10 Things to be Grateful for in your 20's

by - Wednesday, November 27, 2013

So, you have no money. And people are always talking about how useless and narcissistic your generation is. And other 20-somethings continue to write inane lists about being in your 20's (why do we love these so much?). I know, I know, being in your 20's can be the worst, but on this the week of gratitude, let's appreciate those things about youth we will only truly appreciate once we are old:

10.  Being home- free housing, laundry, all that business flies out the window the closer you get to thirty. The Boy still lets his mom do his laundry when we are home for trips, but I bet those days are plenty numbered. Also, and this is one that will catch you by surprise, the further you get from 20, the more things will have changed at home without you, and the less you will belong in the current setup of what home is. That is a weird feeling, but it happens, whether you like it or not.

9. Weirdly memorable holidays- remember that anniversary where everything went totally to plan, you had perfectly acceptable tools available to you, and things were easy? I have no idea, because I haven't had it yet. The dinners where things go totally wrong, the Thanksgiving you eat off of paper plates with only spoons, or the Christmas tree that is really just a branch are all spectacularly good things. There is something to be said for simplicity, and not having a ton makes you enjoy what you do have. It has become a played out platitude for a reason- it is true!

8. Acne, baby fat, and other things you should have grown out of already- alas, you have not. These last bastions of youth almost always turn out to be gross, but we should all be grateful right? Because at least we aren't an actual teenagers.

7. New friends- You know what nobody tells you about being an adult? It becomes really freaking hard to make friends! Be grateful for the people you meet who you just genuinely like, because they can be harder to come by, and simple settings like college or job filled with new people become huge blessings all on their own.

6. Metabolisms- Right now, let's all eat an extra crescent roll or turkey leg or giant piece of non-gross pie (why is so much pie so nasty?), because even if we feel annoyed with our bodies, it is nothing compared to what we will feel about them later, when they are truly uncooperative.

5. We can go places- Don't you hate when you have to pay a dogsitter? Or find your spawn a babysitter? Oh, you don't know what these things are like? Me either. People are marrying later into their 20's, so if you can go on a trip, even a road trip from phone, The fewer responsibilities open you up to have some time for experiences and friends. Sure, those additions in life are nice, but everyone misses these days later down the line, right?

4. Grandparents and cousins- If you have any, go give them hugs. For many people in their 20's, you are still young enough to not have to go to too many loved one's funerals. Also, even if your cousins live far away, you still know about them and their lives, and you can have a fun conversation with them at any time. The truth of life is that families, especially extended ones, go all sorts of ways, so this early phase of adulthood where you still see Aunt Sally is a huge blessing, whether you know it or not.

3.Tiny apartments- These places filled with hand me downs will be the place you yearn for later. We will all miss when life was just really simple, and cleaning our apartment only took an hour. Also, I recommend anything where coziness is involved.

2. The zinga zinga- Everyone in their 20's, at least once, should feel some genuine chemistry with someone or something. We all get the chance to feel that "oooooh, this could be going somewhere type feeling. Maybe you don't have it all figured out, but moments of happy clarity can fuel you through a lot of nonsense.

1. The millions of possibilities available to us, including the ones we will never take- We are all scared shitless, because we still aren't sure what we are going to do, or just as scary, how to turn what we are doing now into what we want to do. I don't know how many times I have heard a 20-something (including myself) apologetically explain to someone older what they are doing for work, or why they chose that crazy thing for their major, or what the hell they are doing with their life. What we don't realize is that endless possibility is such a blessing, and that if we can maintain this sense of limitlessness and flexibility, our lives will remain interesting and vibrant. Just knowing you are choosing one thing over another makes what you chose more important. I recognize that sometime down the line, people can better see the things they didn't choose, but at our age, we never question that we should choose something else.

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