This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of CORT. All opinions are 100% mine.
Recently having a baby has caused me to reflect a lot on my life. My oldest is 10 years old, then I have a 6 year old, and now a newborn. For those of you who know our story, you know we didn't "plan" to have a 6 year gap in our family. But between fertility issues, miscarriages and pregnancy loss, this is how our family turned out. And while there are challenges, and I am sure the challenges will continue as in a few years we will have a toddler and teenagers, I couldn't be more happy with where I am today. Life is good. During my pregnancy and now during the sleepless nights I am reminded of how much easier it was to go without sleep in my 20's, how much easier my pregnancy was in my 20's, and how much easier it was just to remember things in my 20's. In light of that, I decided to share 8 Things I Wish I Knew in My 20's with you, because let's face it, our 20's were awesome but you couldn't pay me to go back and do it again. So maybe I can help to instill these things into my children so that their 20's are even better then mine were.
8 Things I Wish I Knew in My 20's
You are going to think you don't get much sleep in your 20's, between staying up late to study for classes, work and hanging out with friends. You are going to think you know what sleep deprivation is. Maybe even a baby or two will keep you up during the night in your 20's. But nothing can prepare you for the pure exhaustion that trying to do all of that will bring later in life. Believe me, harness that energy and get things done now while your energy levels are still high. And enjoy your sleep, because it will get harder to get a good nights sleep as you get older.
Get Your Life in Order
Your 20's are for figuring your life out. Get a degree, find a job, change jobs, move to a new city, maybe even getting married and starting your family...it can be busy and stressful but it is all worth it, I promise you! Making major life changes when you are older can bring more complications (although still worth it). So take the time to learn what you love, what you want to do, then be brave and go for it!
Have an Adventure
But don't forget to have an adventure! During college my husband and I took time off during a summer to go to Greece. I had family there so were able to visit and stay with them, but because I had very few responsibilities (I wasn't in school that semester and I had a flexible job) I was able to stay in Greece for a month. Four whole weeks of amazing adventures. It was one of the best vacations we have ever been on and was such a great adventure! So get your life in order but don't forget to go on an adventure too!
Enjoy the Moment
Life moves way too fast and it is important to enjoy the moment. I remember when we had our first child, we couldn't wait until she met the next milestone. We eagerly awaited each milestone, every time she got a little older or a bit taller because it was exciting and new and our little girl was growing up! But now I wish to hold on to those days. My new little baby is 7 weeks old and I could still be perfectly content doing nothing all day but cuddling with and talking to her. Time flies way too fast, I know that now, so enjoy the moment before the moment goes away. And if you are a young mama like I was, know that the days often feel so long, but the years will fly by. Enjoy every single moment of it, the good and the hard.
Don't Try to Have it All
Keeping up with the Jones' is highly overrated but seemed important during my 20's. During our 20's we lived in California which is the epitome of materialism and the need to keep up with everyone else. While I know many people who aren't like this at all, we also knew some that went sorely into debt to try to have it all. Debt is not worth it. Find joy with where you are in life, don't compare yourself to others and be ok if you don't have it all. You don't need it all and you probably don't actually want it all anyway.
Let it Go
In the wise words of a popular snow queen, let it go. Don't hold on to grudges, mean girls or disputes. People are more important than being right and life is too short to spend all of your time worrying about being offended or fights. Show love to everyone, take the high road and sometimes, you just have to let it go.
Embrace a Life of Transition
At the beginning of our marriage we moved 10 times in 9 years. And if you count the two years of my life before that, then I moved 14 times in 11 years. I am dead serious. It was ridiculous, and also part of being young! I moved across the country to go to school, changed rooms halfway through my freshman year, moved over the summer, moved in the fall, then moved to California when we got married. Once there, we started our married life in a teeny tiny apartment with exactly zero furniture (my mother in law let us borrow a folding card table for our kitchen table) and then we moved almost once a year for the next 9 years of our life. Mostly it was from one apartment complex to a different apartment complex, into a home to rent, into a different home to rent, etc. But then we made a big move across the country and ended up in Indiana. 15 years of marriage later, we still have some of the first furniture we bought as a married couple, which might sound wonderful or romantic, but it's not. It is beat up, banged up and not in the best condition anymore. Moves are hard on furniture. Moves are really hard on furniture. And while I love moving and starting over, I don't love the wear and tear furniture takes in the process. So I say embrace your life of transition and if you don't want to buy furniture to have to prematurely replace it, consider renting furniture until you are a bit more settled. The thought never crossed my mind at the time, but the option to rent furniture could have saved us from a lot of furniture moving and furniture wear and tear. And can be a great option for times of transition.
With CORT Furniture Rental you can have furniture where you need it, when you need it, and it's gone when you no longer need it. For homeowners who don't want to pick and choose every item, they offer packages as well to make your life simple. And you can even find pricing online. It is really a great option for times when you are in transition.
Here are a few examples of room packages I like from CORT:
(This would have made such a better alternative to the card table we used when we first got married.)
Focus on the Most Important Things
If I could tell my 20 year old self just one thing, it would be to remember that you can't have it all. I think that is a great lie we are all told. But to have "everything", something must give. So truly take stock in what is most important to you, focus on that, and let everything else fall into place. Don't run so hard trying to chase a fantasy of having it all because it is an elusive fantasy. Simply focus on your priorities and let everything else fall into place around it. You will be happier if you do. I promise. But most of all, just enjoy life, be kind to everyone you meet, find the good in everyone, find ways to serve and help whenever you can and find joy and happiness with where you are right now in life.
So I want to know, what is one thing you wish you knew in your 20's?