Post # 1
I’m 21, and I was wondering, what am I looking forward to? Many posters on this forum have commented that they are completely different in their late 20s, 30s, and beyond, and I was wondering in what ways and if you could describe the changes.
I hope that when I am 30 I have gained more self-confidence. That is the one thing that I am both aware I am lacking yet don’t know how to improve. I am working on being more patient with myself and with others, so I know at least that will change as I get older.
I’m very happy with how I’ve grown so far. I’ve drastically changed many of my worldviews from the ones I was brought up to believe, and as I travel/meet more people, I am learning that there are many more views for which I didn’t even know there were other positions. More importantly I feel like I’ve learned what it really means to love another person selflessly. I remember being 16 and complaining to my boyfriend (now DH) that I had “too many friends” because they were so much “work.” I hadn’t really had friends before that and was used to thinking only of myself. Now I see how rewarding it is to “be there” for someone else, and especially in the case of my husband and my sister, help them to be the best of what they are. Best of all I judge less and less as time goes on and my Darling Husband and I try to help each other see the gray areas in everything.
Post # 3
@beeks: I think changes are different for everyone. It’s a shame though because I’d like to know what I’m in store for, too. I’m 23 and while I feel like I have experienced a lot I feel like there is still so much I need to learn. I lack self confidence and have a pretty jaded view of the world which I hope I can grow out of. Fiance is really optimistic and trusting and he has yet to fully rub off on me but he is a great influence. I just always hear about people growing apart and changing in ways that hurts their relationship and I can’t help but worry a little but I have to shake these thoughts before they consume me. I think we have the control though and we can feel ourselves change which is a good thing in my opinion.
Post # 4
@MissP_Bee: From what I’ve seen, most people grow out of that bleak worldview. As one of my friends put it “You become old enough to realise the world’s crap, then you get a little older and realise you can’t do anything about it, so you stop caring!”
I’ve changed a lot over the past few years (I’m 25 now). Since 20, I’ve become a lot more confident in myself and my abilities (though it’s still something I need to work on).
I’ve also become a lot more compassionate of others and less judgemental…in some ways – in other ways, I’ve learned not to put up with bullshit and not be taken advantage of.
I’m a lot less impulsive – I used to do and say stupid things without thinking at all.
I don’t second-guess myself nearly as much as I used to – I used to do something, then dwell on it for ages and beat myself up about it.
I’ve also overcome PTSD (I think), which had had a pretty big impact on my behaviour and way of thinking about myself, so in terms of feeling like a healthy individual, I think I’ve come a long way in that respect.
Post # 5
@LadyElva: You give me hope! Fiance is 27 and even he said he has changed a lot since he was my age but it is hard to picture him as anyone but himself. Good for you overcoming something something like that! I have recently realized that my worst times (starts with depression then with frustration and irritability and then I finally blow up over one thing or another and have myself a good cry) are all clock work and all days leading up to my period. I remembered learning about PMDD and this sounds like what it might be, whatever it is though it feels hormonal and I wonder if women in their 20s are just still going through hormonal changes. I mean my core characteristics haven’t changed but there are definitely noticeable changes. Just a theory but mostly I hope I can learn to be more trusting. There is always room for more compassion and it’s nice to think I have time to work on that. I have noticed I have made more of an effort to reach out to my family. They are not always the most positive influences but they are still my family and it has taken me a while to realize that I need to make an effort even if they don’t. I’m sure as humans we will be changing and learning until the day we die and that’s just part of the fun.
Post # 6
This may sound snarky but believe me, I in NO WAY mean it to be!!! Truly…
At the age of 42…the best way I can answer your question would be like this:
How much have you changed and grown since the day you were born to your 25th birthday?
Thats how much you will grow and change in the next 20 or so years. And, since everything in life is so deeply relative, it is nearly impossible to tell anyone what that’s like 😉
At 25 you have EVERYTHING!!!!! To look forward to! Don’t let anyone define you, but you.
Post # 7
I’m 28.5 and Fiance is 29.
When I was 20-21 I thought I was plenty mature. I was in a way. I graduated college after 4 years with a double major, I never really got into much trouble. But I just didn’t have the same confidence or self sufficiency at that age that I have now.
I learned how to be independent and self-sufficient. I’m not talking about paying my own bills or anything, I’m talking about learning to be happy with myself. By the time I was 26/27 I was happy enough with myself that I would have been happy even if I had never met the man who became my fiance and would have been happy never getting married. I was okay with that and I wasn’t willing to settle for a relationship because I was “lonely” or didn’t want to be alone. That wasn’t good enough.
