You Have Options • Possibility
Your 20s are a confusing time (or is that just me?). Graduating college had given me such a profound sense of freedom. "I get to live my life how I want!!!!!!" I set off backpacking around Europe solo, spent all my savings without blinking an eye, returned to the US with stories to share and then BAM.
The ambiguity of my future - and present - hit me like a ton of bricks.
I was living with this family I had been nannying for in DC, so I wasn't paying rent and I didn't have a lease tying me down anywhere - which was certainly ideal - but the lack of any commitments had me feeling even more lost and confused. I spent my free time devising a plan, job searching and apartment hunting in sunny California. With each Google search and journal page written, I felt more confident and soon I had taken the plunge to purchase my flight and move to LA - despite zero job offers.
Yet, I found that each time I voiced my plan to an elder, I was met with a "Well, you're not meant to know what you want yet. Everyone changes their minds." Despite the positive, comforting intentions of these commentators, the messages they were sending only left me feeling defeated.
Okay, this may sound totally counterintuitive. We're supposed to find solace in these words, right? When we're lost on our way, this is what we want to hear.
Let's get this straight. I am a total believer that there's no one path. I mean, I'm a Manifesting Generator. I knooooooow. I will try and always have tried a million different passions, paths, projects.....BUT when we're conditioned by the idea that we shouldn't know what we're doing when we're young, it can deter us from fully searching, fully submerging ourselves in finding clarity because, well, "we're supposed to be confused."
Why is it that having solid plans, big dreams and defined life goals at 24 can make us appear naive?
Deconditioning this narrative can be tough, and it doesn't mean you have to have it all figured out. I don't. But you can. Your ambitions at 24 are just as valid as the ambitions of a 45-year-old. Follow your path, don't be deterred and don't be discouraged if your path changes.
The best advice I've received? Look to EXPANDERS (thank you, Lacy). Let's see some young people who may have just had it all figured out and some who didn't. Choose who inspires you on your own unique path.
Mark Zuckerberg • Launched Facebook in college.
Eric and Susan Gregg-Koger • Started Modcloth.com in college.
George Matus • The 18-year-old behind Teal
Karly Kloss • Started Kode With Klossy at age 22
Julia Child • Followed several different career paths until she wrote her first cookbook at age 50
Sara Blakely • Sold office supplies in her early 20s before launching Spanx full-time at age 30.
Look around you, Google, scroll on Instagram...find expanders you can relate to.
I look to my expanders for guidance. I know that I have a lot of goals, passions, and ambitions. Some more clear than others, but I no longer listen to others when they tell me "I have time to figure it out" or "You're not supposed to know what you want this young." Sure, what I want changes yearly, monthly, often daily, but I don't question or ignore new goals or my intuition. I take each as I would at 30, 40, 50 (!) and follow each with matched conviction.
Here are a few tips I've picked up along the way that may help, whether you're a young 20-something like myself, a parent, grandparent...anyone!
i. Take inventory of what truly makes you happy, lights you up, sets your soul aflame • You don't have to have defined goals, but understanding what you love can help you along your path. No one can discourage you from your true passions.
ii. Take the time to get to know yourself • Whether that's booking a Human Design reading (or spending hours googling your own design) or simply observing how you work best. Do you excel when you follow PINGS immediately, or sit on them and let them develop first? Can you juggle multiple jobs at once, or are you more of a one-track-mind?
iii. Seek advice when you need it, but listen to your intuition first • Don't know how to start the business you're dreaming of? Seek mentors and expanders. But if your intuition is screaming that they may be wrong, that your new way of thinking could be revolutionary, listen.
iv. Have a safety net • Whether it's a "Fuck You Fund" or a friend's couch or your parents' home. Don't be afraid to leap and chase your dreams. Having a safety net just makes it a little less scary and a bit easier.
v. And if you fail.... • Who cares! You were brave, you followed your heart and soon you'll be off on a new venture. Don't be discouraged.