous with my actions, time, words and love as well as my money.
5. LOVE PEOPLE, USE THINGS
"Love people, use things. The opposite never works". I came across this simple yet profound idea put forward by Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Field Millburn and it really made me consider my consuming habits. This idea does not necessarily suggest that stuff is evil, but it recognizes that the consumerism and greed are a theme of today's society and accumulation of material possessions will never lead to true happiness. I never want to become so focused on self-gain that I treat people as a means to my own end.
6. TRAVEL MORE
The travel bug is real and I have a very bad case of it. I love seeing new places, learning about their histories, experiencing different cultures and being with all kinds of lovely people. Travel widens my perspective on the world and I look forward to more of it in my twenties!
7. LIVE ABROAD
Living overseas is something I have wanted to do for as long as I can remember, and in my twenties, I am just going to do it! I'm not sure where I'll go, when I'll go or what I will do but I think that living somewhere far away would be such an enriching experience. It would give me a deeper understanding of the certain place and culture that I choose to go to but also my own cultural orientation as I live in an environment that is new and unfamiliar to my homes in Australia and New Zealand.
8. HOLD ON TO MY SENSE OF WONDER
My teenage years have been categorized by a sense of wonder, gratitude, and appreciation as I watched the world unfold all around me. As I step into things that are new and exciting, I don't want to become too comfortable and familiar with things in my life and start taking them for granted. I am very blessed and very grateful!
9. LEARN A LANGUAGE
Travelling, around Europe especially, has left me seriously in awe of people that can speak more than one language. I took French in my junior year of high school but I barely remember a word. Let's be real, I only took the subject because it meant I got to go on exchange to France (where I spoke English 99.999% of the time with 'Bonjour' being pretty much the only exception). As I get older, I'm seriously regretting not paying attention in French class and I am determined to start learning a language in my twenties.
10. START TALKING ABOUT THINGS THAT ACTUALLY MATTER
As much as I enjoy small talk and casual banter, I also realize that there is a need to shine a light on things that really matter in the world. In the next wee while, I will be using this blog as a platform to discuss things that I am going through and things I am learning along the way.
11. START A FAMIlY
It's crazy to think that those childhood dreams of getting married and starting my own family could actually become a reality in my twenties. My friend Robyn has just started a blog with wedding planning and inspiration that is reigniting those childhood dreams again.
12. GET QUALIFIED
With just a year left of my degree, this is one thing I can cross off my list very soon. Just a year of assignments, essays, and all-nighters to endure first, but I'm ready and I'm excited.
13. WORK IN JOBS THAT I LOVE
I do not just want to work for the sake of money, but I want to find a purpose and a mission to align my actions to. I know roughly what that will look like for me, but I am believing that what I want to do will be clarified and refined during my twenties
14. LEARN NEW SKILLS
The thought of entering into adulthood has made me consider all of the little skills that I have wanted to master but just haven't made the time or effort to actually go and learn. Things like perfecting the art or espresso or finally learning how to apply my own liquid eyeliner are on my to do list for my twenties. I love this TED talk about learning new skills... and it kind of makes me want to learn the ukulele!
15. CARE LESS ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE THINK ABOUT ME
I don't want to not care what people think about me at all. I still want people to think of me in alignment with the values I hold and seek to convey and I will listen openly to advice and constructive criticism from family and friends but I don't want to waste time caring about what other people think about the petty things. I know that this won't be an overnight thing but a consistently deciding to not let a fear of other people's judgment stop me from being myself and doing things that I want to do.
16. HAVE A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE THAT BEGINS IN MY MIND
I have a very all or nothing mentality when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. I want to break the 'guilt' mentality I have created in my mind and learn that things are okay in moderation and a healthy lifestyle begins with making healthy choices... and sometimes that means not depriving myself of things I love and enjoy. I also want to learn that I am in control of my own body and it is my choice to fuel it with the right things, just because people around me are choosing to eat something, that I don't necessarily want and doesn't make me feel great, I don't have to do the same.
17. DEVELOP DISCIPLINE
I always look at elderly people who go for runs on the beach every day and think "One day I want to be like that". But how can I be like that if I am not making exercise a habit now? How can I one day keep a beautiful home that I can use for entertaining and bringing people together if I can't even make my bed in the morning or pick my dirty clothes up off the floor? I always look at the people who seemingly have it all together in admiration. It is the small things they do; their habits, routines, and consistency in their practice that account for the big things that we see on the surface. At church on Sunday, they were talking about discipline and the principle of sowing and reaping. I can't expect an abundant harvest later in life if I am not planting and nurturing seeds in my twenties. I know that where I am investing my time and energy in this season of my life is where I will eventually see fruit. I want to make sure I have my priorities right and ensure that I am investing into the right things and the areas that I want to flourish in
18. CONTINUALLY BE LEARNING AND GROWING
Just because I graduate university this year, does not mean that I will put a halt on my learning. Just because I am now technically an "adult", that does not mean that there is no growing left to do. I want to keep learning and growing in my twenties. Learning from mistakes, learning from experience, learning from people and learning by listening.
19. HAVE A POSITIVE IMPACT ON THE WORLD
I don't believe that my purpose in life is just to facilitate my own pleasure and happiness. I am at an age where more than ever in my life I am being resourced and equipped to actually do something about the things that disturb me and enrage me about the world. Actions speak louder than words, and whether you realize it or not, we can not go a single day without having an impact on the world around you. We do, however, have the decision of choosing what kind of impact we make through our actions. I want to be constantly choosing actions that impact the world in a positive way. This doesn't need to be huge either; simply smiling at someone can brighten their day and challenge the epidemic of loneliness. Basically, I want to be able to recognize the problems in my world and instead of complaining, I want to do something that makes a difference.
20. LIVE LIFE TO THE FULL
Life is meant to be enjoyed not endured.