At some point I realized you cannot change others and the only thing you have control over is yourself and your own reactions/emotions. That means I just don’t care about a lot of things…I don’t feel any need to please anybody. When I was 21 I allowed some people treat me poorly and because I thought I could get them to change. That is a big NO.
I’m less impulsive and more compasisonate.
I learned a lot better what I wanted out of a partner, a relationship, and of life. I learned how I should be treated. That means I’m more than willing to cut anyone out of my life who is toxic. I just stopped putting up with bullshit or other peoples issues being taken out on me. I don’t let other people bother me for the most part. I don’t dwell on things.
And I’m way more responsible (even though I wasn’t terribly irresponsible when I was younger).
I also value family in a different way now then I did when I was younger. I cherish life and every day a lot more than I did when I was younger.
A lot of other things haven’t changed. I still have the same viewpoints socially, politically, and religiously as I did at 21
My fiance on the other hand is a different story. He was probably the most impulsive and reckless person you could imagine when he was 21 (I didn’t know him then). He’s been through and done things not too many people have or can even understand. But that made him who he is today. I think he really grew a lot after 26.
Post # 8
I’m now 44 years old. Here are ways I’ve changed or things I’ve learned in the past 20+ years:
My self-esteem, self-respect, and self-confidence have increased exponentially. Without these things you’ll have a hard time succeeding in a career or in life.
I learned to realize that material things aren’t worth anything. The only people that pay attention to these things are shallow and sad. They are lacking something major in their life and try to fulfill it with things. I learned to be happy with what I have and to always want. If you want for nothing then what do you have to look forward to?
I thought when I graduated college I would magically get a job and success would just happen. Holy hell…I only got my first professional job because I knew someone that worked at the place. I worked like a dog to be successful.
I learned to love myself, accept myself for who I am, and rely on myself for my own happiness. The only person that can truly make me happy is me. If I depend on that from another person I’ll never truly be happy.
In my 20s I had a life plan. Find myself in my 20s. (I’m still finding myself. Guess what..it’s a lifelong process.) Married no later than 30. (I married this year for the first time at 44.) Start having kids no later than 32. (Guess what…no kids and I won’t be having them). I finally realized that life plans are bullshit. You can’t put your life on a timeline.
I appreciate my family so very much now. In my 20s I really took them for granted. Lose a parent…that puts it all in order for you.
I had no idea in my 20s that I could be financially stable on my own. Well that’s nonsense…I’ve bought cars on my own. I bought a house on my own. I invest money on my own.
My views on religion have changed drastically. Back then I saw no reason for anyone to not be a Christian. Now I’m not even a Christian. I don’t care what anyone believes. If you want to worship a rock and that gives you peace and happiness then, by all means, worship the rock.
That’s just a few things. Truth is that if I could be face-to-face with my 22 year old self I would probably be disgusted by her and I would tell her. I would also want to slap her bitchy, know-it-all face. LOL
Post # 9
I believe I have changed a lot in the past couple years. I look back on some of the really stupid decisions I made. I loved to party. Some of my choices may have not been the best. But you live and you learn. My job makes me realize how lucky I was. (I work as a legal assistant for a criminal defense attorney’s office) Now I focus on school, work, and remodeling my house. I also feel like I was much more selfish. I now help family out with rent and such. I am also much more aware of where my money goes.
Post # 10
The biggest change for me was around 26.. I was your typical young 20s girl. Around 26 I feel like I actually started to grow up. Aside from the obvious I don’t party as much anymore changes, I think I have changed more as a person.
I was always somewhat mature. I moved out of my parents house young and bought a condo and got a good job. But, I was still very immature emotionally, even though like most people around that age, I didn’t think I was.
I have learned to respect people and not judge like I did when I was younger, I am more confident in myself and I don’t feel a need to please others and I really don’t care what other people do as long as they are happy. I really feel confident in my own skin (except for a few omg why hasn’t he proposed yet moments, lol) and I feel like my life has some kind of direction.
I got married in my early 20’s and we ended up divorced. We totally grew apart and when I finally left him it was like a huge sigh of relief. That marriage really made me see what I do and don’t want in life and I think ending it made me into such a stronger, better person.
Post # 11
I understand the world much better, I am much more self-confident, more peaceful and stable emotionally, more independent-minded, I’ve had a bunch of incredible, autobiography-worthy Adventures (with a capital “A”) and I’m engaged to a man who I would have thought could not actually exist in the real world because he’s too perfect for me.
Not bad for a decade, huh? May the next one go so well!
Post # 12
Since 21, I’ve gained: self confidence, self awarness, patience and understanding (able to see the bigger picture, put myself in other people’s shoes and understand their motiations.I know that I don’t have all the answers, and I’m ok with it.
