I have 4 days left of being twenty something. Yep.. the big 3 – 0 is around the corner and to be honest I am quite excited about it.
When I think about the past decade and what life has handed me it has been a tough hard ride with a lot of good times too.
We expect our twenties to be carefree, the most fun time of our lives the time for partying, exploring, dating and just living life with no regrets right. It’s where you start your first job, meet different people and even the person you may want to marry. You set out to see the world define your style and ultimately start living as a fully-fledged, funky, cool adult.
Well that’s what I thought it should be!
My journey has obviously been slightly different to this expectation and to be honest it freaked me out most of the time. It’s been a mix of good and bad, hurts and celebrations – I have learnt tremendous lessons, been depressed at times and survived a series of traumatic experiences, travelled to some beautiful places, grown in my career and have had to make some really hard decisions in my personal and professional life along the way. It hasn’t been an easy ride, yet, I am can see the lemons that have turned into lemonade over the years and all the valuable lessons and goodness it has given me.
These are the biggest lessons that have shaped me that I would love you share with you!
For the first 4 years of my twenties I was trying to define who I was – I graduated from law school at 21, my parents divorced in the same year. I moved away from home at 22 and started my internship at one of the most prestigious law firms in the country. – Lesson 1 – You can achieve anything with sheer determination and that leaving home was one of the hardest things I had to do – I was driven to make a success of my life and blocked out the hurt of leaving.
My legal career wasn’t what I expected it to be (yes it was challenging and I worked long hours and attended lectures and night and studied for board exams in between – this was the side that I was used to – just put my head down and worked – that’s how I got through my degree – always focused on the end goal and blocked everything else out).
The side that I wasn’t prepared for was the emotional strain and mental exhaustion. The strain it placed on my body and the extreme exertion I felt literally stretched in every area. The side that I left unattended and blocked out – the vulnerable side that I didn’t pay attention to much reared its head the most in outbursts of frustration and fits of rage. The side when no one tells you that a cute pencil skirt and heals that was promoted so well in Legally Blonde and by Rachael Zain in Suits doesn’t get you the respect you deserve in the workplace. All the aspirations of this high-profile corporate career life was not what I enjoyed in the least.
You get stepped on and stretched in ways that you would not expect. The corporate world is one vicious cycle of working to prove your worth everyday, building a thick skin and also becoming fearless in the pursuit of success you have to shut down to the goodness of life. They say the best things in life are free right?! Then surely those things should’ve be attainable but I felt that they were the hardest to ( self-worth, time, laughter, vitality and joy). These things slipped further and further away from me. Having IBS and stomach and bladder issues all of a sudden and being in a constant state of stress was the reality check for me and of what my life was turning into – I decided to leave the legal practice profession.
Lesson 2: Often what you set your sights on and often work hard to achieve is not what’s meant for you.
I was unemployed for 4 months and lived off my savings until I found a job in another large corporate organisation – I was 24. The amazing thing that my personal life was looking up – I got married to my stud of a husband in November that year. And I honestly thought we were going to runoff into the sunset and life was going to be just beautiful. Well it wasn’t all that easy! The first few years of marriage were very challenging. We were both very young and tried our best at making things work despite the challenges we faced. We fell hard in certain respects but most of all we learnt to love harder to get us to where we are today -going through life together and building a future we want for our lives and relationship.
Lesson 3 – Marriage is hard work and requires both people to be committed to build it. You need to share the same goal, it takes lots effort, but is so so worth it!
At 25 , still with the corporate job I furthered my studies to become more specialised in the area I ended up in, Tax Law (the Lord has a sense of humour). So I sacrificed weekends for two years and obtained another degree.
Lesson 4 – Be open to expanding and furthering your potential even though sometimes you may not understand it
In this same year I was hijacked and robbed at gunpoint and left severely traumatized. This left me a bit numb and I questioned a lot about humanity and life itself. I started shutting down and cocooning.
Lesson 5 – most hardships happen to you without your consent and is a painful process and mostly unfair. (this one is still hard for me)
At 26 I lost a precious soul that I loved so much – This was the catalyst for a downward spiral for me. I was depressed! I didn’t laugh, I didn’t eat much, I lost all enjoyment for life.
Lesson 6: Depression is a silent destroyer of your dreams.
After months and months of deep sadness and lack of passion for life, I realised that I couldn’t live in such darkness and decided to start searching for some light. God has always been so gracious in his blessings and I started to count my blessings instead of my hardships and really prayed for wisdom in this time. This was the beginning of my journey of self-discovery and turning my life around.
Lesson 7: The only way to step into the light is to want it!
At 28 – I was recruited into a management position at another large organisation. I knew from the beginning that this wasn’t the field/role for me but I stuck with it because I saw the opportunity that it would bring – that was my Lesson 8 – keep going and be open to opportunities that come your way. Even though it is not my dream job – I am learning as much as I can to build myself up for better things to come.
At 29 I celebrated 10 years of being together with my husband and 5 years of marriage. We went to London to see John Mayer in concert! We have been on a few awesome adventures and I think the most amazing one is that we are having a baby!
Lesson 9: Life gets better – There is sunshine after the heavy storms.
A few days left of being twenty something
Whatever the next decade holds for me this I know – it will bring with it challenges but also joy. Down days but also happy ones. New friends and new experiences. Most of all I am going to embrace each day and live more intentionally. To spread love and light and be kind to myself to those around me. I will make mistakes, but I will learn from them. I will fail at times but I will persevere to be more. Both ups and downs are essential for my growth and defines who I ultimately become.
Lesson 10 – Be proud of where you and how far you have come at each season of your life – if you are not happy with where you are or who you have become, YOU have the power to change it by believing that there is more. There always is, trust me, I know!
Stay awesome and true to you!
Much love – Pri xxx