I can remember my 18th birthday like it was yesterday. It was a year that was full of ups and downs but it shaped me into an even stronger woman today. As I tried to juggle high school, a toxic relationship, and perform my best on the basketball court, it was by far the most emotional roller coaster I had ever encountered. It became a huge reality check for me to say the least.
I don’t know what it is but when you turn eighteen you suddenly think you’re grown. You become a little more confident, a bit more opinionated and you think you know whats best! I guess it’s because one receives more priveledges like the ability to enter a club, get your drivers license or even purchase alcohol – it’s that “legal” title that just makes you feel grown. But as I look back now I was so young and naive!
So I turn 24 this year – crazy right! Here I was just an 18-year-old girl tackling life’s challenges halfway across the world, to a woman that now has two degrees and is about to get married! Ahh, let us just stop and take a deep breath. Contrary to what I actually think of my ever so aging situation, 24 is still quite young! But as I sit here and actually reflect on my life prematurely speaking I’ve done pretty well for myself – yeah girl you did that! And truth be told, it’s actually an exciting feeling to know that this is just the beginning of my successful journey…
At the age of 18, I made a few disheartening decisions regarding school, boys and college scholarships and still to this day I live with no regrets. Quite shocking right? I felt like my life was almost too perfect to be perfect and it helped me to decide that there was more to life than just the silly decisions I had made. I had asked myself more than once why be stuck in the past? It wasn’t easy by all means but I learned that my happiness shouldn’t be dictated by relationships or even the lack of success I had – especially at 18 years of age. Okay, yes, I know most people would say you’re crazy! But I know without all the challenges I had faced I wouldn’t be here today writing upon my journey towards success.
At age 21 I met my college sweetheart but it was something that I never even thought would happen. I became so attached to people and in return, I was so emotionally drained and it just never worked out. So I took a break. I focused on basketball and my academics – I honestly became emotionally numb to the feeling of ever loving a person. Until well here I was head over heels for my now husband. Again, it was a year full of exciting and life-changing challenges but I was a young adult so life was moving a little faster than I hoped for. I was still young and naive, to say the least, I pretended like I knew exactly what I wanted to do in life but the truth is I didn’t. Nonetheless, my life like I said was just beginning.
Then next comes my 23rd birthday, the one where most people claim it to be the “Jordan” year of your 20’s. It’s the kind of year one may be close to finishing University if not already graduated. With that being said twenty-three is the awkward year where you become more independent yet you’re trying to figure out the direction of your life. I know at twenty-three you start to juggle more than you hoped for. I decided that I wanted to be a Physiotherapist minor in Massage Therapy – a dream that I have had for the longest. While it wasn’t filled with all blush pink roses I decided to actually major in Sociology. It wasn’t something I had planned but again I had to make the most out of the situation I was in. But I took it upon myself to finish strong and my dream to become a Physiotherapist is not yet over, in fact, I will be enrolling in my first class next Fall – yay!
Now that I have just a few months to go before turning 24 – shoutout to the June babies! I guess this year is when reality truly starts to kick in. I know for me it has. For anybody in their 20’s would agree that there are A LOT of changes during that ten-year phase before you hit the 30’s club. There comes that sometimes overwhelming responsibility for student loans, car payment, purchase of your first home, marrying you’re best friend and starting a family – the list goes on. You’re no longer that young teenager with the big attitude or caught up on what people say or think of you. Even at my age now I can really see how, arguably, maturity plays a huge role in adulthood.
So here we are now. You’re probably in the same position I deal with on a daily basis. The never ending question people seem to ask you, “what do you want to do now?” And while you try to answer it with the best possible response sometimes you just don’t know. For me, this phase of my life is becoming an exciting challenge. You no longer want to depend on others but you don’t want to disappoint them either. While you try to figure it out it can sometimes be overwhelming. I honestly never imagined my life to be like this. It was as if my compass led me in a totally opposite direction of where I saw myself 6 years ago at age 18. In addition, I am now in my third country living my best life I could possibly live.
As I reflect on my earlier years of adulthood, while it may seem like you have it all together it honestly takes some pretty hard bumps and turns to really know that you haven’t – just speaking from experience. Nobody can really tell you what you should do and trust me you get a lot of people expressing their opinions – but honestly, your family and friends just want the best for you, so take it on board sometimes. You’re not alone. I have had to learn to take on board what my family and friends have shared as I’ve gotten older and sometimes it’s not been the easiest thing to do.
Which brings me to the reality of friendships in your 20’s. If I think about it, my parents or anybody for that matter never really prepared me for losing friends along the way of dream chasing. In actual fact, it becomes harder to catch up with friends especially in my case as I studied abroad. It’s like a never-ending cycle of friendships, literally. You may lose one friend, gain another and then your girlfriends are seeing new friends that they’ve met and so on – trust me, it can sometimes work in your favor.
However, I think this is where I struggle the most right now. I’ve never been one to have a lot of friends, just a personal preference honestly, but now that I have gotten older it hits home quite a bit. I have lived in three different countries now and one would have thought I would have so many, but I don’t. Over time you sometimes learn that the people you use to associate yourself with are holding you back from heading in a positive direction. Furthermore, you tend to move away from the negative in hope of a positive change. It’s the true reality of life sometimes, unfortunately – you gain some and you lose some along the way.
Now that I am in my 20’s I can honestly say that making friends is a little harder than you think. I am not talking about the friends you already have but creating new friendships whilst you’re in your 20’s. Amongst all the exciting events throughout your life like having to juggle marriage, University life, work etc, it can be months even years before you see that person or even your group of friends again. It has been over 2 years since I have been back in Australia to see my best friends face to face. It does take a toll on you when you live in a totally foreign country and you know absolutely nobody but your husband. But as I have gotten older I have learned to appreciate having that human connection between people. It’s just how life works – sometimes for the better.
So as I reflect on 24 years of my life, I have overcome some obstacles that only life in itself can explain. So as I let my fingertips finish off this post I am truly excited for the rest of my life and to see how much more I will grow as a woman. It is just the beginning of a great career…
20’s in a nutshell. I hope you enjoyed my post & all the best!
Be sure to leave me a comment xo
Miss Rose 🌹