Something happened a few days back that i haven’t been able to share with you.
I ENTERED MY 30’s!
Just kidding…….that happened last year! :p
But since the blog didn’t exist then and i am the lazy sort whose ideas take about a century to transform into a more structured form …I have compiled this list now.
20’s was a good time. Youthful, promising and full of ‘firsts’. From a first formal degree to a first job, first marriage and possibly a first heart break *Ouch* 20’s are brimming with a bunch of those ‘first ever’ mistakes you made too. Just how gloriously we choose to act like a Bridget Jones is a wonder indeed! O.o
30’s is a GREAT time! Liberating and focused! Suddenly everything makes sense as if you have just been knocked down and forced awake by an invisible power. You finally have a reality check about all those bulls**t relationships you cried your eyes out on, your thoughts, emotions, words AND MESS is not all over the house, under the bed and over the couch, you are financially a lot more stable and you know your way out of the grime.
I have no regrets whatsoever but there are a few things i would like to tell my 20’s self for another life. These are 7 ‘narrowed down’ things that i learnt with experience and observation, and nobody told me about (or somebody possibly did but i was too busy being a dare devil right? :p)
BONUS: Since we are talking birthdays, 7s, personal transformation and journey from 20s to 30s here……i have shared some ‘not too fancy’ pictures from my last 7 birthdays, starting 2010, including the one where i am an extra 15kgs O.o Ainjoyyy :*
1. Get hitched early!
All of us do settle down eventually even if that coincides with our golden jubilee bash so why not do it early when you have all the energy to enjoy it? I see a lots of desi girls hiding from the thought of ‘shaadi’. They have a list of goals to achieve and think it would come to a halt after marriage. I have to burst your bubbles because that is NOT TRUE!! Reality is that if you do find a right companion early on you can create phenomenal synergies with them. You ‘grow’ as a person and deeper in love having each other’s back, experiencing life together, studying, working (towards a common goal), travelling, partying, celebrating success etc.
On the other hand, IF things don’t work out you find out at a ‘very right time’ when you are still young to move ahead, vibrant enough to pick up all the pieces and start fresh.
2. Embrace ‘Parenthood’ early!
Sounds like that nosy phapey kutni aunty’s advice right? Well, some wisdom in it for sure.
In my opinion, babies grow with you. Contrary to the popular belief, they are NOT a distraction to your career or life, rather they add A LOT to your personal growth. I also feel you are 100 times more productive when you have a lot on your plate, you learn how to push yourself out of that very sweet comfort zone. When you are a dynamic and multi-tasking mom, your kids grow up seeing a highly inspiring mom that they will look up to, which is a bonus. Also, raising kids is easier when you have a great support system and when you are in 20’s chances are that your nani/ daadi/khalas squad is still energetic too :p
Lastly, age tarnishes your energies and pregnancy, post-birth physical and emotional changes and hormonal imbalances only add fuel to the burning flame. The younger you tackle with these, the better.
3. Choose your first job (or first few) carefully
No, it’s NOT about the role or work you do. You can totally wake up one morning and change your career line forever (it has worked big time for so many people), however in my personal opinion, your first one or few jobs do set the tone for your professional life. Doing right networking and working under right bosses can take you pretty far, even if the job is not as fancy as your degree. The best time to be clear about your career goals is your 20’s.
Make mistakes, learn immediately and learn from other’s mistakes too. There will already be too much on your plate when you enter 30’s to allow you a lot of experimenting. For me it’s totally okay if you take a whole life to figure out which job you ‘really’ enjoy doing as long as you are learning and not stuck-in-the-rut. First job (s) is important because if you end up in a highly dynamic and learning environment, you will be in the same flow forever.
4. A Penny saved is a Penny earned!
S.A.V.E it when you best can!
Sure those multiple trips down the fancy restaurants might satiate your gluttony and those so-called ‘therapeutic’ trips to the shopping malls might give a temporary boost to your self-esteem, but none of these will help you afford the things which provide comfort and personal growth in the long run. There is just NO LIMIT to how much you can spend, so the best funda is indeed to ‘SAVE FIRST, and spend later’. By making saving a habit in 20’s, you can ensure you afford your own car, a decent place to live, travel and create yourself a sustainable lifestyle. Learn some ideas on how to save being a parent by ditching these things and teaching your kids about saving.
Please avoid 20’s peer pressure syndrome, most people who are pushing you to act a certain way are secretly busy trying to fix it for them. True story!
5. Build your NETWORK!
Not the one that keeps you out till 2 am, consuming junk and talking crap! It’s fun to hang out with happy-go-lucky friends who love cracking dirty jokes and impart cheap humor confidently – but chances are they would not contribute much to your personal growth. If you have never been, 20’s is the right time to put your street smart shoes on and head towards the ‘focus’ path. Right network of professional and personal people will add so much to your personality and life. Psychologists say that you end up becoming like the 5 people you spend the most time with. Excellence definitely breeds excellence, so surround yourself with people who match your ambitions, goals and values in life. And network with intellectually fun, dynamic and experienced people who can add on to your life.
6. Be Healthy!
Pregnancy, post-birth body changes and fluctuating hormones do more damage to your body than you can imagine. Sure that physique looks promising right now to binge on 2 cheesy juicy burgers at a time, devour a huge fudge cake all by yourself and laze around all day long without moving a bone. But what we eat in 20’s only prepare us for the physical challenges (read the blog post i did on PCOS) and sooper slow metabolism that lies ahead. Be kind to yourself. Opt for a healthier lifestyle and make it a habit. Kick stress out, laugh often and give your hair and skin a break.
7. Show that door to the ‘Haters’!
ASAP! Excess baggage especially negative one, only destroys your focus. You don’t have to deal with somebody else’s BS and drama. Desis, particularly are too generous with those unwanted hurtful remarks and unsolicited advice. If it’s somebody you meet rare then choose to ignore but if somebody is on your ass round the clock, they need to know where the door is. Even if that’s an employer, a spouse, somebody from in-laws, friends or a random neighbor, nobody should be allowed to play a toxic role in your life. And please beware of the ‘frenemies’ who are apparently your BFFs but digging holes in your boat while you are not looking. They are the most dangerous breed of ‘haters’. You see, Passive-aggressive attitude will do you more harm than kicking them out of your life will.
Let me know what you think about this list, or if you have something else that you feel every 20 something must do. I highly value your feedback! xx