There comes a time in your twenties when you look in the mirror and catch yourself by surprise. You think, “who is that, and where’s the person I used to know?”
You stand there analyzing the way that your face has changed, the way the sparkle in your eyes has dimmed, and you try to find a resemblance between who you thought you were and who the person staring back at you is now.
You sulk, just for a second, about how much time you’ve wasted becoming someone you’re not completely sure you want to be. Where has all that time gone?
Navigating through life after college is a touchy dance where you don’t know all the moves. But you dance it out with your friends and you laugh at the missteps.
But then there comes a point. There comes a point when you can’t laugh about “we’ll grow up eventually” because it’s just not funny anymore.
There comes a point when you need to grow up because you’re growing into someone in all of those derelict moments. The person who’s looking back at you is ghost of old hopes and missing midnight memories.
Don’t let that person be a stranger to their very own soul.
There are far too many Sunday mornings I’ll ignore my reflection because I know all I will see is guilt looking back at me. So I’ll Snapchat my face to my friends instead.
Then we’ll laugh about it while we waste our days on Netflix and joke about the late night pizza that we’ll eventually learn to say no to. Just like one more Fireball shot.
There are far too many Friday afternoons where I run to a glass of wine quicker than that list of dreams I have in the back of my head. The one that requires more than just day dreaming.
So I say I’ll get to it tomorrow. I say it until I forget or until the whiskey makes me. Then it’s tomorrow and I’m just complaining about some other menial thing.
There are far too many midnights I don’t remember, too many excuses made, too many funny stories that lost their relevance, too many numbers given out, too many sheets being washed, too many close calls, too many left behind credit cards, too many days lost to a naïve youth. Too many.
Have there been enough dreams you’ve reached? Enough friends to really keep? Enough “I love you” said? Enough vital health to have you stay? Enough of the world? Enough laughter? Enough calls to your mother? Enough money not wasted? Enough climbing? Enough experiencing? Enough flying? Never enough.
So you look at yourself in the mirror, and in the off-chance you really look, you notice you have grown up. This is you. The question is whether you like what you find. And maybe you do. If so, then this isn’t really here for you.
But if you don’t – then what are you going to do?
We need to stop making excuses thinking that “by my 25th or my 29th birthday I’ll get my sh*t together.” We need to stop living crouching behind happy hours and mistakes.
No we certainly don’t need to pack up our lives and start planning for retirement. What we need to do is give ourselves the lives we deserve. An accomplished life. An unexpected life. A fearful and risk-taking life. A wild life. A worthwhile life.
A life where we stop wasting.
Stop wasting your days to a hangover. Stop wasting your potential to “one day” and “someday.” Stop wasting your heart on people who will leave in the morning. Stop wasting your mind to binging and use it for reading something other than what the Kardashians are doing.
There comes a time in our twenties when you’re going to look at yourself and feel disappointed. You’re going to look back at the recent past and see blank spaces you wish you could’ve filled with so much more color and vibrancy.
You’re going to lament knowing you’re probably still going to fuck up occasionally, and this is more than okay; but what you do next – right then – is what matters most.
You take accountability. You take responsibility. You look at yourself and say, “I want to get to know you.” And you do. You learn about the parts of yourself that grew.
Don’t throw away your life by losing sight of yourself. Don’t grow up and wonder how you became you. Everyday, strive to be the best version of you.
And get your sh*t together.
Originally published on Elite Daily