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Your twenties are the time for making mistakes and learning from them. Your twenties are for growing pains and figuring yourself out. It’s also the time period were being selfish should be encouraged. You aren’t required to give yourself away to the point of non-existence. You are allowed to say no. You are allowed to walk away. More importantly, you are allowed to change without warning.

I remember thinking I was supposed to have it all figured out in my twenties. The reality is that life is just coming together then. In my mind, by the age of 25 I should be settled into my “adult” life. However, at the age of 25, I was broken, dealing with a failing marriage, and trying to figure out my life purpose. It was not how I pictured my life going, but there I was dealing with the cards I was dealt. Yet, I’m thankful for it all. It helped me establish what I needed going forward and most of all—my self worth. I had been so giving of myself in my earlier twenties. I got lost in what society deemed as socially acceptable. Yet, socially acceptable had me looking at myself like I was stranger. I had passed up so many opportunities due to relationships, family ties, and friendships. So I made the decision to start over. The one thing life has taught is that it’s NEVER too late to start over. I decided to live life on MY terms at the age of 26. I let go of expectations for this perfect life, and I just started living for the moment. I started taking chances and opportunities that I felt I wasn’t enough for. As it turns out, I was always enough. I hadn’t realized that me being selfish with myself was just me setting boundaries. Boundaries for my time, for myself, and most of all as a preservation of my mental health. It was all about me doing what was best for me. I had to relearn better behaviors for myself and create a life that reflected that. In that process, I realized that my selfishness didn’t make me vain. It made me aware—aware of how much of myself I needed back. I reclaimed my time and my energy had given away.

So spend your twenties being free and don’t forget to give to yourself. Give to yourself without limits and most importantly give to yourself often. Keep your needs as priority despite any obstacles that may come your way. These years are tumultuous, but worth every moment you create on your journey to self-discovery. So good luck and much love for these 20-somethings.