20 things I learned in my 20s

Next month, I’m gonna turn 26. That means, I belong to the group “mid- to late-twenties.” This totally happened too fast. Twenties are very important. People build up a family or a career and life just gets so damn serious. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about it. Just live your life the way you want to and pay attention to the lessons you learn along the way.

1. Seeing you without makeup and in sweatpants won’t kill anyone.
I swear to God, when I was 16, I wouldn’t even take out the trash without being styled. Going somewhere without makeup? Never gonna happen. At least that’s what I thought, back then. I guess it’s because I started using makeup when I was 11 or 12. I know, pretty early. My mom wasn’t amused, but there wasn’t really anything she could do about it. I just put a mirror in my pocket and smeared something into my face, after I left the house. At some point, she just got used to it. I admit, I still have problems to leave the house without makeup. I’m just not used to it. But I try to work on that. Sometimes, I force myself to go to the supermarket with no styling at all. And I’m the worlds greatest sweatpants fan, so I’m ok with that. So far, nobody died of looking at me. I would never go to work without makeup, though. Or when I meet up with friends in a public place etc. But I definitely wear less than I used to. Everything is a little more natural.

2. There are more important things than partying.
Yes, I know that many people view their 20s as the best time for partying, but I’ve done it all before I was old enough. I started pretty early with going out. I had a couple of older friends and due to the fact that I always looked older than I was, it was never really a problem. I went to clubs, to festivals and just to every party around. “Ooops, I forgot my ID at home” was my favorite line and it always worked. On my 16 birthday, I was finally officially allowed to enter a club, the bouncer bought me a drink. He always knew that I wasn’t old enough to be at the club all these times before. Anyway, if I want to party, I can, I just don’t have any motivation. Work and college are just more important to me and by the way, it got sooo boring and too expensive. And by now, I feel old between all these teenagers. And it’s not like I haven’t been to all these parties which don’t really vary. It was just so much more fun when I was 16. Everything was new and exciting and we had this great group of girls. Unfortunately, things change and today, I can definitely go without parties and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. 2-3 times a year is totally enough for me. I might go out again, when I’m living somewhere else, where everything is new and exciting, again.

3. It’s ok to be single.
You know how everyone is suddenly all up in your buisness concerning your future? “How old are you? Oh, 25? Time for kids, right? The clock is ticking…” Ummmm, hello? NO! First of all, I need a man for that. Well, there are possibilities without a boyfriend, but I don’t want to plan being single mom, right from the beginning. And there are other plans one can have. I definitely didn’t go to college for 5 years, in order to become a housewife, afterward. I prefer career over kids and don’t judge me for that! That’s a decision everyone has to make for himself. And I’m really not good with men. I’ll probably be happier with work. Don’t let anyone tell you what to do or what is expected of a young woman. This is the 21st century. I’ll do whatever the hell I want and I don’t need a man for anything. If one comes along that’s nice, but I will not desperately look for one. And I won’t give up my plans. Never!

4. Growing up happens too fast.
When you’re a kid, you want to be an adult, as soon as possible. Why did we ever want to grow up? It sucks! Seriously, if I’d make a pro and cons list for being a kid and being an adult, I know what would win. Suddenly, life is so serious. Everyone expects so much of you. You yourself expects a lot from you. We’re all under so much pressure in a society that isn’t necessarily waiting for you. Life is hard and mean and there is not much you can do about it. You have so many responsibilities and nobody to blame, when something goes wrong.Gladly, I’m more of a growing old but not growing up type of person. I don’t take myself too seriously and live in my old little world. I do take life very seriously, though. Please tell your children to enjoy being a child as much as they can and try to make their childhood as good as you can. I had an awesome childhood and I miss a lot of it, but I’m also glad about the wonderful memories. Just enjoy every second of growing up. You’ll be an adult faster than you think.

5. Not every friend is a real friend.
When I was younger, my mom always told me that some of my friends were just using me, but as a teenager you don’t want to hear it. You live in your own world with your girls and just have fun. Live life to the fullest , no matter what. But the older I got, the more I learned about friendship and that’s not always a great experience. I’m a giver. I would do everything for my friends and I don’t give because I want something back. But there are certain things that just have to be given in a friendship. I need to trust my friend. I need a friend who is there for me, when I need her. I need a friend who will always have my back. I need someone loyal. Someone I can tell my honest opinion to and who won’t quit our bond because of it. I figured that not all people you meet along the way can live up tho these expectations. Just know that you are much matter off with a hand full of really great friends instead of a whole bunch. Don’t measure the amount of friends you have depending on your Facebook friend list. Measure it by the amount that answers their phone when you call them in the middle of the night. By the amount that you haven’t seen in years and still, when you meet, it’s like you were never apart. Treasure your true friendships because you need them in good and bad times.

