We’ve heard of the girl-boss era. We’ve seen the travel era. We’ve feared our villain eras. But what about their silent partner?
What is there to say about the selfish era of a woman in her twenties?
Hear me out; I’m not saying that we all become raging egotistical maniacs. This isn’t a proposition encouraging an era of narcissists (although we’ve all experienced that one too). This is a time in a woman’s life that is often spent serving others rather than herself, living in the name of a life that isn’t authentically hers or plagued with fear of her taking the road less traveled. Your twenties are supposed to teach you how to have your own life.
In an era where mistakes are consistent and expectations are minimal, why be anything but selfish? Selfishness during this time isn’t negative, it’s the perfect cushion for failing on the way to self-discovery without feeling like we’re letting anyone down.
This is an era encouraging young women to make choices that serve solely themselves. An era that emphasizes the beauty of being old enough to solidify life decisions, but young enough to accept failure in the wrong ones. It’s about learning how to gracefully walk the line between youthful ignorance and maturity.
I grew up listening to my mother say that no one knows me better than I know myself, but how was I supposed to know myself outside of everywhere I grew up belonging to?
I had no idea what I liked or disliked, both about myself and the world around me. I had to open myself up to the inevitability of failure in order to freely understand myself. And while I’ll most definitely always be learning, the majority of my own self-discovery has only happened in the last two years of my life.
A selfish twenties era doesn’t erase consequences. If anything, it does quite the opposite. It proves the importance of learning from experience, showing that consequence is essential in shaping personality.
This time is not about finding the answers to life’s questions, but rather about arming yourself with the knowledge to understand their impact on your life fully (just at a later date). It’s about experiencing, with plenty of time to bounce back from whatever dumb choice your experience led to!
I often think about the stories my parents tell me about their twenties. Granted, they’re dutifully edited, with the most feral parts smoothed over. Nonetheless, I can hear the development of their characters in their stories. It’s oddly reassuring, knowing that my parents were probably (definitely) as clueless as my friends and I right now.
I have no idea what I’m doing. But I do know that I’m doing it for me.
Book the flight. Apply for the job. Spend all of your money. Go to girls’ night. Travel the world. Shamelessly dance in (or on) the bar. Stop to smell the flowers. Cherish the friendships. Above all else, treasure the memories.
Here’s to another year of selfish twenties, whether it leads to an amicable ending or a villainous one, who’s to say?