50+ Career, Lifestyle & Love Advice for 20-Something Women
In our society, it's routinely been the job of the elders to judge the youth. Or so it seems and feels. Millennials, the current generational target, get a bad rap. They're given harsh and unfair labels by their elders. Elders who seem to have forgotten that the generation prior to theirs levied the same harsh criticisms against them back in their day. Labels they objected to and resisted.
Why must we replay this vicious cycle generation after generation?
Instead of judging, we need to embrace the differences that come with each new generation of young people. Growth, growing up and the subsequent outcomes differ for all of us. Accepting this and sharing the lessons we've learned is more productive than judging our youth for what we deem to be their missteps or mistakes. Therefore, it is in this spirit that I and several of my Facebook friends, share the lessons we learned from our 20's, for us that was a period in time when Gen-Xers were labeled as aloof, lazy and unmotivated. You know, the usual complaints.
Love & Relationships
1. In hindsight, I wish I had put less pressure on my relationships to yield certain outcomes...like marriage, children or cohabitation. I wish I had just enjoyed the ride instead of trying to get each relationship to be the one I'd be in forever. I now realize it's okay to love people for a season and be heartbroken. It's okay, you'll recover.
2. He didn't matter. And really there will be more like him - let it go. No really, let him go.
3. Throw caution to the wind and just love. Fall in love. Break hearts. Get your heart broken and repeat.
4. Love is what matters most.
5. When you find the right man, love him with all your heart and don’t worry about what my come later.
6. When you have children, bask in each little moment you have with them as they will grow up before you’re ready.
7. Don’t settle - not in your relationships, not in your goals, and not in your happiness.
8. Your relationship status doesn’t determine your worth.
9. If you’re single, enjoy being single. If you’re in a relationship, enjoy the relationship. My point - enjoy the moment; don’t overanalyze - be present and trust your gut.
10. It’s okay to be single on Valentine’s Day; just dress up and go out with your friends.
11. If a relationship no longer feels fulfilling to you, have the courage to leave. It’s okay to put yourself first. Choosing yourself isn’t selfish, it’s courageous.
Money & Finances
12. Find ways to create wealth; you have many choices investment, savings or entrepreneurship.
13. Protect your good name and your credit as if your life depends on it; because it does.
14. Save money! Save money! Save money!
15. Make it a priority to save and invest as early as you can, even if it's small/tiny amounts at first.
16. Avoid any kind of financial debt like the plague because it will hold you back and stress you out.
Career & Leadership
17. Be a leader. The world needs more women in management, leadership and political positions of power to affect change.
18. Get involved in politics now, you know enough and are old enough.
19. Speak up against injustice, even if you’re the only one doing it.
20. Stay in school until you have every degree in your field.
21. Start marketing yourself as early as possible, anywhere and everywhere you go. Yes, you may work for someone else but you never know who you will meet that you may need years later.
22. Get an education or specialized training; no one can take that away from you.
23. Change jobs as often as you can. It’s important to explore different career paths and companies by taking advantage of the opportunities that feel right to you.
Friendships, Life & Self-Love
24. I wish I knew that I had it all going on and should have had all the confidence in the world - but I didn’t. Confidence didn’t come until years later.
25. Trust your own instincts. I doubted myself a lot in my twenties.
26. You must be a friend to have a friend.
27. Time is precious. Think of the bigger picture.
28. Bangs are only pretty while you're in the salon.
29. Don’t be afraid to be independent, trust your instincts and live life.
30. Find a way to travel, travel, travel so you can be exposed to and experience as much as you can outside your comfort zone and on the other side of the world.
31. Stop men when they try to mansplain to you.
32. Cherish your family and know your friends all come and go.
33. Don’t talk about other women. There will always be someone you think is prettier, smarter or thinner than you, don't compare yourself to her and don't belittle her because that won't make you any better than her. Besides, everyone has their own drama; trust she has issues too.
34. Crying is not a source of weakness, it’s a display of strength.
35. Don’t be a people pleaser. It’s a waste of time and you won’t please them all, not for long anyway.
36. Be open to new ideas, but find your true north and don’t waiver from your beliefs.
37. Course correct as often as you need to and don’t kick yourself when you’re down.
38. Be respectful and kind to others, especially those that are less fortunate.
39. Don't bother keeping with fashion mavens, set your own style. Create your own trends and shop smart. Landfills are filled with used clothes discarded because we feel the need to keep up with fashion trends. Buy only the staples pieces that you need. Wear the same outfit multiple times. Don't spend a fortune on clothes or bags or shoes. I recently shared with my daughter that used to spend my entire paycheck on clothes and shoes before I had her. Had I not been so caught in wearing the latest fashions, I would've had a larger savings account or could've contributed more money to my retirement accounts.
40. Travel! If you can go to another country go and explore the world. See how other people live. This will open your mind and show you that no matter the country, state or circumstance; people are so much more similar than they are different.
41. Do stuff you think you aren’t old enough to do and own it.
42. Just do it! Go for it! Be it! Whatever that "it" is for you.
43. Stop, wait and enjoy life’s good and bad. Take it all in.
Health & Wellness
44. Love your body. You’re not fat. You’re hot! Be proud.
45. Your body is a temple. Treat it kindly and with respect. You’ll thank yourself later.
46. Health and self-care are important priorities. In my 20's I suffered from severe back spasms. The pain was so bad I had to do weeks of physical therapy, in addition to taking muscle relaxers just to function. The best self-care investment I've ever made was buying a new mattress because the cheap mattress I had at the time, exacerbated my pain. While you have a healthy twenty-something back, buy a good mattress. It's a worthwhile investment your body deserves.
47. See your internist and gynecologist every year. Never move or reschedule these appointments because you’re health deserves to be a priority.
48. Fruits and vegetables are your friends. I don’t care if you cook ‘em or drink ‘em, just be sure to regularly consume ‘em. Oh, and GO VEGAN!
49. When life feels too difficult to manage, don’t be afraid to see a therapist for clarity and support. After my first serious heartbreak, my therapist helped me to feel whole again.
50. Whenever possible cook at home and eat out less. It saves money and your health.
51. You can learn a lot from a Netflix documentary if you're going to binge-watch something, pick something that nourishes your mind and soul.
52. Make fitness a priority. You don’t need to workout every day, just get up and get moving don’t wait until it becomes something you're forced to do.
53. Remember NOBODY has life figured out. We're all making it up as we go along. So, be appreciative of the advice given, but never ever internalize it.