My 20s: a retrospective

As I get ready to turn 29 again for the next 10 years, it’s a good time to take stock of my 20s.

When I was a little girl, I had a lot of expectations about my 20s.  To me, it was the decade of being an adult for the first time.  I’d be free of those pesky teenage years when no one takes you seriously and you have no money to your name.

I always thought (back when I planned how my life was going to turn out) I would finally get married to a super-gorgeous awesome man, have a few perfect kids, and have money to buy whatever I wanted, likely a big house, a car, a truck, and a swimming pool for the backyard.

Then, as my 20s went on, I realized how fast the decade was disappearing without any of that happening.

Me circa 2006 in my groomswoman's garb.

I went to school, either the best or worst decision of my life, depending how you look at it.

Best: I studied for years at a top university, quietly amassing a liberal arts education that opened my mind.  I’m not sure I would trade it for all the tea in China, as they say (though I’m not sure how much that is; do they have a high output?)

Worst: I couldn’t pay for everything as I went so (surprise, surprise) I had to take out student loans (<——- EVIL! VILE!)  Not only did university suck up my income at the time, it became a whirling vortex that made future earnings vanish.  There may have been a few credit cards.

I suppose I can’t knock student loans or credit cards, though, because most lower income students cannot afford to sign for loans of a similar amount without being a descendant of the Irvings or Sobeys.

However, going to school has delayed my previous dreams, imagined while I played Barbies and changed fake diapers on plastic babies.

But not all is lost.

I’m leaving my 20s behind after a lot has happened:

  • buying my first ever new car!
  • earning journalism awards and having Lloyd Robertson whistle at me as I accepted one
  • getting not one but two degrees so I have letters after my name!
  • writing two theses (thesi?)
  • starting a blog that people actually read!
  • moving not once, not twice, but thrice and losing nothing off the back of the truck (well, except that chair, but it was still kind of hanging on and flapping against the tailgate)
  • saying goodbye to my two grandmothers
  • parents’ divorce
  • the death of my beloved pets
  • the saving of a stray cat who now curls up in my lap like, all the time (I’m surprised he isn’t here now)
  • the beautiful weddings of loved ones including my brother
  • learning how to public speak
  • singing karaoke for the first time ever without sweating buckets (just small containers)
  • working in the media industry
  • becoming master of my health
  • teaching children for the first time and getting thank you cards!
  • learning about diversity so that I can appreciate multiple perspectives
  • closely related: becoming a feminist!
  • finally mastering shortbreads (which does not diminish the validity of the previous point!)

I could go on, but suffice to say, it’s been a decade of many learning experiences.

I can’t wait to be free of my 20s, though, when no one takes you seriously and you don’t have a penny to your name.

I’ll let you know if in my 30s, I finally get that darling man, ginormous house, swimming pool and 2.5 kids.


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