The other day, a friend of mine asked me if I would re-live my early 20s if I could .and for a moment I wondered would I ? On the one hand, the golden 20s give you the option of pulling all-nighters and yet still having the energy and capacity to function the next day. They allow you to enjoy the virtue of flawless skin that you don’t need to apply moisturizer to. They allow you to snack on big macs and not gain weight, and more importantly they invite you to act like a fool while using the excuse of being young and clueless as your alaby. But on the flip side of all this, your 20s also force you to deal with your lack of experience in the work place, the donkeywork assigned to 20 somethings, and the crummy salary that you will easily finish mid-month. Your 20s bring you college exams to study for, a professor who hates you for no reason , not to mention your own whiney attitude that will get you falling flat on your face soon enough. You will live through the abusive relationship that is the staple of any 20-something’s life, and the worse part of all this is that the abusive relationship will last longer than it should simply because you believe at this age in the existence of prince charming.
I thought back to my 20s, only to realize that I remember that decade of my life well enough. I remember that there are one or two experiences there that I am more than happy to have out of my system. For example, I am thrilled to be passed the point of pondering why a guy is smiling at me or being nice to me. I am thrilled to be passed the point of the 2 hour phone calls with female friends trying to analyze some poor guy’s kind gestures, which more often than not mean nothing more than kind gestures. I am thrilled to be passed the days where I am eating a can of baked beans coz it’s the end of the college semester and I ran out of money, and I am glad that I don’t need to share a bathroom with all the girls on my floor in the dorms anymore. I am glad that I don’t take a boss’s bad mood as a threat to my job security, while in my 20s a boss’s bad mood used to stress me out. I am thrilled with the knowledge that a friendship coming to an end or a relationship going south will not kill me, while in my 20s I may have thought that such endings might.
I can list more and more 20-something experiences I am glad I am over now, but most importantly I am glad to know myself more now that I am passed the confusion of my 20s. I know what friends to have, what job I want, what qualities I want in a partner, and what kind of life I want to live. I know when an aspect of my life is not working and what I ought to do to make it work, and most importantly I know that an aspect of my life not working doesn’t necessarily mean that I should be depressed about it.
You see, I see 20 something men and women stressing all the time about trivial issues and I smile to think I am so glad these are not my issues anymore. I love that I don’t care if I have a photo less than perfect posted of me, coz a photo is not my definition and I love how I really don’t care if someone has something negative to say about me, because I am past the need for validation. I love my ability to disagree with someone over an issue and yet maintain a friendship, because I am past my 20s, an era where me and my friends should represent a united front, where we should love and hate the same people. I am thrilled that I don’t ask dumb questions like “does he like me?” simply because I assume that if he does he will say so and if he can’t say so then it’s his loss. So to my friend and all those who are dying to be younger, I say I don’t join you. I don’t want to be in my 20s again. I’ve been there and I’ve done that. I like my 30s coz in my 30s I can still be free to be me, goofy, funny, sociable sometimes, and antisocial at other times, young at heart, yet mature when needed, and more importantly I am really not waiting to be like the rest.