Hi y’all! This is to all of you sitting on or hovering around the quarter life mark. It’s a tough mark to be on, I have to say. I’m going to use the term ‘quarter lifer’ a lot if you haven’t already noticed. When I use this term, I’m talking about 20 and 30 somethings. Speaking from my own experience, it feels like a lot of decisions and soul searching all jam freakin packed into a short amount of time. You’re trying to find a balance between responsibility and getting away with as much nonsense as possible before time runs out and at the same time you’re acutely aware of how crucial the decisions you make during this time will be for the REST of your life. AKA career, housing, finances, partner, friendships, family, etc. Trying to make real life connections and adult decisions while feeling like time is running out on your youth and everyone is telling you to travel, live, explore, go out, and have fun. But you’re probably broke and if you live in Toronto, you’re most likely paying an arm and a leg for rent each month so you feel like you’re working to make money to live in the immediate future. That’s a whole lot of ranting but all to say, it’s really hard to get ahead.
I remember when my perspective about this time in my life was significantly altered. It happened around the time that I read a book called “The Defining Decade” by Dr. Meg Jay. I had heard her TedTalk about 20 NOT being the new 30 and then stumbled upon her book while browsing a store one day. I HIGHLY recommend this book to everyone. Literally if you’re in your 20’s or not, buy it, read it, use it. It’s real, free information from a doctor who, in my mind, really gets it. Did you know that your 20’s are the time in which the prefrontal cortex of your brain – the front part that makes all of the decisions and is a gatekeeper for thoughts and beliefs – fuses and kind of sets in stone? It is essentially the last time that you can make real and lasting changes to your personality and mindset with any kind of ease. Obviously people make life changes and better themselves after their 20s but it is fundamentally more difficult to do so when that prefrontal cortex isn’t as malleable. This fact alone was enough for me to step back and re-evaluate where I was putting my focus during these years; what information I was making a point to absorb; and how was I intentionally trying to better myself? At the end of the day, I made it my one goal to discover who I was, find the best version of that person, and work with mindfulness to solidify those best practices. BOOM!
The only thing is that if your mindset and subconscious thoughts don’t align with your intentions, then you’ve got a problem. Exhibit A: I want to attend that super challenging fitness class that my friend told me about but my consistent thought patterns are: “I’m not able,” “I don’t have the stamina,” “I’ve never been a quick learner,” “Everyone there will be better than me; they’ll be in better shape; they’ll judge me; I’ll embarrass myself, and on and on and on.” Well guess what!? You just set yourself up for failure and before you’ve even googled the gym. More about this subconscious sorcery and about how millennials are actually wired to be fearful later!
In the meantime, consider all I said about your brain. I hope it sparks something for you!
And don’t forget…you are worthy and you are beautiful x