Cheers to The End of my Twenties!
It is my last year in my 20s. I know, you probably wouldn't have guessed it but it's true. I've gotten through my 20s. Whew. How interesting has it been! So many life lessons I've experienced. From myself, family, friends and romantic relationships. Here's An Ode to my Twenties. I used to have this weird relationship with age. Maybe because I held such high expectations of myself and when I didn't do it the "right" way, I found myself feeling behind in life.
At 20 years old, I thought I was getting my life together until everything came crumbling down, at least that is how I felt at that time. It all may sound so cliche but the lessons here are quite simple and there's no need to complicate things. The first lesson I want to share is do not rush. I moved out for the first time, and I felt that I was on the right track. I was working at Target for $9/hour, I was going back to school, and I had a car. This is what I thought living the right way was. I wanted my freedom. I always have. I admired my independence and when things took a turn, feeling like a burden was something I didn't want. I relied on other people to get around and public transportation, I even walked. I didn't truly enjoy the luxury of living in my shared apartment with my best friend. My mom lived closer to work, so I spent most of my time there. After the lease was up, I moved back home. I thought I had life figured out.
Two years later, I enrolled in college. The Wiley College. At 22 years old I was starting over and that meant living on campus and dedicating the next four years to it. Education was my way out. I have always believed that. Back home, I tried school twice but never followed through. I needed to do something different. I needed to change my environment. I could no longer put my needs/wants aside, so I prioritized that. A month before leaving home, I made the decision to go. I made excuses before of why I didn't go to college right after high school like I intended. I told myself, nothing or no one was going to get in my way this time. I felt a bit insecure about starting college at 22 because that's typically the age where people are finishing. It's funny now when I think about it, but I felt I was too old and behind to be starting college at 22. Though I tried to mask it, I carried it until I made an irritational decision. After a successful first year of college, I went back to work at Target for the summer and I saved enough to get my own apartment. Naive of me to think that I was helping my boyfriend at the time as well. I moved into my apartment up the road from campus, but I wasn't alone. I moved too fast in that relationship, and it cost me a lot. Mentally, emotionally and financially. A few weeks after renewing my lease, I moved back on campus. This was a hard decision, but I do not regret it. It was the second-best decision I could have made for myself.
My self-love journey came after that tumultuous relationship. I was starting over again. This time, I needed to do the work. That meant therapy, surrounding myself around positive people, journaling, listening to podcasts and becoming more active in student organizations. I became an advocate of mental health after enduring my own traumatic experience. It was that year (2018), where I had the idea of starting my blog. Things were going in a positive direction for me and for the first time in a long time, I felt that I was doing things right. This carried until the end of my senior year, the year Covid-19 broke out. I didn't have a definitive plan of what I was going to do after college. I mean, I had ideas like attending graduate school for sociology at Morgan State University, later becoming a therapist or becoming a flight attendant for traveling purposes.
When we had to move back home in the middle of the semester, I went back to work at Target while completing my classes. I made the decision to move to Louisiana with one of my line sisters in June 2020. I created a plan. I was going to find work and enroll into Louisiana Tech to earn a graduate certificate in Dynamics of Domestic Violence. The work part came about but I never started that certificate program. Instead, I worked a call center job earning $11.75/hour. I did that for 10 months then after some thinking, I've come to the conclusion this was not the path for me. Though during this time, I birthed, livinglifevividly, I didn't think this move served me. I felt that it wasn't meant for me.
So, I moved back home in May 2021. I was offered my first "big girl" job two weeks prior and at that point I felt I was capable of getting more done with the level of security I had. Here I am, starting over again. I suppose this is where I state, do not be afraid to start over. Thankfully, I have a mom who understands and isn't against the idea of her adult children moving back home, especially in these times. There has been much conversation surrounding the topic of living at home at our big age. Personally, I have no shame and I highly recommend it if you are able to or if you don't want to then it's understandable but if my mother, the woman who birthed me lets me know I am always welcomed home then it's a wrap! I don't want to go deep into the state of the economy, y'all know already but it's a smart move. It's not to say that I don't want to branch out on my own because it's something that I work towards daily but I realized that my decisions in the past stemmed from an impulsive mindset, yet it has provided me with this sense of allowing myself to try, I didn't want to be so quick to figure things out to a point I'm taking anything just feel that I have something going. This time, I am doing things on my own terms along with God's help, because I believe His plan is bigger than mine. Learning to be patient is a virtue. Recognize who you are doing it for and why. Since living at home, I tried graduate school and only completed two semesters after realizing I didn't want to study public health anymore. I thought I was taking away a future because again, education was my way out, so I was unsure of if I was going to regret it. I didn't. It's okay to change your mind.
My twenties have been quite an experience, I have dealt with the unhealthy relationships and relearning how to be in a healthy relationship. Recognizing the shift in friendships growing apart or even rekindling for the better. Facing the chaos family can sometimes bring. I have over drafted my bank account many times, making poor financial choices. I went out with my friends to the club that led to being drunk at Ihop in the bathroom because I forgot to eat, and much more. My twenties were definitely trial and error, lessons upon lessons. So, whatever your twenties look like right now, give yourself some grace! I have enjoyed spending time with my loved ones, I have traveled, and I have allowed my creative nature to flow. I enjoy having financial stability. I enjoy having a routine and being organized. I enjoy consistently working on myself. I enjoy my space.
As simple as it is, do what makes you happy.
Cheers to The End of my Twenties!