I love Olivia Wilde’s response of being in 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, “At the end of your twenties, you realize you are inherently flawed, and that’s great, and that’s what makes you dynamic. For me, personally, it was around 27 when that kind of return to self took place, of living for myself, not living to keep up expectations. You know, I think you go from living for your parents to your peers, maybe back to your parents, maybe to your employer—You go through all these stages of living for other people, and I think at 30 you say, it’s my life and I live it for me”.
I did live my 20’s for others, till I met my husband in grad school. I am in my later part of 30’s now, and I couldn’t agree more with Olivia’s comments of living for ourselves.
Right after college, I didn’t know what I wanted in life and doubted many of my choices, including building my career in Information Technology. Since my early 20’s, I overloaded myself with endless work, took on more than I could chew, and competed with others in everything I did. Secretly, I was hoping one of the things I took on would help me find my true calling in life, and I blamed things that didn’t go my way for drawing me away from it.
I was confused and tired.
Not until the age of 29 did I let go of all of negativity and things I couldn’t control. Instead of blaming everything around me and myself, I let go of wanting to control things, accepted my accountability, and most importantly re-focused on myself.
I love Brene Brown’s take on “blame”. “Blame” is how we discharge our pains and disengage ourselves from others. In order to find empathy in relationships, we can consider accountability for any situation we are in.
There is no perfect template on how to live your 20s and 30s. So, live your 20s to the fullest even though you are not sure what you might want, and enjoy your 30s with those lessons from your 20s.