Disentangling the Chaotic 20s

Being 20s isn’t easy but we have to be grateful about it

Being 20s is hard, we’re all just starting our career, we are still far from our goals, the process is mostly struggling, suffering and we are damned to survive it. Meanwhile we see our peers achieving their dreams one by one, the grass on the other side always seems greener. Most of us wishing to skip this part and go straight to the best part of life. which is 30s or 40s when we reach the peak of our life and our career, where things have blossomed.

Life is like a season. there is summer, winter, spring, and autumn. every season has the best part. in winter you can play ski, in summer you can go to the beach, in autumn you can walk in the garden enjoying the weather. you may love winter than the other season because you rather skiing than going to the beach, but you can’t hate the rest of the season. or you gonna be upset about a whole year unless when the winter comes.

It also happens with life, life stage or the seasons’ life comes every 10 years, life changes in every 10 years. The blessing you got in each season is different, your life, your role, and your task in each decade are different from one to another. And you have to understand the blessing you have so you can appreciate it and make the most of your blessing. If you can do it then at the end of the day you will realize that you have lived a well-lived life.

Learning From Regret and Advice From Life Lesson

People tend to cannot appreciate what they have until it’s gone, people cant understand the privilege of being healthy until they get sick, also people cannot understand the privilege of being in a 20s until they old enough to realize it. When their privilege is taken from them then they will regret the privilege they didn’t use.

The best life teacher is regret, regret taught us valuable lessons, regret is pushing people to do better. We don’t have to experience regret to get the lesson, we only need to learn from others’ regret.

To learn the privilege we (people in 20s) have, we have to reflect on elder’s regret and their advice to people younger than them. To know what their regret and their advice, we can watch this video I found on youtube about regret and advice from people age 5–75.

For those who want to save time and prefer to not watch these videos, I make a summary about it in few table.

We can see an interesting pattern with people’s regret in different age range, People in 16–35 tend to regret their life choice and career, people from 36–60 tend to regret their relationship with their loved ones, and people from 61–75 tend to regret all the chances they didn’t take in the past.

And if we see at the whole advice and regret, their advice mostly based on things they learned in life or their regret in life, so the advice and regret are similar one to another, and if we combine and summarize from advice and regret it can be mentioned in few points, they are:

1. Follow your dreams

While we were in school, we dream as high as we can, we know what we want to be and to do. But when we enter the adulthood phase, we see the reality and we realize our dreams are just ridiculous and don’t make sense. we talk to others about our dream and they see our dreams is just too far to be reached. people suggest us to take the job that pays the bills and offer financial security. Since then we stopped following our dreams, stop to pursue things that we enjoy to do and we were determined to achieve back then.

After years of doing what others told us to do we feel uncomfortable with our position because this is not what we want, this is a thing that people told us to do. We feel empty inside and our deepest heart whispering to us that we should’ve pursued that dream, we regret the decision we made a long time ago because we follow others’ advice too often and barely listen to our heart.

To avoid this to happen in your life, ask yourself what you really want in life, be yourself, follow your heart. You can ask others for your opinion but don’t let their opinion be your guide in life. you set your life guide on your own. When you want to pursue your dreams, the 20s is the best age to do it because you just started your career, you can change your career, try everything and choose what suits you the most.

When you choose your career path, work hard, push harder, be committed, be persistent, be patient, because it’s a long journey. if you facing multiple setbacks, take a deep breath, be prepared to bounce back. Because nothing is permanent, things always can get better.

2. Learn as much as you can

Learning late in life is painful, to know what you should have known earlier when everything is over is painful. You’re only hoping if you knew it earlier things could’ve been different, you feel you can change your whole life when you know it earlier.

It’s possible to avoid learning the hard way, you don’t have to suffer just to take a life lesson. Read a lot of books, learn from other people’s mistakes, listen to others’ advice. Gather all useful information for you. When you learn a lot, you can arrange your life better, you can take decision better, you will not regret the decision you make because you already have a big picture about it and you already calculate everything about it.

“Some lessons have to be experienced before they can be understood.”

— Michael Batnick

We know, some things are cannot be avoided and it’s better to be learned the hard way. Make sure you learned it when you’re young, learn as much as you can from experience while you’re still young so you don’t have to experience it again in the future or even learning it late in life.

Because most of their regret is they wish they knew it earlier.

3. Take Chance

Do what you want to do, don’t be afraid, say yes to every opportunity because you never know where it will bring, opportunity comes rarely. And it applied in every aspect of life, either in career, social life, or anything. Because At the end of the day what you ask yourself is what you already did in life? not what you have in life.

“In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take, relationships we were afraid to have and the decisions we waited too long to make”

— Lewis Carroll

It’s better to regret things you did than regret things you didn’t do. Dare to dream, apply for the job you want, confess your feelings to someone you like, don’t be afraid, if you never try then you’ll never know. if you’re failed at least you tried. Better failed because of trying than quitting before you even try. Even the chance to win it is low but the chance is never zero. Remember, nothing is really wasted under the sun.

Do it before you the chance is not there anymore or you realize that you’re too late or too old to do that.

4. Live life

Use the youth well. Live your life well. Most interesting activities only can be done in your 20s because you’re still free from big responsibilities such as family or career and you still have the energy to do it.

Experience everything, do the unusual thing, explore things. Try unusual activities, try multiple sports, learn new things, try a food you never tried, go to random places, talk with stranger, go out from comfort zone, be unpredictable, try that extreme sport while your body is able to do that, go out and experience everything you can. Because when you’re old, what matters to you is only memories you can relive from the past. Your glory days.

To live your life well is including to spend time with your loved one. The 20s is the best time to do it because most of our parents are still alive, we still make a strong connection with our friends in our age and some of us having the first child. We are surrounded by people we love. Maximize it, love it while it lasts, because when you grow old, your parents will be not here anymore, your friends will be busy with their own life, and your kid is growing up and leave you to study or work in a different city.

Because the regret most elders have is to not trying so many activities they wanted to do and not spent their time enough with people they love.

-> Conclusion

Don’t rush to grow old, enjoy the process, find yourself, be everything you want, do everything you want to do. You only get this chance once in your lifetime, and it’s today, in our 20s.

All writings are based on writer’s perspective.