The defining decade; WHY YOUR TWENTIES MATTER and HOW TO MAKE THE MOST of them NOW by Meg Jay
If I was to find a subtitle for this book, it would be; a wake up call to all twenty somethings.
This should be the second Bible for every twenty something.
Meg Jay the author, is one person whose intentions through this book are so genuine. The love Meg has for us 20sthns is too much to let us waste away our defining decade. So Meg wrote a book, one that will be life changing if you allow it. The book is for everyone btw, not just 20sthns. Because other decades have challenges too.
Thing is, the twenties are probably the most fun decade, the other side of the coin is the fun part doesn’t last much as responsibilities and adulthood kick in.
This book which is divided into 3 sections; work, love, the brain and body is a scary awakening. It includes scenarios from real life stories that are very practical, scenarios with conversations of the psychologist with his twenty something clients.
Their struggles are 100% my struggles and I bet they are for other twenty-somethings.
You though you are the only one who doesn’t want a job? Only one who hates their job? The only one who doesn’t want to grow up? The only one who is not focused on saving? The one with a YOLO motto? The only one with multiple sex partners? The only one thinking the thought of marriage is for later? You are wrong my dear. We are a whole bunch. Whose forward part of the brain just begun growing and we are expected to behave as adults.
And no, time is neither on our side. And while we feel this rush to make a lot of things happen in such little time, we are to do it right so it doesn’t come to haunt us in our 30s/40s/50s/60s/70s or someone, God forbid, tells us I told you so.
20s is in fact the hardest decade. The one you decide your personality, your beliefs, you choose your family, you try discover yourself, you sample dating partners, you plan for a future. 20s is when we question life, question what we have already been told, wonder why some things are deemed wrong and we try them, we make ourselves, create ourselves.
Thing is, 20sthns, we are stuck in youth. What we see is freedom from parents and rules to translate to parties, hangouts, multiple sex partners, fun, yolo, #nevergrowingold. We love youth, we have energy and we wanna be young be young forever, except, the being confused part and responsibilities.
What we don’t see is time moving; that there’s a future we need to think about, plan for. We see old people but we don’t see ourselves there one day. We need to start seeing it as it is. And move away from this haze, this merry go round of just fun and #feelgood. Because life is just like that; life is fun and responsibilities too and plans and commitments. Life is a sentence by itself.
If my words don’t make sense to you right now, someday they shall. When you are grown enough. Thing is, nobody ever tells you how hard it is and even if they do, it never makes sense till you get there and experience it yourself.
Adulthood is like a whole new world. One that you aren’t trained for. You learn the hard way. One that your values and beliefs carry you through. Adulthood for the youth is a nightmare. It strips you of your innocence, it burdens you with responsibility. You decide for yourself. And you face the consequences yourself.
Am yet to understand a lot about life. But this far, I have learnt and am terrified but ready to face it.
After reading the book especially on fertility, my 24-year young self feels old and ready to start a family with any willing man…. Anyone?
I feel this rush then I remember something I read on this book still; your life partner will make the rest of your life either very miserable or amazing. So, there’s a task; to choose him/her wisely based on circumstances that include personality. According to this book, similar personality couples are more likely to last compared to diverse personas.
You grow up, you learn you are invisible, you learn there’s death, you attend friends’ funeral, you watch relatives die, you feel smaller than you ever felt. You break down because it feels too much to bear. Crying btw is not being weak. Don’t be embarrassed by it.
You grow up, you realize you are not the fairest of them all. There’s a whole bunch of you. That being cheated on is not foreign, that a guy hitting on you among ten others is normal. That the story you heard for kissing many frogs is not just a story. You are currently living it.
You stop laughing at people’s dreams.
You stop wondering at people who have no child or husband at 40.
As confusing as this decade can get, do something. Don’t just sit.
Action is the only way you will know yourself, know the world. There’s nowhere to run to really. So embrace. Embrace. Embrace. Learn from books, from older ones, listen to younger ones, guide them when you can. And allow yourself to live, to develop, to grow, remember it is that time when your brain is also growing. And while you at it, cut yourself some slack because you will make mistakes.
Surround yourself with people who understand.
People who understand what you are going through. People who know it is tough. People who will listen, advice you genuinely. People who will allow you to mould yourself, create yourself. And those people who love you, be with them. People who allow you to be you. People who tease your brain, who teach you something new. And if you can be that to someone as they are that to you, then boom, that’s a beautiful nuclear creation.
Don’t be afraid to change, to evolve, it is at this stage that you create yourself.
We’ve often talked about people we schooled with and when we say they’ve changed, we say it in a jealous, unfriendly way. That is plain unfair and immature. We need to support each other at this stage, trust me we need that support.
It is in your twenties that you learn you were sorta born to work and take care of other people. Or let me say, you school all those years so you can work for the rest of your life. So what do wise people do about this? Find work that you love so that as your days dwindle, you do something you at least like everyday. So that you don’t curse every time the alarm rings in the morning. Or start loving that which you do if you don’t already. See, being a grown up gives you choices. Choices which need work. They don’t just work out of the blues. They take work. Commitment. Discipline. Sacrifice.
SIDENOTE; Don’t waste your time getting mad at a 20sthn. Most of us are a confused bunch. We will wake up happy, by the time we get to work we are sulking then at tea time we are happy, then sulking around 11 when we are tired. Happy at lunch, or sad, depending on the meal. What am trying to say is, we are a piece of work even to ourselves. So, don’t waste your energies staying mad at us. We are still mastering ourselves. Still transitioning from baby to adult.
I love this book and I’d want you to read it because, from reading it;
It makes me believe more in me. Tells me I am the one to make things work out. That I define me. I choose my family. That adulthood doesn’t give a nickle about me. That I am responsible for my future. I should picture my future then work backwords and work on it.
It encourages me to chase that which I desire with no shame because one day I’ll look back and wonder why I let what they think control me. Or wonder why I let fear control me.
And Solomon in The Ecclesiastes calls all this vanity. But hey, experience it and say you lived yeah.
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Above all, a toast to you for reading this