6. Less is more.
No really, it is. Even though, I can’t believe I looked how I looked when I was younger, it was real. I was always a little over the top. I just wanted to be different and I never cared for anything other people said. (Still don’t!) Well, what did I have in my closet: short – very short – skirts, dresses, very tight polyester shirts, everything see-through, high heels, ugly black boots and sooo much more. I had platinum blond hair and wore too much make-up. I wanted to be just like Barbie. If one day I will be famous, these pictures will haunt me. Great times, though. :D So yeah, I was the girl who wore mini-skirts, heels, and too much of everything in high school. I looked like one of the plastics. (My friends and me weren’t called that for no reason.) I mean, fashion totally changed and girls today look sooo stylish and cool, but I’m a 90s kid. And a 90s girl wanted to look like a Spice Girl. My favorite was always Baby Spice. So I looked something like Barbie meets Baby. I’m glad I left that behind. Today, I’m so much more… ummmm…covered. Yeah, that’s the right word. And less pink and all that make-up never really looked good on me. I leave the pink or blue eye shadow where it belongs – at the store. But I bet we all made fashion mistakes in our lives and times change soo quickly. Today, I wouldn’t want to be caught dead in my UK-flag mini skirt and black kinda chunky boots up to my knees and some too short, white, half see-through polyester shirt. (My bff still can’t cope with the fact that I don’t have that skirt, anymore.) Great memories!

7. Size 0 is for children.
I was never really, really skinny. I was in pretty good shape but never size zero. And the older I got, the more comfortable I got with the fact that I have curves. I love to eat and I’m much too lazy to work out. I could lose a few pounds right now, but who cares. As long as I feel comfortable, it’s all ok. And I never had big issues with my body. The people around either accept it or look the other way. I was never the type of girl who locks herself inside the closet to change her clothes, when she stayed at a friend’s house. I don’t care to change my shirt when guys around. And no, I’m not a slut. I just don’t get the huuuge difference between a bra and a bikini. And I am absolutely comfortable with me and my body, right now. But I do plan to have my dream body one day. I just need some motivation. But I really don’t wanna be a size zero. I wanna look like a woman and not like a little girl.

8. Sometimes it’s better to stay calm.
When I was a child, I was a little shy. I know, hard to believe, but I was never one of the loud kids. And I was always afraid of everything. When I was a teenager, I was a rebel. I mean, I didn’t walk around beating up people, but I could get extremely mad. The problem was that I could never keep my loud mouth shut. It’s definitely connected to the fact that I can’t handle injustice. It doesn’t matter if it’s about me or somebody else, if someone is treated unfairly, I just have to speak up. I never cared about who was in front of me, I always spoke my mind. Especially my teachers loved that about me. They loved it so much that I had the worst grad you were able to get in behavior, a few times in a row. What an achievement. At one party, I did want to punch a friend for talking shit about me, though and some people had to hold me back. And I might have slapped some guys in the face but still, I think I wasn’t that bad. I’m much worse today, if you really push my buttons. I know, that doesn’t sound like I learned to stay calm, but believe me, I did. The only times I really get mad is when someone harms or insults my friends or family. Now that is something you should never do. Or when guys are disrespectful. That can make me freak out, as well. But everything else, I am totally better at staying calm than I was when I was younger. With some people, it’s just no use to start a discussion.

9. Have some self-respect.
With that I mean, you should never let anyone disrespect you. Especially guys. I’m talking about these idiots who think they can just walk up to you and place their hand somewhere inappropriate, before they speak their first word. Urgh, that gets me so mad. The thing is, I probably didn’t care about this as much when I was teenager. I just wanted to have fun. Who cares who the guy really is, if he’s good at making out?! That was like the most important thing and it was fun. But really, I am soooo not like that, anymore. People always ask me about how I manage to be a long-term single without serious flirts, one-night-stands or whatever. Well, the answer is that I am more worth than waking up to some strange dude I hooked up with while being really drunk. Not that that’s a really bad thing, if your single and old enough, go out and have fun. It’s just not for me. I’m not saying that it can’t happen, I’m just not looking for it. I don’t want just anybody. I have a lot of respect for myself and I want something real and special. It’s a decision that everybody has to make for themselves. NOTE: In case it does happen some day, don’t judge me! After all, I’m 25 years old and long-term-single. ;D)

