InLifestyle, Style

What I Learned from my Early 20’s

Madison Bickham Photography


Last week I turned 26 and, although it is boring age, I am officially out of my “early 20’s”! My birthday was pretty uneventful because I caught a stomach bug right in the middle of my birthday brunch 🙂 I didn’t tell anyone after I puked a couple times in the bathroom because I felt horrible that that they had all driven to Houston for brunch and some Galleria birthday shopping. So I told everyone I was fine and tried to power through for the shopping (proof that my shopping addiction is a real thing). After rushing to the bathroom for the 4th time in Nordstrom, I realized it was not going to be an enjoyable experience. Then, I spent the next 5 days cooped up in the house trying to fight it off. So my 26th birthday turned out totally different from all the other birthdays I’ve had! Today on ATB I’m going to share some things that I have learned from my early 20s. I wanted to do some sort of birthday post and thought this would be fun! I linked all of my outfit details under my pictures to shop. 

Things I’ve Learned:

Work Hard, Play Hard 

While your twenties should be a time to live it up and have fun, it should also be a time to work your ass off. It’s easy to fall into the habit of wanting to go out with friends, hangout with your boyfriend, ­and just do everything besides your impending responsibilities. Starting off in the beginning by learning to work hard for the career/goals you have pays off SO much in the end. Develop a good work ethic early, while still balancing all the fun things there are to do in your twenties! It takes a lot of self-discipline and motivation that only you can provide for yourself. My motivation was always money and independence. I’ve always been a pretty hard worker and loved making my own money and the feeling of independence that comes with it!

Be Alone­­

I think it’s really important to have alone time with yourself, and love it! Being comfortable in your own company can be very challenging. A lot of people hate being alone and constantly surround themselves with people in fear of it. You don’t have to be a hermit or anything, but learning to enjoy being alone without feeling lonely or self-pitying is really good for your self-esteem. You will develop a feeling of contentment when you spend time with yourself. This will also help strengthen your relationships with other people. You will learn to not rely on others in your life to fulfill the needs that only yourself or God can do for you. It will also help you recognize negative people you have in your life.. After a while you learn that being alone is sometimes even better than hanging out with some people haha. 

Your Parents Actually Know Best 

I know… This one is hard to admit. But your parents actually do know best because they have been through it all and more already (which is weird to think). I don’t know if any of you ever look back and think “Omg my Mom was right when she said –”. Yeah, I have. Don’t be afraid to call your parents or anyone else who is older/wiser to ask for advice or help. You might think you can figure it out all on your own, but you’ll save a lot of time just by calling Mom or Dad. Google can only do so much. 

Save Money, But Live Your Life! 

As most of you know Blake and I got married pretty young (I was 22, he was 23). Sometimes we look back and kick ourselves for making bad financial decisions. There’s times that we think “If only we would have saved more money this year or last year we could do- xyz”. But then we remind ourselves of the many fun trips and times out with friends that we did do which created lifelong memories.  Money is super important- we have definitely learned that. But living your life and doing youthful things now is also important!  My mom once told me that throughout your entire life you will have times where you will be very financially secure, and then other times you could be financially insecure- no matter how much money you make. It all depends on your situation at the time and the season of life you are in. We have also realized that we are so young and STILL figuring out how we want to manage our finances, and that is okay. What works best for us, doesn’t always work for everyone else. You have to figure it out for yourself and do what’s best for your relationship/career.

Drinking Alcohol Is Not That Great…

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy drinking socially! But I cannot hang like I used to. The older you get the worse hangovers get, the less you are able to get done the next day, and  the more you will bloat like a balloon. I am very careful when I want to have a couple more drinks than normal because I HATE the after feeling. It’s not always worth it and it’s tacky being that person that’s acting a sloppy mess (not cute). Not to say that that­­­ won’t ever happen again, but those days of going out every weekend are long gone for this girl! I also look at drinking through another lens now, in terms of calories. I cannot eat and drink whatever I want, without gaining weight, anymore. Alcohol has tons of both sugar and calories. I’ve learned what’s actually worth the splurge. If Blake and I are going to eat Mexican food (our fav) I will think “Do I want a couple margs? OR would I rather splurge on a coke (love a good coke) and not get the headache later”. I definitely choose to splurge on a coke more often instead since I rarely let myself drink them. Choose your calories wisely people!

Stop Caring So Much

We spend a lot of time in our early twenties caring so much about things that don’t matter in the short or long term. I’ve gone through the book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” twice now. First, I read it, then I listened to it on Audible. I would totally recommend downloading Audible and listening to it in the car or while you’re getting ready for the day! I felt like I got more out of it that way. Anyways, the book isn’t about not caring about anything.. But about choosing what to care about and put your energy into. So you’re being judged for doing something you love… who cares? Someone messes up your order at a restaurant… who cares? Your friend unfollowed you on Instagram… WHO CARES? If you stop entertaining pettiness, the pettiness will stay out of your life. 

Agree to Disagree

I truly believe that if we could all learn to agree to disagree the world would be a better place. This is something I have worked so hard to be better at the past couple years. It’s  so important to stand up for what you believe in, but to also respect that others are doing the same thing even if their opinion doesn’t match yours. Try listening to someone else’s perspective, it could open your mind to a bigger picture. If you still don’t agree, agree to disagree on the topic knowing that y’all have different opinions due to your own personal circumstances. Blake and I are actually very opposite from each other in a lot of ways, and don’t agree on everything (don’t worry, we do on the important stuff). But we’ve learned to accept each other’s differences/opinions and still love each other! Plus it makes for good conversation when you don’t agree on every single little thing.

Say “No” More Often

In your early twenties you are experiencing a lot of new things. Maybe you are starting a new job, joining a new organization, starting new relationships, or even getting married. It’s easy to want to say yes to everything. But this is where you can end up taking on way more than you can handle. In my early twenties, I realized my people pleasing tendencies created a lot of extra stress at times. Learning to say no to things that you either straight up don’t want to or don’t have time for will help de-stress your life, and make you more productive for the things you do want to say yes to. 

Be Kind 

You never know what someone is going through and how much something as priceless as being kind could mean to someone. Just be nice to people- everyone. It’s as simple as that 🙂 

I’ve come to the conclusion that being in your twenties is weird. It’s like the trial period of  your life filled with life-altering decisions, mistakes, confusion, and some extremely fun times. The biggest mistake I have made while in my early twenties was stressing about not having my life together. But I’ve quickly realized that you’ll actually never have it all together 🙂

Thanks for reading babes!

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