Hey there loves! What’s gucci?! I’m back with my article of the month and I thought I would share what I learned from listening to Meg Jay’s book, “The defining decade – Why your twenties matter and how to make the most of them”. I guess this is a post for my twenty something readers, but also anyone recently having entered their thirties.
Without further ado, let’s get into it!
1. In your 20s, don’t quit your day job if you are employed and adhere to the principle of the strength of weak ties if you are not!
I spent a few months last year in what I could call a depressive state. I was doing office work that had started to bore the hell out of me, and that’s when it wasn’t frustrating me, forcing me to confront feelings of being controlled, afraid and “not living my best life, DOING WHAT I WANTED to do with MY days”.
I stayed up late at night, wandering how I could perfect an escape plan, run off and become a successful entrepreneur who did WHAT SHE PLEASED with her days. After all, every YouTube guru seemed to be telling me “If you don’t love what you do, quit and find something else”. Yall, today, writing these words, I can honestly say, that the above mentioned advise is THE WORST ADVICE anyone can ever give a twenty something, or anyone else for that matter! I believe that what’s better is stopping to consider why it is that you wish to quit your job and do what you “love”.
For me, it was the sense of always being told what to do, feeling like I had no say, and being bored to the point that my prayers often consisted of “Lord, I beg of you, let something exciting happen to me, or I may just die of boredom”. If I chose to quit, would I feel more in control of my life? Ideally, I imagined designing my own day, and filling it with some sort of passion, I could earn a living from, like writing (yeah not the best choice for living off an activity, at least not in the beginning lol).
It was important to separate what I wanted from what was necessary. Meg Jay too, helped me put this in perspective. Nothing stops any of us from working a nine to five and pursuing a passion, until that passion becomes enough to live on. Besides, couldn’t I think of benefits of working the nine to five? And why did I feel so powerless living the nine to five? First off, a few benefits: Independence, living with a routine, which breeds habits (still trying out that waking up early thing but yeah), learning (that will serve in life too and anywhere for that matter), friendships (the sincerest of shout outs to my office people, yall know!), confidence when you do what you thought you could not. As for the discomfort and sense of being powerless, that came with the belief, that my nine to five was imposed, could not help me on the path to finding my purpose and is not temporary. Beware of the beliefs that creep up on you unannounced! The truth is, you may not always have a wide amount of choices to pick from, but you always have a choice. Furthermore, most anything that requires time and effort ends up serving a greater purpose.
In this book, Meg Jay also stresses the strength of weak ties, when it comes to finding employment and other opportunities.
People we talk to on the daily, are often in the same situation that we are in and we may all have the same entourage. That is why going towards your weak ties can be a real benefit. Your weak ties are exposed to different opportunities, know different people and may have the scoop you are looking for, but have not obtained from your usual group. I used to feel so very guilty about this! Did I deserve the job if the weak tie was my way in? Most of us are deserving I think. It is the lack of opportunity that holds us back. In this sense, the way you obtain your job serves as no indication of whether you are deserving or not!
2. In your twenties, you are not passed the age of learning, quite on the contrary, it’s your sponge phase: take 2!
Don’t let me get into a discussion about how your frontal lobe develops in your twenties, I am not qualified ohh, but I did go away with this: Your twenties are a great time to learn! I was stuck on the idea that it must be torture, learning a new language, or an instrument once you were passed the age of like…14. Needless to say, I needed Meg Jay’s reassurance and scientific back up! Somehow, my anxiety is eased when faced with the longing thought of learning to speak my home languages and learning to play the guitar!
Life doesn’t end in your twenties
When I was about 15, I read the Picture of Dorian Gray with my English class. Instead of seeing how Dorian’s narcissism ruined his life, I grew extremely afraid of growing older, thinking to myself, today is the last day you will be this young…with every passing day, birthday. Somewhere along the line, I added the belief that your twenties was for going completely crazy and throwing caution to the wind was the rule to live by, because unfortunately once you hit thirty, it’s over boo! Queue, death of a bachelor, by Panic! At the Disco. This belief was made worst by the thought that I haven’t been crazy enough so far! Once again, those beliefs, albeit supported by the world around us, creep in! But abeg, are we sugar, so that we will melt at the first sign of rain in our thirties? Why not keep deciding whatever the hell it is we want to do in our thirties and beyond?
You guysss, if you’ve made it this far, thank you, and til next time!