Lists are great. Had I mentioned that I am a list addict? I list everything. Lists can have a certain aesthetic. Listography embraces this beauty of lists to the fullest. Today my Soprano Friend posted a link on facebook on The 20 things you need to accomplish in your 20s. A list? Of course I clicked. And I have to critique:
1. Support yourself.
That is a good idea but many friends around here don’t have that possibility and depend on their parents. Recently someone told me that in my country the state takes care of the children, whereas here the state doesn’t care about your children, they will always depend on their parents. That might be true partly, but as usual you can’t generalize. But it is a good goal to work towards independence from the parents until 30 – not only financially. I had to go far from home to study. Not because it was so bad at home, but because it was so good there. It was far away where I learned how to cook and to use a washing machine. So my suggestion is more general:
-> 1. Get wings.
2. Get your own place.
Move out from your parent’s place, definitely! But living with flat mates taught me great lessons and gave me amazing times. It also made me appreciate that house in the last uni town where I lived alone first and which I shared later. And it makes me appreciate the current state of living together with the favourite human on nine square meters, too. However, I realized for myself that I like to have people close around me, even in the same apartment, as long as I can create my own place to withdraw. Therefore:
-> 2. Find your place to withdraw. (And then it doesn’t matter with or without whom you live.)
3. Date the wrong person(s).
I strongly disagree. I never went on what people call a date and what I imagine to be a very fictional situation. The invitation is a text message that you spend hours to interpret to find out whether it’s really a date or not. Then you spend more hours preparing for the occasion, producing a lot of adrenalin in your body and creating a person out of yourself that isn’t actually you anymore. Then you finally meet and try to make the other one like you and pretend to be someone else. Then you part and start to interpret every second of that occasion in various directions. That is what we are taught by boring, all-the-same romantic comedies from Hollywood. That’s what I did:
-> 3. Do things you like with people you find interesting and never pretend!
4. Begin to put money in the bank and learn to leave it there.
That was my aim for this year and I keep on failing. Someone told me that you should actually always get rid of your money as soon as possible. You see, money only works when it flows. You can’t eat it! But I started to keep a budget, in a way that I write down all my expenses. I am getting an overview on what I spend and that’s already very eye-opening. So maybe it sounds better like this:
-> 4. Monitor your expenses.
5. Get out of debt.
And then never get back into debt again. Only spend what you have. (That means I totally agree.)
6. Clearly outline your life goals.
To be honest, I have a goal: I know where I want to end up one day and what I want to be doing there. But that somehow outlined itself. It came to me. I outlined maybe fifty percent of it and I don’t know clearly yet how exactly to get there. I trust that it will come to light step by step. Opportunities pop up and I am ready to grab them because I know what I want. But now, that does not work for everyone. The 20s are a good period to try different things and at least:
-> 6. Choose a direction. (Even if it leads to an ever changing life.)
7. Learn to read regularly.
Yes, yes and yes! Hardly any more inspiration and knowledge than through the beautiful process of reading. Agreed completely!
8. Learn to keep up with current events.
In my opinion, that doesn’t mean to read, watch or listen to the news daily because that can bring you very much down. But you can follow some things that are of special interest to you. That’s what I use facebook for, and some blogs. I would say it more generally:
-> 8. Be aware.
9. Get that body you always dreamed of.
I recently started running and never thought I would – and never thought I would even like it. “That body you always dreamed of” in this case might be influenced by commercials and weird ideals in the society. So instead of dieting:
-> 9. Start doing something for the health of your body, mind and soul.
10. Find work that you love doing.
Since I really agree, I can just quote: “The key is to do what you love and love what you do. If your work doesn’t give meaning to your life, which honor may very well be reserved for your friends and family, then it must at the very least not make your life more unpleasant.” Someone told me that: “It is important to start working towards something you feel for. Money will then come itself.” Sounds hard and idealistic, but worth trying.
11. Surround yourself with people that you would like to keep around.
But: Not out of fear to be alone later, but because you like these people! And they will only like you for long if you are always yourself. Otherwise I agree.
12. Reestablish your connection with your family.
I experienced how my great family became much more important to me when I moved out. Distance made things easier and makes me appreciate the shared moments even more.
13. Outline your perfect partner.
“Some believe that it’s best to leave love to chance or fate. I, on the other hand, believe that loving is a decision and not some completely random, unexplainable concept. You may not be able to find a woman that matches your dream woman 100%, but you should have a good idea of what you do want in a partner and what you don’t want — as well as how important each characteristic or lack of is to you.” Well, I met my favourite human when I had no expectations and was not searching for any fictional character. And I never pretended.
-> 13. Be yourself and be open.
14. Learn to adapt.
-> … but never deny yourself!
15. Start to accumulate a fortune.
“I don’t know about all of you, but I plan on being a billionaire. If you are to become a billionaire, you will have to become a millionaire first. Hit that first million by 30 and your first billion by 40.” Haha, great expectations ahead! I am planning to become a farmer. I might not really be able to accumulate billions by that, but I might have food later, which is also not bad.
-> 15. Start to accumulate experience instead!
16. Learn to dress well.
“Women need to learn how to wear dresses and walk in heels (walk, not waddle) and men should get comfortable in a suit.” (Thank you, I am skipping those lessons!!!) Rather:
-> 16. Find yourself and find your style.
17. Learn to maintain your body.
-> See point number 9.
18. Learn to maintain and keep your environment organized.
“Your personal home environment very much reflects who you are as a person, who you are inside. If your surroundings are hectic, you are likely to feel inner tension. If your surroundings are neat and peaceful, your mind most likely experiences the same peace. If you want to find and maintain peace, then you must manifest your inner peace in your outer surroundings.” I think, it works both ways round: If you are most productive in chaos, then why not find your own logic of organizing in creative chaos?
-> 18. Organize yourself in your personal way.
19. Accept that you are an adult.
-> 19. And then think like a child!
20. Let go of the past and look forward to the future.
“The 30s are the new 20s, so get your shit together and make something of the next decade!” Age is relative and usually doesn’t tell anything about you. But it’s generally a good advice, no matter which age you are.