Our 20s; the time of our lives in many cases, but it’s also a decade of emotional roller coasters, a crave for freedom and success, and the years where we begin to really understand who we are. Turning 25, I was hit with a lot of feelings. One hovering thought was just how much I’ve transformed since I graduated from university at 21.
A few months after graduating, I hopped on a plane to Barcelona where I started my new life, discovered myself, grew, and adapted to my surroundings. The best decision I’ve made; I think getting pushed out of our comfort zone should be a requirement in our 20s. Some of us stay sheltered for too long and leaving our comfort zone has the power to really make us see the light.
Making it to the age 25, I’ve given up quite a few unessential, toxic things. May this list inspire you, confuse you, or enlighten your mind. Here are 7 things I’ve given up in my 20s.
I think the last time I straightened my hair I was probably 22. Why I hid my curls for so many years still baffles me. Natural hair is full of personality, life, and charm. It sets us apart in a way.
I feel so much more like myself since I started rocking the natural look. Now I get tons of compliments on my thick, frizzy hair and I feel more confident in my own skin hair.
Screw the beauty industry for making us think we should be ashamed of our natural waves and imperfections.
That sounds a bit harsh, but it’s something I’ve given up in my 20s. I’m done pretending to get along with people who aren’t healthy to my life. I’m done with mundane, lackluster conversations about basic bull$%^&.
In middle school, high school, and college I craved to fit in and be popular. A lot of times it bit me in ass. I didn’t know who I was, so I allowed others to tell me who I was.
In high school, that was a “whore”. Being called a whore from the very beginning of your high school career puts a damper on your self esteem. You begin to think less highly of yourself and that’s exactly what happened. I found myself in unhealthy relationships and friendships that were entirely surface level, adding no real value to my life.
As my high school years progressed, I found myself a little bit more, accepted that I was not actually a whore, and stopped competing in the popularity contest.
As for university, I joined a sorority. The wrong one. I found a sorority that made me feel accepted, loved me, and felt down to earth. Instead of joining the one that was right for me, I joined the one that was more popular with nothing bad to say about it other than the girls are “too nice.”
The mistake was that I fell into a group of women who weren’t right for me. For the most part, they were superficial, focused only on having the best reputation, and quite closed minded.
I bit my tongue for years until I studied abroad for my entire junior year, came back at 21, went alum (meaning I retired from the sorority) and basically called it and the majority of the girls associated with it quits.
When moving to Barcelona at 22, I learned people like those who are themselves; they’re down with the weird, quirky, and shameless. Over time, I felt like I finally found genuine relationships with people who truly wanted to be around me.
Aluminum-based deodorant & more
Aluminum-based antiperspirants have a link to breast cancer, which runs in my family, but beyond that it’s straight up unnatural and has become a major no thanks in my 20s. Instead, I’ve switched to natural alternatives. Did you know it’s even quite simple to make your own?
Beyond unnatural deodorant, I’ve cut out harsh chemicals from my lifestyle. I use natural products on my face and body, I almost never eat processed fast food, and I’ve starting grocery shopping more eco and body consciously. It matters what we put into and onto our bodies. Keep that in mind.
Wired bras and padded bras have all gone bye-bye. Luckily, I’ve got small boobs and going braless is completely comfortable for me.
Some people may claim it might make other people uncomfortable, but you know what makes me uncomfortable? Cigarette smoke, people standing to close to me in lines, and a whole bunch of other $%^&. But I get over it, and as will everyone else if me not wearing a bra bothers them.
Of course, I’m not 100% braless all the time. I’ll rock a sports bra and especially a cute thin bralette — they’re my favorite.
The concept of the American Dream
By the way, what even is that!? We are brainwashed to believe all our lives should reflect the lives of those who surround out. Why? Because it helps the economy and fits the American narrative.
Luckily, many millennials have pushed the American Dream to the side to focus on what truly matters: living. Instead of buying a house and having a 401k plan, we’ve decided to work for ourselves, travel the world, and live life with a stronger focus on living rather than working.
It’s definitely one of the biggest things I’ve given up in my 20s. I couldn’t be further from getting a 9 to 5, settling down, and buying a house.
The definition of home
- 1.the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household
My life is divided among three countries. I have no idea what or where home is to me. At this point, it most closely resembles where I lay my head down at night.
The trust is, at this point in my life I am completely okay with that. Sometimes I crave the idea of having a permanent home base, not just an apartment I’ll live in for a year max, but in the end, I know I’m not ready for that kind of commitment to place or country.
My safety shell
I just made this phrase up; I don’t know if it exists. This safety shell in where I hid myself for years and years in an attempt to not get hurt. I hid my true self for a long time, only revealing larger fractions of myself to friends who got me on a certain level. But even then, the shell was still intact.
In my 20s, I’ve shed my safety shell and have learned to let people in, to get to know me and understand me.
In university people always said “Christa you’re such a mystery” or they would be shocked when I said something about my life, “Wow! I didn’t know that about you, Christa.” Even the simplest details like how many sisters I have was not widely known.
Now my friends probably know too much about me. I speak about my bodily functions, moods, childhood experiences and more like it’s the weather forecast. Becoming more of an open book has made me a happier person.
Honestly, I’m pleased with who I am at 25. I’m working on myself more every day, but it takes giving things unnecessary things and making room for the good. May the roller coaster continue!