Your 20s are the defining decade of your adulthood. You live vicariously and make decisions that may ultimately help or hurt you in the long run. It’s the time to be free and see the colors of the wind unapologetically. You fall in love, buy the most expensive car, mooch off your parents, travel, get drunk or arrested, meet people, spend money you don’t have, rush to do things that you couldn’t do before, and eat all the junk food you can. The 20s are the “lit” stage of your life. You make a lot of dumb decisions but if you are not careful these decisions will cost you a lot in your 30s.
So, you spent your 20s not budgeting financially, obtaining numerous credit cards, trying to keep up with the Joneses, borrowing excessive amount of money from friends and family, pursuing higher education without a plan, not prioritizing your goals, living outside your means, or not taking care about your health but then the 30s come and it’s like you got hit by a storm. This reminds me of work. As a Detention Screener, we have several cases to take care of per shift. Sometimes, the shift before me is unable to finish their cases so they pass it over to my shift which causes a problem. In addition to my cases, I must deal with the cases from the previous shift which is more work for me and stress. Bad decisions will cause you to waste time doing more than you should. Poor decisions in your 20s can become added weight in your 30s.
Making the right decisions is vital especially as you get older because some bad decisions take longer to recover from than others. People spend hours, days, weeks, and even years reflecting and trying to recuperate from poor decisions. Then, there are those decisions that paralyze you with fear and doubt and you remain cocooned in your mistakes.
Imagine standing at the altar on your wedding day and all these thoughts are roaming in your mind telling you that he or she is not the one. You look over at the crowd of people who have come to celebrate your union, but you want to avoid the embarrassment of not getting married, so you proceed with the ceremony. Then, your inward doubts circulate swiftly in your mind. Five years later, and two children together, you find yourself in divorce court arguing with your spouse. If only you went with your gut, then all of this would have been avoided.
Looking back, I thought I was unstoppable in my 20s. I was in a rush to do everything. I wanted to be married with kids, so I dated as much as people and stayed in loveless relationships. But, none of them worked and I invested time that could have been allocated in another area in my life. Also, I wanted to have my career, so I bounced from job to job seeking the perfect position. I made a lot of mistakes trying to find perfection and it left me empty, broke, and unfulfilled. In my 30s, I found myself trying to gain what I lost in my 20s. Bad decisions in your 20s can lead to playing catch up in your 30s.
Honestly, I can say that I lacked wisdom and instruction in my 20s. The decision to eat out every day or put gas in your car, the decision to date that guy that you know is a cheater or remain single, the decision to bounce from one job to job another or stay at your job and climb up the corporate ladder, the decision to splurge after receiving your financial aid refund or save the money for a rainy day, and the decision to rush to the altar and marry someone because all your friends are getting married or wait until you find the right one to sweep you off your feet — these are some decisions people in their 20s encounter. One of the things that I learned in this life is to be mindful of our decisions. Sometimes, you can be so eager to have it your way that you become reckless in your actions.
Written by: Sandra J. Charite