I have always been a bit of a worrier. When I was a little kid, I remember envisioning my life as this uphill climb. The hill represented the structure of my life, school, church, family, friends. There was an order to life. First, there was elementary school, then middle school, high school and college. Church was every Sunday and Wednesday. Family and friends were the people that filled my life.
Structure. There was structure. However, in my vision the structure only went so far. Once I got to a certain point in my life (hello adulthood), once I climbed to the top of the hill, there was no longer a set in stone structure, no instruction manual, no definite yes or no, just a free fall. The free fall after the climb terrified me.
Why did the free fall scare me so much? Let’s be honest, why does it still scare me even a little to this day? Choices. Because there are choices to be made and so many options. What career path will I choose? What college will I attend? What will I study? Will I go to grad school? Will I date this guy or that one? Will I move away from home or move back home for a little while? Will I open myself up to this new friendship? Should I hold onto this friendship or is it time to let it go?
Twenty Something Advice (for Anybody):
Just take a step. It’s okay if you get it wrong!
Questions. All awaiting a yes or no from ME. The task to decide, to choose, to lead, to be an adult can be hard. It can be downright scary, but here is what I am realizing: It’s okay to take a step, even if you get it wrong! Let me repeat: It’s okay to make a choice, a decision, to say yes or no, to take a chance. You don’t have to be so fearful of getting the answer wrong that you choose not to make a move at all.
Life is not a quiz where you circle yes or no and if you choose the wrong answer, then you fail. Yes, life is full of choices, but I am here to tell you that twenties are a great time to step out without fear of the free fall. Let’s say you take that job offer or say yes to that first date. As long as you do not have any huge red flags and your conscious isn’t telling you to hit the breaks, it won’t hurt to take a chance, to step out onto the water and get a little wet.
If I could go back, I would tell my teenage self to stop worrying about life after high school, to stop worry about not picking the right major or the right school, and to just step out and take a chance. I promise even if you or I were to make a “terribly wrong decision,” we’d be okay. So just follow your instincts when you are faced with choices, and if you aren’t sure what choice to make, take a step, one step at a time and go from there.