I turned 25 recently… last month, recently…
Because of my frequent and long-term travel, I’ve started to wonder if I’ve made the right decisions. If not having my life in order at this age is such a bad thing.
At age 25 I’m supposed to have a home to live in, a career on its feet, married or on the cusp of it, and perhaps a dog- or pet plant, right? I mean, everyone I see around me, everyone I know- they’re all doing it. It makes me feel inadequate. It makes me feel as if I’ve done something wrong, that I’ll be far behind and won’t ever catch up, and as if my life will never be in order.
It got me thinking. At 25, am I a failure?
Here are the 25 reasons to be happy your life isn’t in order at age 25:
25. Being alive.
At 25 years of age you still have so much time, and so much to live for. There’s plenty of time for a career, or two or even three if you want to be an over achiever like that. Who says you have to go straight from college to work for the rest of your life. I prefer to make life enjoyable, meaningful, and worth it.
24. Having opportunities to grow.
Growing up is often stunted when you try to figure everything out too early. You stop taking other opportunities when you set yourself up for only one path.
23. Learning to be alone.
Most people will say they aren’t afraid to be alone. But then again, most people don’t know what that really entails.
22. Having an upper-hand in the workplace.
By giving yourself the opportunity to take on different roles, in different industries, travel, experience different points of view, cultures, and ways of conducting business- you now have the opportunity to bring that with you wherever you go. Being multi-talented with multiple insights, and a view from out of the box makes you a valuable employee. Now is the time to gain as much experience as possible in many different areas of your life.
I know people everywhere. Including around the U.S. You should too. Grow your network. Meet people around the world. This will leave you open to learn new language, open doors to friendships and other opportunities, and make your life far more satisfying.
20. Becoming stronger.
If you can navigate yourself through 13 countries alone, hike mountains for 16 hours in the dark while it’s raining in October in Germany, do a tough mudder, a marathon, etc- you can do just about anything.
In other words, take some leaps. Do things you’re afraid of.
19. Not having a mortgage right now is probably the greatest thing ever.
School debt. Credit card debt. Car loan. Now a house mortgage?? Slow down there chief. One step at a time. No need to pile all that debt onto yourself at such a young age. By taking one step at a time you are saving yourself a few headaches down the line.
18. Wait, no, not having kids right now, that’s great too.
Kids are a joy, and are a beautiful part of life. But, not having them at age 25 isn’t a crisis, it is a gift in itself. There’s still time, don’t panic!
17. Getting to know yourself.
Your life changes, and you grow, but only if you allow yourself. There’s a little hidden gem in there. Don’t wait for your mid-life crisis. Now is THE time to do get to know what you want, and become you!
16. No one to consult.
Relish in the fact that you have no one to consult when making decisions. No one else is being uprooted. This fact allows for decisions that are best for you.
15. Taking HUGE risks.
There’s no denying that to reach your goals and dreams, sometimes you have to make risky decisions. But the payoff can be spectacular.
14. Learning to admire failure.
Failure is a part of life, but many people are afraid of it. I’m not. Why should I be. I’m capable of picking myself back up and dusting myself off and trying again, or trying something different. So are you. Now is the time to commit as many epic failures as possible. Figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. You don’t have your whole life for those kind of conditions.
13. Getting love wrong.
Learning what love is not is just as important as learning what love is.
12. Learning to get love right.
There’s a difference between romantic love and simple love. Learning those differences is key. But learning what love you deserve is essential. Finding that love isn’t easy. You’ll learn a lot from those you love, and those whom love you. Sometimes you learn that compatible people don’t have compatible lives. Then there are other times you’ll learn that love can be found in many places, and can be found over and over again, sometimes with the same person.
11. Establishing financial security.
You have far fewer things to worry about now. Find security among the midst of your fun.
If you don’t respect yourself, no one will. Gaining skills and confidence is imperative to your overall happiness and quality of life. By putting yourself through the wringer, allowing opportunities to foster growth, and coming out strong will earn respect for yourself, and demand it from others.
9. Finding out what/ and who is truly important to you.
You come to realize that there is only a handful of things and people that truly mean something to you. Learning to take care of those things takes time, dedication, and commitment. It’s a lot easier to do when you have fewer things to focus on.
8. Allowing yourself to dream.
There is nothing more unsettling than the idea of not dreaming, of not reaching my goals, of not allowing my mind to run free from restraints to cleverly run back to me with grand schemes. When you start putting your mind into the frame of all work, no play, or start to cut back on thinking you’re incapable or have no time to do big things – you start selling yourself short.
7. Creating stories to tell your grandchildren.
Live your 20’s, 30’s and rest of your life as if you couldn’t breathe air without a bit of adventure in it. In other words, find a pattern of satisfaction in your life. Ways that make you come alive every week at the very least. Living your 20’s to the maximum will set you up for life stories of the craziness of you. Then continue it by living the rest of your life in measurable waves, rather than a monotone drone.
6. Get on your feet.
Needless to say, get out of your parent’s house and gain some independence. Doing it alone earns you extra brownie pride points.
5. Learning how to take care of yourself.
Not in a generic way. Learn how to cook healthy meals, budget properly, exercise, and make yourself happy in the most gratifying ways.
4. Moving across the continent, or globe.
You can do this with a family and career of course. But there’s far less risk, and so much more willingness now. It helps to challenge your point-of-view on the world, and adds diversity to your life. There are endless benefits to moving abroad, even for a short three months- 1 year.
3. Being curious.
They say curiosity killed the cat, but really the car did. Curiosity took me around the world. I looked down street upon street with curiosity and it led me to wonderful things around the world. Curiosity has gained me knowledge, and you know what they say about knowledge…
2. Discovering what you’re capable of.
People often don’t give themselves time or even an inkling of a chance at discovering their capabilities, likes, and dislikes because they are often distracted by their life. Don’t be distracted. Be proactive.
You have a chance to get out of the small town you grew up in and find a place you may life better. I have lived in Ohio (born and raised), California, Pennsylvania, Florida, Australia, Boston, and planning to move to Colorado this year. This often leads to people shaking their heads at me and telling me I need to sit still, settle, be stable. Truthfully I don’t regret any of my moves or travels. I don’t regret not settling and being “stable”. I’m just searching for a place I would actually like to stay. Haven’t found it yet… so I’ll just keep enjoying the places I go for the months or years I’m there.
(p.s…. I’ve stayed in most of these places for several years at a time)
Even if you love where you grew up, even if you return to it… returning is not the same as never leaving.