Twenty Something Advice: Don’t plan your life based on what other people expect

Photo Credit: Loca Luna / Anna Gay via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Loca Luna / Anna Gay via Compfight cc

I decided to start a new series called Twenty Something Advice. To start off this series I sent this message to my real life friends – you know the people I have meet face to face.

[rambling introduction to my blog since my friends don’t really read it …]

My ultimate goal for such blog is to have lots of random advice/insights/ideas about the balancing of life that is involved with life in your twenties.

Anyway, the reason I am writing is … I figure what better way to have advice about life than to ask my lovely friends for your advice. So I was thinking if there is any bit of advice that you have learned recently (or not so recently) that you feel like sharing with the world. I’d love for you to write something and send it to me. Some sample ideas – how life has changed now that you’re married, dating at work, how is the whole “job” world different than you expected, how do you manage the whole dinner thing and have a job, budgeting, cooking, relaxation, something that you learned the hard way and wish someone had told you about, anything and everything.

So without further ado {grammar girl: ado vs adieu} here is the first (of hopefully many) Twenty Something Advice columns to come. If you have any brilliant insight you’d like to share feel free to send it over.

This is a guest post by my lovely friend Tarina also known as the bug-lady or travelbug. We went to design school together and she is now a flight attendant.

The biggest thing I’ve learned since leaving college is that what everyone expects you to do, is not necessarily what you should be doing.

For me, leaving college meant getting a graphic design job, working in an office and slogging through the 9-5 grind. It was miserable and I hated it. It never occurred to me ’til I had gotten fired twice that maybe this whole thing that everyone expected of me wasn’t really ME. Sure I would have made more money, my life would be so much more stable but I was desperately unhappy. Throwing away the expectations and doing something that made me happy has been so much more fulfilling then having stability and money. I also get the gratuitous pleasure of the stories my mom brings back to me of people asking what her daughter has been up to (expecting that trite answer of office work) only to be completely flabbergasted.

So really, the advice I’d give to other people:

Don’t plan your life based on what other people expect, plan your life based on what you want to do with it. Regardless of what people think.

Do what makes you happy rather then what brings in the biggest bucks (glad I learned that early).

And travel. It’s a big world out there and you shouldn’t wait until retirement to see it.

Oh, and don’t be afraid to try new things, especially in the food department. There are so many people I want to hit when we end up in a new country and they turn their nose up at something because it’s not “American”. But that’s just one of my general pet peeves *g*

I hope that helps!

I loved the question. Very thought provoking.

Featured photo provided by Pixabay.

16 thoughts on “Twenty Something Advice: Don’t plan your life based on what other people expect

  1. Oh, I didn’t know you meant things we’ve learned in life Elysa….well, for me there is TONS through out the years, (like Tarina) not caring what people think about me is definitely one.

  2. Ah! This is a greaaaat idea! I’ve just turned 20 so I don’t know if I can help you out with too much advice for 20 somethings… but I look forward to reading this!

  3. Pingback: sk*rt
  4. Heather- There have been a few posts in the Twenty Something Advice area since this one. Feel free to check out the latest one posted today. Also, you can always check the category twentysomething to see previous posts similar to this.

  5. Great start to helping this great generation get started. There is so much out there now for us to explore and I’m glad you have started your journey to help them.

  6. I could not have stumbled upon this post at a more opportune time. I’m currently procrastinating on finishing application and cover letter for a new job, one that I’m just barely “qualified” for, but know that I could be successful at. And it’s a job that would mean leaving the job that everyone expected me to get, that my degree (on paper) was designed for, and that I’m increasingly disillusioned by.

    (And oh yes, more than double the pay and major opportunities to go to grad school or move into different positions don’t hurt either.)

    So, thanks!

  7. I’m starting to really like your site :) I had that little bug bite me in the arse today too.. Just back from a business trip in Brazil, and feeling miserable about not speaking Portuguese.. I have somewhat decided (or very much feel like) going to Brazil for a month or two in the same city as my co worker, signing up for a Portuguese class, and learning the language- in part, yes, to learn, but also to see what it -feels like- to live in Brazil, and why not? Fortunately I have a job that would allow me to “work from home” wherever that may be (of course, considering I live local to HQ they make me go in every day).. and I was talking to my mother and she was rattling on about how “dumb” she thought that was, and how me learning Portuguese wouldn’t open many more doors for me (already bilingual in Spanish); and how I was running away from my real life.

    honestly? YES. I do want to run away from my real life! Because it’s miserable! Because I keep doing what others think I should do, making decent money, just bought a house, and a nice new little car, living the dream life- but WHO’S dream? I’d rather travel, experience, enjoy my life!! instead of just waiting for it to get more monotonous and busy to the point “retirement” will be my savior to live the dream (and by then I’ll be dead!!)

    Since I started my professional career, it’s been a bunch of garbage doing the 9-5 job, go home, cook, clean, watch tv, sleep, start over again.. errands, and worries, and bills, and this is absolutely NO WAY to live life! 50 lbs and 3 years later, I am SO ready for a change.

    20-something me :)

Comments are closed.