What they don't tell you at 25
I remember being 10 and looking up to my cousins who were in their mid-20s. I remember looking at them in amazement as they were making adult decisions. I remember the bubbling anticipation I felt of wanting to be them, wanting to live the lives they were living. I thought at 25, I’d have everything figured out. I figured people just get a Eureka moment at this age and suddenly realize what they want to spend the rest of their lives doing. I couldn’t have been more further from the truth.
Don’t get me wrong; I am very happy with the decisions I’ve made so far. I love my job – some would even argue that I’ve become quite a workaholic. I’ve fallen in love and feel very loved. I have great friends I can count on. I have traveled to places I never even dreamed of visiting. All in all, I am very happy.
But there are a couple of things they don’t tell you at 25 that I’m only learning now:
Dreams only work when you do; but not all dreams can come true.
Let’s get one thing straight: I am by no means a pessimist. All my life, people have said that I am too optimistic and have my head up in the clouds. I am the type of person who likes to look at the good in everything and everyone. I’ve always believed that if you want something bad enough, you can find a way to make it work. However, I’ve also come to realize that although the possibilities are endless, we can’t possibility do everything. Whether we want to or not, time and money become big factors the older we get.
Never give up on your dreams BUT also learn to choose wisely. Play to your strengths and learn to prioritize. Try as much as you can, but don’t be afraid to also fail.
Love is about simple moments.
What really matters are the simple moments, the moments that come after you’ve fallen for someone. It’s as simple as sleeping at night on your own side of the bed and waking up next to the person you love – morning breath and all. It’s not how many times you say ‘I love you’, but the way you show it. From surprising them with their favourite tea every time you hangout to marathoning Junior Masterchef together and secretly hoping that Gordon Ramsay yells at the kids. It’s as simple as saying “good morning” first thing in the day to saying “goodnight, my darling” before you head to bed. Love is about the simple moments. Falling in love is easy. The real challenge comes in staying in love.
Go to Iceland.
Almost every person I’ve talked to about Iceland has asked me ‘Why Iceland?” Well, why not? With its abundance of waterfalls and volcanoes, and striking architecture, Iceland is a magical land full of natural beauty. And they believe in elves! Go against the grain and visit some of the untapped places in the world. We live in an amazingly wondrous place, don’t be afraid of it.
Invest in people who invest in you.
Over the years, I’ve become selective of the people I spend my time with. It just doesn’t make sense to invest in mediocrity or one-sided friendships. Always be open to new relationship, but also learn to invest in people who invest in you. It shouldn’t just be you making all the plans to see each other. Just like being in a romantic relationship, reciprocity is very important.
Don’t be afraid of words starting in “M”.
I love the idea of weddings, but the binding thought of marriage scares me. I love the idea of owning a home, but the thought of getting a mortgage is very intimidating. I love the idea of having my own family, but the thought of motherhood terrifies the hell out of me. It’s funny how these life-changing events all start with the letter “M” but it’s not the poor alphabet’s fault, and like everything else in life, the world has a way of working itself out in the end. Change is always scary. But I think it’s important to not to let this fear cripple us. The only permanent thing is change, so let’s take it head on.