10. Alcohol is never a good idea.
Well, maybe once a year or so, but if we’re honest, it never is. It definitely might be fun for the night, but it’s definitely no fun the next day. At least not for me. I can’t even drink a glass of something alcoholic without feeling sick, afterward. I used to drink a lot of alcohol when I was younger but I really don’t need it, anymore. I can totally have fun, without it. Well, the two or three times I go to a party, I do drink, but that’s it. Usually, you do totally stupid stuff when your drunk. I do. Especially when vodka is involved. I try not to drink vodka, anymore. It makes me feel extra sick. Just things you learn while growing up. And it’s totally expensive. I don’t get why people spend sooo much money on parties and alcohol, every weekend. I just want to spend my money on something other than a hangover.

11. With every year, I need more sleep.
I remember being in school without having slept at all. I remember partying all night and still attending school in the morning. I remember finishing my BA thesis, all through the night, printing it out in the morning, driving it to Mainz etc. I came back home and I was up for almost 48 hours. All of this sounds horrible to me. I don’t know why, but it seems like all  I do is sleep. I set my alarm clock to wake up after 9 hours and what happens? I wake up, feel like I haven’t slept at all and go on sleeping. I probably sleep too much and that’s a huge problem. I hardly get anything done. Although, I work better in the nighttime, the tv program is the problem at that time of day. Anyway, I thought I needed less sleep when I get older. Works for my parents and other people I know. But maybe the problem is that I haven’t had an actual daily routine since I graduated from school. That was in 2008 – you do the math! I really hope to get this back into order, someday and that I will find a way to need a little less sleep or at least a way to not be tired all day, even though I slept for more than 10 hours. (If you have any tips, please tell me!)

12. Giving up is never a solution.
Life has surprises waiting for you around every corner. Unfortunately, not all of them are good but it is your own decision how to handle it. Giving up is something I don’t know. As hard as it sometimes is, getting back up is the best thing you can do. Don’t let anything get you down. If you believe in something and if you truly believe in yourself, you will try again. There is nothing worse than reaching a point in your life where you ask yourself why you didn’t try again. Life’s a bitch, I know that. But I promised myself that I will never give up. I can deal with rejection by others; I couldn’t live with my own, because that’s the moment you stop believing in yourself. Don’t ever let it get that far!

13. Good organization is everything.
I admit, I might be a little chaotic but it’s organized chaos. I know where everything is, at least most of the time. I always had this organizing thing going on. When I was a child and had to clean my room, I started by clearing out everything. That made my room look even worse but I wanted to put everything back into place, very neatly. And I still do it like that, today. My bedroom floor might be one hell of a mess, but inside my closets, cupboards etc. everything is organized and if something is moved, I notice it immediately. I am also a compulsive lister. That totally helps to organize things. I could never start packing a suitcase a day before a two-week holiday and just put things into it. NO, I need a list and I have to check everything. To-do-lists make me sooo happy. I always have an organizer for all my appointments and I always have my ways of organizing the organizer. Hello post-its, stickers and text markers. And when I tell people that I have a week until I have to hand in a paper and they freak out, I always calm them down because usually, I have everything organized, beforehand. I have a plan, a structure, material and ideas. Good organization will totally save you lots of time.

14. It’s ok to forgive.
Definitely not an easy thing to do, but the older I got, the more I learned about it. I don’t forget what people do to me, but still, I can forgive. I guess it depends on who the person is and how much that person means to you. You will always meet people who hurt you and then it depends on what they have done and what kind of relationship you had with them. I have forgiven a few people who have really hurt me. I guess you just try to find reasons and excuses that justify their behavior a tiny bit, because these people have always meant a lot to you. Sometimes, you just gotta stand above things, but it’s a personal decision everyone has to make. Often enough it does help to let time go by and maybe, you’ll find a way to forgive.