The biggest/best personal growth: I don’t get so worked up about “the little things”. When I was in my early 20’s–fresh out of college and new to the work-force, every little thing (whether work, friend, guy or family related) seemed like a HUGE deal. I’ve gotten off the emotional roller coaster of the major highs and lows and am much more even-keeled. I also trust that things will work out as they’re supposed to. If something shitty’s happening, I chalk it up to a lesson I need to learn, and trust that it will all work out (it always does). No more dwelling.
Why: I’ve been promoted several times, been through a lay-off, excelled financially, struggled financially (we’re talking ramen for weeks). I’ve been hurt by men, and treated like a queen by the guy I’m now marrying. I’ve treated myself to nice purses and nice meals; and I’ve been treated to both. It definitely helps to make you more well-rounded to go through ups and downs. Only time can allow for these experiences.
Post # 13
I’m only 25 but I have changed so much since I was 20 – 23. I’ve really grown up over the last couple of years and I owe a lot of that to my relationship with my SO.
From the time I was 20 until I was 23ish, I was in a relationship with my ex and it was rocky all 3.5 years that we were together. Our arguments were quarterly: we’d be good for a few months, then fight nonstop for a few months, and repeat. I never felt like I was good enough for my ex and his friends and I certainly didn’t feel like my true self, but then again, I didn’t take the time to discover who I really was. I was immature, tried too hard, and I was a poser (sure I’ll admit that… I’d pretend to like bands, movies, etc., that I really didn’t just to fit in with his group).
Since graduating and leaving my ex for good though, I was able to settle into the real world and realize who I truly am. I am no longer trying to please other people nor am I trying to fit the mold of someone else’s expectations. I’ve also realized that petty, materialistic things don’t matter and that life should be about being true to yourself and sharing your passion and good vibes with those closest to you. I have a ways to go, but each day I am getting closer in my self discovery and I owe a lot of this to my SO. I actually met my current SO while I was still with my ex, but it was at the end of our relationship and SO has helped me come into my own so much. For the first time, I feel 100% content with who I am and he is a large reason why.
Post # 14
I’ve always been more mature and independent/self-sufficient that my peers. I grew up the only child in a single parent household, with a mother who had no interest in being one, and a family full of adults. I had no choice but to learn how to take care of myself at a young age. I learned the hard way how to pay bills and manage my money. I learned that what you want in a life partner at 18 is not the same as what you want at 20 or 22, and that when you discover that the romantic musician/poet/writer doesn’t feel that he should get a job because he needs to work on his book, you really need to move on. I moved on to a guy who had his shit together, but turned out to be an arrogant, controlling, manipulative, abusive asshole. I’m STILL smacking myself for that one.
I learned that my mother never wanted kids, and that she’s incredibly selfish. I learned that my family is actually pretty cool. I learned that I really should have followed my heart in college and gone into IT or interior design. I’ve learned to be more patient and a better listener (mostly). I’ve learned that kids are kids and don’t know any better most of the time, and that one day I’ll be that harassed mom in the grocery store whose kids won’t stop running around (I’m still kind of in denial about that one).
Like someone else mentioned, I am more willing and much quicker to cut out people who are toxic. Those people don’t deserve to be in your life because they’re just going to keep hurting/using you. I’m less angry than I used to be, but I allow myself to be angry when it pops up and let it go away quickly.
I learned that you’ll always change. At ages 0-20, I never wanted kids or to get married. I saw myself living in a big city in Europe. As I got into my early 20s, I started to see the point in getting married to someone and having kids. I would not ever want to live in a big city now, nor a more rural area. I like our medium-sized city where everything is conveniently located and isn’t overrun by tons of people.
Post # 15
I’m 26 and am a COMPLETELY different person than I was when I was even two years ago. Early 20s, I was still in college and then a recent grad. I was still partying, making poor life decisions and didn’t know where I fit into the world. I didn’t have any self-confidence, respect, motivation, and I wasn’t really “happy.”
Fast forward to now, I work out several times a week, eat healthy, haven’t drank alcohol in a year. I am more confident, infinitely happier, like to show the best side of me. I care more about the people in my life and like to let them know it. I really feel like I have become an “adult.”
Post # 16
I’m 26. In the last few years I have changed my chosen career path, and have also accepted that we will not be able to buy a property until we’re in our 30s, and am happy with that (previously I saw renting as ‘throwing money away’ and was totally against it).
I have also decided I definitely do not want children, even; until about 2 years ago, I had assumed it wasn’t really a choice and that I just would, the I realised it WAS a choice, and not one I wanted to make. Cue massive discussions with OH lol.
So, two pretty major changes really. But otherwise, in terms of my outlook and beliefs etc, I haven’t changed since my teens.