We’re enslaved to the things we can’t control, that’s life. Our faults are the things we can change, and don’t. We go through life with such slow precaution in fear of losing what we have, despite not knowing what it is. Life takes prisoners but leaves no survivors so don’t settle for a life, confined within your worries. Don’t sacrifice control of your future for security in right now.
1. We may still shift our eyes as we wander the isles, fight our shaky hands as we hand over our I.D and get in and out as fast as we can, but we’re legal and allowed to buy alcohol. No older siblings, no watered down vodka, just the ability to make our own adult decisions.
2. Suddenly you don’t care if you miss a party, full of all too farmiliar faces from high school. You don’t care if you’re spotted at the grocery store with sweatpants and a naked face. You don’t care what other people think. You know what makes you happy and that’s all that matters.
3. Gone are the days when you can’t eat dessert if you don’t eat your vegetables. You can eat cold pizza for breakfast and alternate between salad and cake. You’ll learn the importance of eating healthy, but you’ll learn the thrill in knowing you don’t have to.
4. You can buy the shirt you’ve had your eye on, go to the beach with your friends, and you don’t have to spend the hour prior, begging your parents for money. You have a wallet, money, credit cards and control of how you use it. You have bills to pay but there’s time to do that after you do what you want.
5. Those years you spent asking your parents for a pet. Dragging a stuffed animal on the ground, reciting the responsibility you know it would be, just for your pleas to be ignored. Fortunately, if you live on your own and have the time and money, you can go to the pound today and go find a dog. Bonus: your pet – your rules!
6. Chores are inevitable but growing up means finding a way to make them survivable. Laundry, vacuuming and dishes are all a little more fun when you have a glass of wine by your side.
7. Mornings no longer start with a glass of orange juice. You can now close your eyes, take a deep breath and sip on a warm cup of coffee or tea. You will finally understand what got your parents and teachers through the days when you were younger.
8. Your body no longer wants to stay up until three a.m. and sleep in until two. Surprisingly, you’ll be amazed how much free time you have when you’re up hours before lunch.
9. Aside from missing out on back to school shopping, running into friends in the hallways, graduating High School and furthermore College, means no more algebra, last minute study sessions or the pain that is group projects. You’ll face a whole new collection of problems with a real world job, but it’s nice to live your life without a bell.
10. Your parents start to look different when they no longer lecture you about your curfew, grades or cleaning your room. In fact, you’ll want to tell them about your life, visit them when you’re bored and call them just to hear their voice. You’ll understand their unconditional love is something you can never replace.
Any day, any age, any time, you are free to boycott adulthood. You can eat pizza for breakfast and ice cream from the carton. You can pick the marshmallows out of your cereal and dip your finger in Nutella. You can wear one piece pajamas and watch cartoons upside down. You can dance to Disney soundtracks and sing into your mop. You can send a letter to Santa or eat all the Halloween candies you bought. You can spend Friday night on a Twister matt or skip a dinner party to build a fort. Get lost in a toy store or sit in a mess of pom-poms and paint.
You can boycott the bills, the responsibilities, the chores. You can cancel your plans, make some free time, ask can I call you back? You are never to old to turn away from what’s to come and savor what you’ve left. You are never to old to live young, live wild and live free.
I’ve written about the twenties and the struggles I’ve faced throughout these years, but I’ve always been fascinated with hearing others stories and perspectives. We all seem to have the same mindset yet such different journey’s. I always look forward to reading Single Strides work so thank you for offering such a great piece.
Seems simple, right? But consider this: no matter what you do you’ll be on one side of some contradiction. Some say you should stay single. Some say you should get married. Some say you should go out every night. Some say you should enjoy staying in. Some say you should travel. Some say you should focus on your career.
And that’s just it… Some say.
But what do you say about your twenties? Do you want to visit the world, or do you want to wait until you have someone special to see it with? Do you want to continue learning, or do you want to attack the real world? Whatever it is, just follow your heart. Get married at 21, or don’t. Sky dive for the hell of it, or just read a book. Just do it because it’s what you want and not what is expected.
Personally, I’m not anticipating checking things off of a list for my twenties. What I want is purely personal. I want to find myself, my true self, deep within my core. I want to fall in love, heavily, with my own heart. I want to fall asleep with happiness, and know how to let go of pain. I want to see the world out in the clouds and also the one at my own feet. I want to know me.
Ignore the lists and ignore the expectations. Focus on what your soul longs for. Say yes to the moments that will light your heart on fire. And know it’s also okay to say no to moments that wont. The only thing that’s necessary to grasp is to not be afraid of your desires, because it’s life that’s short… Not just your twenties.