15. Don’t try to be perfect – be you.
Seriously, don’t let anyone ever tell you who and what you should be. I really hope that everyone makes it to this stage in their twenties. The years of teenage peer-pressure are over and it is time to find YOU. Who cares what others think? They don’t have to like you, you have to like yourself. As a teenager, we were probably all at that point, where we wanted to be someone else. Where we focused on our perfect role model and we wanted to be exactly like that: PERFECT! My role-model was Barbie and we all know how natural and normally proportioned she is. If you’re in your twenties and you want to look like Barbie then go ahead, but make sure it is your own decision. With the words of the brilliant Oscar Wilde: “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken!”

16. Nothing is more important than family.
My family has always been important to be, but the older I got, the more attached I got. My mom and me are the closest mother and daughter team, ever. The day I move out will be horrible! My brother and me kind of grew into liking each other. Took us pretty much all our life. We’re just sooo different. I have a god child who is also my cousin and I would do anything in this world for this child. He is the sunshine of my life and I’m still very thankful for being his god mother. My Grandma is the best and I love how happy she is when I visit her. Really, I would do anything for my family and no matter how often we fight, those are the people I can always come back to. Especially without my mother, I wouldn’t be the person I am today and she always supported me and she believes from the bottom of her heart, that I have it in me to become whatever I want to be. That helps a lot! Anyway, treasure your family and try to spend as much time as possible with them. You never know when the day comes, where you lose a family member and you don’t want to have any regrets.

17. The perfect man doesn’t exist.
Do I have to add anything to this? I’ve met men. They all lied and cheated and played. Now I’m not looking anymore and I don’t trust any of them. I’m still waiting for a guy to show me that they’re not all the same. Gladly, I’m not into marriage and kids. Therefore, I can turn 30 in four years and be totally ok with it. I imagine it to be pretty difficult though, for those who want to start a family. But please do me a favor and don’t just take anybody. Seriously, it won’t make you feel better if you have a child and are married but there is no happiness in your life because you weren’t patient enough to wait a little longer.

18. Don’t be too serious.
You know these people that think they are all that because they’re in the working world now and think they have they’re life all figured out? Those who are just soooo serious? I hate them. Seriously, I can’t deal with people like that. Working is great. Finding your place in the world is awesome. Feeling too cool to have some childlike fun? That’s so annoying. Those people roll their eyes when you tell them you like to watch Disney movies. They think you’re stupid when you like to read something like Twilight, once in a while. Talking a little too loud, giggle attacks with your girlfriends in public, actually using the swing at a playground. I hope I will never be too serious for all of it. Every person should be able to let go and have some stupid fun. Be professional in the professional world but don’t be like that 24/7. I find people like that sooo boring.

19. Personal hygiene is overrated.
There, I said it. And don’t judge me. Secretly, you’re all with me on this one. When I was younger, I was obsessed with everything. I always wanted to be perfect. I would have never left the house without makeup or with greasy hair, unshaven legs etc. Well, I got over that. Believe me when I say that your body will thank you for not scrubbing it every single day. And washing and drying your hair everyday? No, it’s too much. And why the hell should I shave my legs? I’m single and it’s winter. And For all guys thinking “Ew, if my girlfriend would do that…” Just wait a little longer and after your lovy-dovy phase is over, she won’t be all tidied up every single day. And if you don’t shave, why should we put  up with it every single day? You think that’s fun? NO! And why should I shower when I don’t have to go anywhere? And nobody at the supermarket will care if my hair is greasy under my beanie. They won’t see it. And sometimes, I only brush my teeth once a day but pssssst, people might be shocked. ;) When I leave the house for work or college or dates or meetings or whatever I shower, I put on make-up, I do my hair and I give it my all, but don’t expect me to do that on my free days. Those are ME-days and I couldn’t care less about hygiene. YOU ALL DO IT! To my defence, I never go to bed with my make-up on.

20. Shopping always helps.
And it is cheaper than therapy. Of course, in your twenties you should definitely learn to organize your money. I’m still working on it. But sometimes, you just need it. When I feel down, a little something from a nice shop helps. Bags full of stuff always make me happy. Reward yourself, once in while because you deserve it. And when others want to tell you that you should save your money and stop buying stupid things that you don’t really need, just let them talk. Of course it’s good to save money but if you buy yourself something, it’s none of anyones business. You work for the money, you can decide what to do with it.

365 days as an Au Pair!

About haileyjaderyan

⋅ 34 ⋅ a rollercoaster ride ⋅ undateable ⋅ dreamer ⋅ explorer ⋅ disney obsessed ⋅ ♥
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