According to sitcoms we all know and love, at this phase in life we should have great careers, a fabulous group of friends, and wardrobes that rival the glossy pages of the most recent Vogue spread. (I’m thinking of you Sex and the City and Girlfriends.) If Disney movies gave any inkling into the way our lives should be, we’d all have been whisked away by the handsome prince, living in the lap of luxury in a palace bustling with workers who are now at our beck and call.
And if our most basic dreams were to come true, we’d at least have an apartment with a fridge stocked with more than last weeks leftovers and cheap white wine.
For most of us, dear twenty-somethings, that isn’t the case, but fret not. You aren’t the only millennial headed home to Mom and Dad’s after turning the tassel that you’re more than likely still paying for. And that’s okay.
There’s no promise that working hard and staying positive in your twenties will lead to a life lived in a bustling palace, but maybe your apartment-hunting dreams aren’t as far-fetched as they seem. Instead of beating yourself up over the circumstances, take these steps to living your life more realistically.
Set honest, attainable goals.
Looking forward to owning that loft with the great view of the city and a Porsche in the garage is an amazing aspiration, but be honest with yourself, the chances of that happening during your twenties is slim to none. Instead of focusing on amassing a wealth of things, use this time to set personal and professional goals to better yourself. Need to learn a new skill or develop some personal attributes that’ll be a commodity in the long run? Now is the time to focus on that. The things will come later.
In case you missed it, we discussed setting and reaching your goals in your twenties here.
Prepare yourself for the hard work to come.
Big hopes and lofty goals make for great daydreams and conversation, but they lend themselves to disappointment every time. Graduating from college, which oft takes place during our second decade, gives off the implication that your twenties are time to reap the benefit of a lifetime of work, but that isn’t so. Now is the time to put the years of schooling to good use and continue working hard toward those honest goals.
Acknowledge the good that’s come thus far.
It’s easy to get caught up in what you haven’t achieved or don’t have, but keep in constant recognition of what’s good in your life. Moving back home may not have been your plan, but spending time learning family recipes with Mom isn’t so bad. You may not have the job of your dreams, but you have a job and that’s worth positive recognition.
Getting hung up on the negative will leave you dejected. Set your sights on the positive and remain hopeful for the future.