How to Thrive in Your Twenties: Say Yes, Say No, Embrace the Unknown

How to Thrive in Your Twenties: Say Yes, Say No, Embrace the Unknown | Positively Smitten

Last time around, I talked about the importance of having love for everyone, some good therapy, and a reliable pick-me-up. Here are a few more things that I’ve found, when I practice them, help me thrive and deal with the trials and tribulations of being an evolving twenty-something woman.

Say yes.

I am very aware that I will likely never have the same freedom as I do right in this moment. I am young, single and I don’t have any children. This means if I want to hop on a plane and volunteer in Brazil for a year, I can. If I want to start a new life in Chicago with my best friend, I can. At any moment, I can make a decision and besides figuring out the logistics, there is nothing holding me back.

How crazy would I be to not take advantage of that? I hope to someday be married and have children, but I’m also really enjoying the flexibility to say ‘yes’ to whatever comes my way. When I’m older and have a family of my own, I will be thankful for having so many people to consider when making decisions; but while I’m young and commitment-free, you can bet your sweet bippy I’m going to revel in the freedom.

Say no.

On the other hand, much of my twenties has revolved around learning how to say no and create boundaries. I am naturally a compassionate person and can be giving to a fault, but when I would find myself drained and not having focused on anything I wanted to do that day because I was so focused on helping other people, I knew something had to change.

Boundaries are necessary for any healthy relationship, whether it be personal or professional. I realized that I was betraying myself everytime I accepted an invitation that I wasn’t fully invested in or I tried to overcompensate in someway. My fear was that by saying no, someone would feel differently about me. But the truth is that the people who truly value you will always understand. Mutually fulfilling relationships will not require you to betray yourself in order for the bond to be sustained.

Saying no can be a powerful tool to build yourself back up. We have to grow to recognize when it is necessary. If I don’t vote for Liz, no one else will.

Embrace the uncertainty.

If you’re like me, you’re constantly being barraged by loved ones and strangers alike with some of life’s biggest questions, like what do you want to do with your life? What’s your plan? Are you dating? If not, why not? If so, when are you getting married? (Crystal knows all about that one.)

Don’t let the questions steal the excitement that comes from not knowing what’s to come. There’s a reason why people have so many questions to ask, and that’s because we have so much left to discover.

The more we do, the more we will know about our preferences. If we’re not absolutely sure that politics or painting or paragliding is our life’s purpose, or that John Doe is our soulmate, then we have to give ourselves the space to explore what or who else is out there. We can’t follow a path simply because it’s accessible and right at our feet. We can’t not follow a path because we’re unsure where it leads.

Be certain enough to know there’s wisdom in being uncertain. Create your own way, however many zig-zags and detours you might encounter, and let go of the need to know what happens next.

This is the second piece of an ongoing series by Liz. Calling all twenty something ladies: holla at me! What do you agree/disagree with? What would you add to this list?

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