One of my favorite parts of traveling is the moment of intense clarity as you board that plane ride home. Maybe it’s a car, a train a bus or boat… but whatever form of transportation you prefer, the journey back to reality (though a bittersweet one), serves as a mental refresh where you feel clear and refueled to finally finish the things you’ve been longing to do.
Some weeks ago, I was on a bus headed to the airport after getting to experiencing one of my favorite adventures so far. Spain will always hold a special place in my heart (thank you Brody & Jimbo), but on this trip I left a piece of my soul somewhere along the Mediterranean near the cliffs of Southern Italy.
On my trip home, I started to think about how confusing it is to navigate through your 20's.
I realize this isn’t an entirely new concept. Yes, growing up is hard and the feeling of uncertainty is universally apparent, but our society’s digital ways make it so easy to feel like your life should look a certain way and if it doesn’t, you’re doing something wrong.
When you were in school there was always some sort of pre-defined goal or deadline. It was easy to see the light at the end of the tunnel whether it was an important exam, your GPA, a graduation date or future career opportunity.
But the adult world is not always full of hard deadlines and clear goals. It is a domain of vast uncertainty, varies among all, and alone can be a seemingly dark and confusing place.
Should I pay off my student loans now or should I put my savings towards a home of my own? Do I further my education in a field I am still uncertain about, or do I work first and gain the experience that will give me a better understanding of what it is I love to do?
Our digital culture has many positives, but it is important to remember that it is not always a place for perpetual guidance.
Try not to compare your life to those seen on the internet and remember that a healthy life can include periods of uncertainty, confusion and “deaths of identity” in which one’s purpose feels detached.
It is okay to feel uncertain, and it is okay to be confused.
Being in your 20's is about remembering that you are malleable and adaptable. It’s about making choices, whether right or wrong, that are instinctively and inherently your own.
Your 20's are not suppose to be easy, and your path does not need to look like those around you.
Make sure to be the fuel behind your decisions, not social media or another person’s input.
Remember that material items will only get you so far, and make sure that your work ignites the fire within you or is the very stepping stone to something you’ll love to do every day.
Share your experiences with the world to inspire and educate, not to boast or show-off.
Remember that there is no timeline for love, even if Instagram makes you feel that way….and loving yourself first, even through your flaws, is the first step of living a genuine life - full of love and joy.
Our society needs to honor periods of transition. That the times when purpose and identity feel hazy or faraway are only those that are temporary.
Lets remember that social media can be a wonderful outlet for creative expression and a dark place for expectation.
Travel because you want to explore the unknown, not to say that you did, but to gain a better understanding of people and their cultures.
Most importantly…. live fully, freely and passionately always and be true to you and your path to happiness.