When’s the prime of our lives? It’s hard to say because we haven’t lived a full life yet – though I often hear people in their early 20’s say “Man, I wish I was a teenager again. That was the best” and people my age saying “University was where it’s at” and of course people older than me saying “Do it while you’re young Josh”. So I’ve decided to take that advice and run with it in my own way. I’ve decided to take the rest of my twenties off.
If I’m going to look back at what are potentially my best years, I’ll feel good knowing I took a conscious decision to live my life the fullest, happiest way I knew possible.
The idea of me taking the rest of my 20’s off has been a long time coming, but was never my initial intention. When I was 17 I thought by this point in my life I would be looking out at a much different life. I had dreams of working a solid job, owning a big house, nice car, a having a lovely and stunning wife who loved to pamper me with sweets and back rubs . Of course, not all goes to plan. 😉 After graduating high school I travelled in Australia for 8 months. That was the beginning of the end of my teenage dream. I went back to college, and after that, got a proper job and basically lived in a state of nostalgia for a few years.
It’s tough. We’ve all been in jobs or points in our lives where we think “This can’t be it”, and I was there. When that feeling didn’t go away, even after job promotions and toying with the idea of doing more schooling, I felt I had no option but to keep exploring. So I’ve packed my bags and headed out on my own. I feel more liberated and confident than I ever have before. This is the fulfilment I had been wanting and this is the way I want to spend the next X amount of years.
Is it selfish? Yes. It’s a bit selfish to leave your family and friends and go off enjoying yourself. But is it anymore selfish than working 12 hour days 6 days a week. We’re young, we have the rest of our lives to grind it out and do things for other people. So here are some reasons to consider taking your twenties off too.
1. What’s the rush? — Getting a career when your 22 is about as relevant as disco music. Today people are living longer and therefore working later in life. Even if you bag yourself now climbing up the career ladder and are blessed with an early retirement, chances are you’ll be tied down with commitments further along the road and most of what you could experience now you won’t be able to experience then.
2. Are you sure? — Like I said before I was so sure of where I’d be in 10 years as a teenager but was way off. This is generally the case for most twentyers. We go to school, get a degree in something that isn’t ultimately for us and wind up zig zagging around our job choices anyway. It’s great to commit to something just be sure it’s what you want and not what you feel obligated to do.
3. Healthy as an Ox. — We aren’t getting and younger which arguably means we aren’t getting any healthier. Bask in your youthful strength, energy and mobility. Now is the time when we are most eager to do the things that scare us. Climbing Kilimanjaro in a motorized scouter won’t be that cool.
4. You are still young. — Don’t forget that. We feel old and feel obligated to act as if we were running a country. Truth is we are still young and most of us don’t have many commitments. It’s likely to be the last years of our freedom so why not relish in them.
5. What do you have to lose? — At the end of the day, nothing. You won’t have as nice a car or might not own a house straight away but I truly believe that by taking time to discover your talents, personality, cares, fears, obsessions, you will have a confidence and contentment that others will notice and desire. That is true value.
I know not everyone can do this, that’d be silly. But if you are struggling to find your place in the world. Take a risk. Take your twenties off.