Well, the countdown to 26 is well underway. I’ve signed away my parent’s health insurance and picked out a party dress. All that’s left to do is make my Birthday Resolution. Queue this TEDTalk from Meg Jay about how 30 is NOT the new 20. In this 15 minute talk she urges us to view our 20s as a developmental sweet spot, not a decade to dawdle and procrastinate on life.
“…Claiming your 20s is one of the simplest yet most transformative things you can do for work, for love, for your happiness, maybe even for the world. This is not my opinion. These are the facts. We know that 80% of life’s most defining moments take place by age 35. The means that 8 out of 10 of the decisions and experiences and AH-HA moments that make your life what it is will have happened by your mid-thirties. We know that the first 10 years of a career has an exponential impact on how much money you’re going to earn. We know that more than half of Americans are married or are living with or dating their future partner by 30. We know that the brain caps off its second and last growth spurt in your twenties as it rewires itself for adulthood, which means that whatever it is you want to change about yourself, NOW is the time to change it. We know that personality changes more during your 20s than at any other time in life. And we know that female fertility peaks at age 28 and things get tricky after age 35 so your 20s are the time to educate yourself about your body and your options.”
And she offers three key pieces of advice to take full advantage of this time in our lives.
- Get Identity Capital - Do something that adds value to who you are. Do something that’s an investment in who you might want to be next.
- New things come from our weak ties - friends of friends of friends. Embrace these weak ties as a way to learn about a new opportunity or meet someone new to date.
- Pick your family - consciously choosing who and what you want rather than just accepting who is choosing you in that particular moment.
So as I prepare for my 26th year, I’m going to take her advice and jump into it all without fear. Or, at the very least, not let the fear stop me from taking chances and making changes.
“Don’t be defined by what you didn’t know or didn’t do. You are deciding your life right now.”
Happy Almost Birthday to me.