So what is it like to be in my twenties? It’s magical. It’s exactly what it should be because it’s what I want it to be. Meekly because I’ll never stop following my heart along my dirt-ridden road, flooded with fallen stars I’ve wished upon. It’s breathtaking chaos, but it’s mine.
Where does your path lead?
When someone apologizes for the way they look, the things they say, it means there’s someone in their life, that taught them to be sorry for who they are. Someone taught them to make excuses for their flaws, to justify their presence.
Perhaps that’s why we confuse cocky with confident. We’re torn between who to resent and who to admire. We’re blinded by whose standing tall and whose being held up. For, even the prom queen knows what it’s like to wake up alone. The highest A-lister has felt lonely in a crowd. The most glamorous person has looked at their reflection through tears.
We compare ourselves to those exactly like us. We all have our niche. Our sense of high; giving us happiness in the darkest times as everyone’s goal is to simply survive tomorrow as they did today. Everyone has the right to live without apology and as a result, they will live without regret.
It’ll be a simple, straight forward text, what’s up?
My thumb will hover over letters on the keyboard, aching to tell you about my insecurities, my deepest fears. I’ll backspace the lines I wrote, flustered about the things that kept me up at night. I wish I could respond, filling your phone with my failed childhood dreams and my too ambitious goals. I wish I could tell you about the music I play on repeat, the poetry I recite in my mind, the things that make me cry, every time I watch the news.
Instead, our conversations are full of empty words.There’s beauty in silence I wish we could find, but for now, silence means forgotten so I’ll wait for your texts. My stomach will toss and will turn. I’ll take a deep breath and respond, not much, you?
In fact, they’ll remember the times you gave when you had nothing of your own.
They’ll be selfish. They’ll be hurt. They’ll miss the way you made them smile and the way you made them laugh. They’ll think of words left unsaid over words that you’d once spoken.
They’ll spend the rest of their lives wishing you could’ve outrun your storm. Wishing you left your shoes in the mud and your problems beneath them. Wishing if they had only saw you break, before you let yourself shatter.
Don’t skip dinner with friends or pass on a tall glass of wine. Don’t stand in front of the candles on your Birthday cake, wishing for it to be gone and don’t count down the days to Thanksgiving like you count down the calories until you’re ‘full’. Don’t miss your favourite show to run the extra mile and don’t let the seconds in your day, waste away like the numbers on your scale.
I would love my faults if I believed you ever could but for as long as you hold my hand loose and you let your eyes stray, I will understand beauty to be what they want. I will stand in front of my mirror and suck in my stomach. I will flip celebrity magazines and dream of perfection. I will wake up early to hide the things I hate and I will wrestle with myself, when I just can’t be enough.
I will spend the rest of my life dreaming of different and when that day comes, and I finally ‘look’ right, I will look at the floor when he tells me my smile’s pretty. I will argue non stop when he says I’m perfection, because I’ll remember, to you, I wasn’t enough. It’ll take time and it’ll take hurting to one day realize, life isn’t about how you look. It’s about the person looking at you.
Don’t fall in love. You’ll analyze every word they say and the speed in which they text. You’ll stay up late wondering where they are and you’ll go to sleep crying, the night’s they’re not by your side. You’ll let your stomach knot, when you feel them drift away and you’ll let your idea of love, stand in your way of loving.
For the definition of love has mislead us to think, if it’s not dancing in the rain, it’s not love at all. So we wait for the letters, and the Cinderella proposals. We wait, and we wait, and we cry.
So, don’t fall in love with the wrong person, for the right one will never make you wait. Never make you wonder. Life isn’t about someone, it’s about the right one. It’s about silence that feels right, and love that feels easy. It’s about nights alone, knowing they’ll be back and once they’re back, it’s knowing they’ll stay.
And if one day you lose someone who stepped too soon off the sidewalk, who took a fatal trip, or whose life worked against all odds, do nothing more but appreciate the breaths they took and the life they lived.
We can ask our loved ones to stay indoors, to lock the windows, to lay in blankets. We can ask them to stay in the comfort of a shelter, in protection. We fear we’re not strong enough to handle someone else’s pain so we tip toe around the truth that loss is inevitable and pain is survivable.
No matter the path we take or the speed we go, when it comes down to the crash, our life is in as much jeopardy as everyone else in the car. So, don’t let a day go by without remembering, life is never a question of how they died, it’s a question of how they lived.