What (I Hope) To Leave in My 20's

A strange thing has happened to me in the last six months as I’ve approached 30. I’m not sure if anyone else has had this experience, but I’m often awakened at night, dreaming of a situation that occurred, or as I’m going throughout my day, a flashback of a situation drifts into my mind, or I’m in a conversation with someone, and a sudden bout of memory hits me–all recreations of events that I participated in during my 20’s.

Some of these flashbacks reference my job. I think about times that I participated in a conversation at lunch and maybe shared a little too much information, spoke a little too loudly, and potentially offended and annoyed my colleagues. I think about interactions I had with my friends that I maybe judged too much, said something a little too insensitive, flaked out on a commitment. At the time these situations were occurring, and I was reacting, of course, I felt it was the right way to go. 

I can’t say these events are necessarily welcome, because most of these events are situations in which, seeing myself on THIS side, I’m a little embarrassed and even a little ashamed of. Of course, in the moment, my reactions to these situations seemed absolutely right, but it seems as though my post-20 year old self wants to reflect back on these situations to say, “Britany, what were you EVER thinking? That was really out of line/annoying/immature/self-serving of you, actually.”

As I move out of my 20’s, there are a few things I’d like to leave behind:

#Selfies: Do people care that I am wearing my glasses today? Do people care that I actually showered? Do people care that I’m at the gym? No. People don’t care. Everyone is so busy and overwhelmed with everything they have going on in their own lives that no one cares about my #selfies. So why am I posting them?…

FOMO: When you work/hang out/live in a small community of people, FOMO is real because because, if you miss an event, the group moves on without you, and you severely feel it. But, moving into my 30’s, there are lots of groups of people I associate with. I can’t possibly expect myself to go to every single event each of these groups put on. And, sometimes I just need a nap.

The Bachelor & Drama: Not sure if I have just matured, or if Peter’s season really does suck, but I have turned off every single episode this season. I can’t handle the fake bickering and the contrived drama. There are people dying of hunger in this world, and I’m spending my time, listening to some 23 year olds yell at each other about “who took the champagne”? What authority do I give some 23 year old on love? And, why am I even watching The Bachelor?

Strict travel plans: I did not travel often while I grew up, so when I turned 20 and finally had time, money, and the freedom to do so, I wanted to go everywhere, and when I went on these trips, I felt it was most important to pack the most amount of fun into the least amount of time. But since then, I’ve realized the, while there are limiting factors, it is relatively easy and cheap to go where ever I want to go, and the likelihood that I could end back up at one of those travel locations (if I missed something on my first go-around) is very high.

Accolades & Accomplishments: When I turned 28, this slightly morose epiphany came over me–I was not going to ever be famous. When I was 23, 24, 25, I still felt I had a chance; some big brand might pick me up to be an Influencer, an out-of-the-blue producer may pick me up to do a reality T.V. show, an agent loved my unique singing voice, etc. Then I hit 28 and realized none of those things were happening for me.

In my 20’s, I spent a good deal amount of time chasing accolades and accomplishments–line items that I could add to a potential resume, with the hopes that someday, someone would want to offer me some kind of amazing deal. But, as I move into my 30’s, I want to care less about the accolades and accomplishments. I don’t want to be chasing followers or titles or awards. I want to chase hobbies. Rather than stay up late at night, commenting on people’s posts so that they comment back on mine, I’d rather go ride my bike. Rather than spend my weekends, going to conferences and listening to people brag about how they made it, I’d rather just go skiing. Instead of trying to network with people and try to hang out with people whose social status is one step higher than my own, I’d rather just train my puppy.

Do I regret any of these flashbacks from my 20’s? No. I am a little embarrassed, and if I were to go about it differently, probably would, but I do believe that in order to get to this side of myself, I must have first passed through THAT side of myself (I’m sure my 20 year old self looked back at pre-20 year old self and experienced a very similar reaction).

Cheers to being 30! 

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