In a decade where I was really hoping my toughest decision would be: “Is it too late for coffee or too early for wine?”, I am realizing the mid-twenty years are tough. Or, way tougher than I ever anticipated.
I thought the early college years were a challenge, but I’m finding my current state is even more so. We “mid-twenties” are smack dab in the middle between the “fresh out of college” early 20s crew and the “let’s start a family” decade of the early 30s. The more I think about it, the typical “life at 25” is just a real, big welcome to adulthood and “cheers” to figuring out life for yourself for the first time– career wise, relationship wise, and all things personal.
We “mid-twenties” don’t have quite enough work experience to make big jumps into management, but we surely have enough to not be the bottom of the totem pole either. Friends are thinking about getting engaged (like me), then married (like Sam), and then some are already thinking about or already have babies. And with serious relationships, or strong, motivated individuals, there comes wanting to buy houses (hello mortgage) and upgrading your first car to something newer and shinier (hello loan #2 or #3 depending if you have student loans already). It’s just a mish-mash to try to figure out the balance of life and everything that goes into it.
Since I’m quickly approaching the 2-6 in May, I’m finding I’m right in the middle of all of it.
Sometimes, it feels like time just seems to be going by faster. I blink and March is over, and tomorrow we are 6 months until our wedding day, and I can no longer remember what I did 3 weekends ago because I’m already thinking about what I’m doing 3 weekends from now. I have to schedule in that appointment 5 weeks from now because it’s the only day it’ll work for the 4 people that need to attend. My life is glued to my calendar. I can’t remember for the life of me what hours or what location my fiancé is working at tomorrow because he told me yesterday, and I forgot to write it down.
Thoughts are often swirling my head – is this what I’m supposed to be doing? Am I doing this well enough? What is going to be the next thing? Shoot, I forgot to do this or that. What can I make for dinner with what I have in the fridge? Did I call ____? Do I need to pick up ____ from ____ store? It’s like an ever growing to do list that I can never get ahead of. I’m five minutes behind schedule usually, and then, it starts to drive me crazy. So much so, that I start to drive others around me a little crazy without trying to. (I’m sorry Josh) And often I’m left completely exhausted.
So then, I think about a couple of things:
- I go back to this thought that being in the middle of my second decade on this planet is just tough. Sure, some people that are beyond and in their wiser decades will probably say, Breah, life itself is tough and you are so young. And I get it, it’s never going to get any easier and we will only have more responsibilities in the future. But, there has to be some method to the madness – some kind of solution to somewhat control the crazy. And there has to be others that are in the mid-twenties that feel the same way.
- I realize that I know that I need to tell myself to STOP and SLOW DOWN! Let things happen as they happen. Go against my natural programming and actually go with the flow. Don’t plan. Don’t worry. Don’t get so caught up in the next thing, because it is only the thing right now that you can control. Of course, this takes effort too, but I think it ultimately is less than trying to tame the anxiousness brewed by all the worry.
I’ve found finding ways to prevent the “mid-twenties” crazies is the way to go. I’m not saying that it always works (we are human, after all), but these things sure have helped me.
- I make sweating a priority. Even if it seems like the last thing I have time for, I’ll squeeze in a workout class or a quick run a couple times a week. After I go, I almost always feel instantly “renewed”. To me, working out usually entails sweating, a lot of sweating. But, this could be different for everyone– could be just going for a 20 minute walk around the block with your dog or laying in child’s pose for 10 minutes in your living room. Just do something that feels good, that you enjoy, that you don’t have to feel like you have it schedule it into your day.
- On my commute to and from work, I listen to something inspiring. The 40 minutes to and from work are often the times I start to focus on how I want to start the day and how to begin the “unwind” process on my way home. By listening to something I am passionate about or about something I enjoy learning about, I find it easier to disconnect from my workday and prevent my mind running wild. I enjoy listening to Jordan Younger’s Soul On Fire podcast, features so many interesting guests that have really poured their love into their lives and inspire me to search for that thing to do the same
- Get some sunshine in. There is something so magical about being in nature for at least a few minutes a day. It’s not realistic for me to say that I’m never going to have lunch at my desk again at work or that I’m going to walk around the building every hour. But at least I can make the intention to get out during the day for some kind of sanity break, at some point in the day. And it truly does make a difference. You should try it.
- I am learning to be okay with doing nothing – literally. Sometimes the best thing is letting your body rest. Sleep that extra hour. Watch that stupid show that you can just tune out watching for a few minutes (I admit, maybe The Bachelor). Do the anti-planning thing and just hang out.
For some people, taking bubble baths or reading before they go to bed does the trick too. Basically, everyone has their “things”. And I can say my mid-twenties are tough, because that’s where I’m at right now. And, I know I’m not alone in getting worked up about these little things and it’s going to be a life long adventure, but at least I also know that I’m human, and you are too, and we can always work at things to better ourselves and seek to find some kind of balance.
My hope is that you can relate and find some perspective to find those things that make you slow down. That those things are the most important things and may be just be what we need to be able to enjoy the best parts of life. The parts of life that truly make our souls glisten.