20 is nothing. 20 is time to make mistakes and be silly and figure out how to pay rent and buy your own groceries, which is adult, yes, but it's more of a starter challenge, something to master before you really take on some responsibility. Eventually, you get a job with some level of permanence, or take on a career that builds on past jobs. Maybe you get a pet, or even a child, or barring those two you at least take on some houseplants or a garden.
You get an apartment you plan on staying in, or if you're financially sound you get a condo or a *gasp* house. Maybe you buy a car, if you're not an urbanite, and keep up with all the maintenance that entails. You have to sort out your own vision, prescription and dental plans, and generally manage your own health concerns.
You plan vacations that don't revolve around a school schedule. Your evenings are free because homework and assignments are no longer a part of your life, and so you have to really figure out what it is you like to do with yourself. Meeting people is now much harder because you're out of school and so you actually have to put yourself out there or nurture your existing relationships in order to have friends. Socializing doesn't just happen on its own anymore, you must make it happen yourself.
I spent my 20s in a few relationships and making new and re-energizing old friendships. I took up belly dance, did some travelling, got my job, some pets, an apartment I finally plan on staying at awhile, and I've begun gardening and baking. I'm going to enter my 30s married, childless, kitties in tow in a homey apartment with a decent job.
When I was a teenager, I envisioned an artsy existence for myself. I thought I'd be working and living in a studio space, managing motherhood with my art in the city. Or something. Then I thought I'd be a journalist in the city. Then I toyed with living in the country and actually learning to drive. That didn't last long.
Like I said in my last post, I've always looked to the past. Looking ahead and planning my future was never something I did. I had vague ideas, but generally I just tried to focus on things that happened and otherwise meandered through my life, making choices as needed without too much direction. I sort of let my inclinations and heart lead the way.
Turns out I hated going to bars and concerts. I don't like high-powered work or too much stress. I need alone time and I enjoy opportunities to be creative. I like a small circle of friends that are tight-knit and welcoming. Big parties are not my thing, most of the time. I like having cats and I enjoy trips. I don't care much about having a great body, only a reasonably decent one.
These are the things I've figured out about myself and the way I like to live. I'm not living a dream life, per se. It's not exciting or dynamic. It's not the sort of life people dream of. But what I am living is an authentic life, authentic to myself. My life makes sense. I don't worry. Freedom from worry is something I haven't always had.
I'm turning 29, I'm almost 30. Three years I've been writing this blog and who I am has changed a little, in ways I'm okay with. More self acceptance, I think that's the key.