Whether this is a letter to myself or to all the friends I've seen grow up around me, I wanted to send my wishes, as we take on different paths and go different ways, of the things I hope you'd at least have the chance to experience in your 20s. 20s because this is the best time to build ourselves, to find ourselves, so we can fall into ourselves fully in our 30s. And even if our timelines don't align, that having these experiences will still be worthwhile.
So, to my dearest 20 somethings, these are the things I would wish for you.
1. I hope, at some point, you've had the chance to live alone. Alone. Not just with friends or a partner. But a space you could call your own. A place with just you, to solely reflect all that you are and can grow to be. To see the things about you, you may not ever know, untouched by anyone else. The way you clean or don't, the way you cook or can't, the way you just like to sing and dance around in your underwear. The way you spend time with yourself. The way you cope and heal, and define happiness.
2. I hope you've quit that job you hated. I hope you have found the courage to leap and change life for yourself. To live this one life you have, the very way you'd want to. I hope you have come to realize that the only true obstacle in life is yourself, and the only person who can change that is you.
3. I hope you've lost some friends. Not because I think you deserve it, but because I think everyone outgrows others at some point, and I wouldn't want it for the growth of either of you, to maintain with familiarity out of habit or the fear of the unknown.
4. I would never wish it upon a soul, but I hope you've tasted heartbreak. I think heartbreak is one of the cruelest feelings to human kind. It can bring out the deepest of pains in us; enough to be a real fear. But it can break us in the most wholesome and authentic ways to challenge us to become our highest selves. It teaches us how to love and let go, to learn and grow, and to always remember that the Universe doesn't take sides and it is up to us to win or lose. It teaches us reality; that things won't go our way, that people aren't always who they say, and that we sometimes bind ourselves to the very things that are hurting us. But that, we can absolutely and most definitely come out as better versions of ourselves and our lives if we seek it.
5. I hope you've gotten lost in an unfamiliar city. And in turn, I hope you've lost a bit of yourself there. Learned how to stay calm, how to go with the flow and trust that things will work out, all while, getting your breath taken away by that moment of the new sights around you.
6. I hope you've spent too much money on things you didn't need. So that you'd learn the importance of saving, and realize all the important things you'd wish to invest your money into most. The hard-earned dreams that come true.
7. I hope you've realized that your degree does not at all define you. I never expect you to know exactly who you are and what you want to do in life. But I would hope you to know all that you are capable of, all that you live and breathe, all that you encompass and have no limitation or obligation to. I hope you would know what things light up your eyes when you talk about them are. The things that cannot be defined by a label.
8. I hope your collection of family photos have began to balance with your selfies. Because our parents and grandparents aren't getting any younger. Not our siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. I hope your teens years of homework and rebellion have passed, and you have come to see the beauty in the moments of laughter with family. The memories of just spending time together, with the very people who have grown with you. Because one day, we will miss them.
9. I hope you've learned that not every opportunity is a good opportunity, for you. That not every new friend has to be yours, that not every high-paying job is the best for you, that not every loss is actually a loss at all.
10. And lastly, cliche, but impossibly overrated: I hope you have learned to love and accept yourself for all that you are. Because who would do a better job at that than you. I believe that when you build the courage to do so, to own who you are and the things you believe in, the world will notice and the rest will follow. Seamlessly. Life falls into place, although sometimes life hasn't really changed, just our perspectives on it.
And as I have said before, in our 20s, is our best time to fail. To give it all and at least die knowing we've tried. Cheers to our 20s! To those in their 20s by age and by spirit.
With Love & Warm Hugs,