We all experience the strange feeling of being lost at one point or another in our lifetimes. Sometimes we feel lost about the direction our career is headed. Other times, we feel our relationship status is a lost cause. Even more common, we have moments of feeling lost about what we want in life and how to achieve the goals we set for ourselves.

In short, being lost is a feeling we know all too well.

As relatable as this concept of feeling lost seems, I challenge this idea. I like to think of our twenty-something years as being wandering years, not lost years. We are wandering through our twenties, following trends of trial and error to set the foundation of adulthood. We are discovering what our passions are, what goals we hope to achieve, and overall, what we want out of life.

Here are four reasons why our twenty-something years are wandering years:

1. We are learning what we do and don’t want in life.

The stretch of years we dub our “twenties” is a decade of self-discovery. Many of us are college graduates (maybe even grad school alumni) and in the midst of landing our first adult professions. We are getting married, having babies, buying our first homes, and learning to be independent for the first time.

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Our twenty-something years are full of trial and error. We are testing the waters to see what we want. If we fail, we get up and try again in a new direction. Even if/when we fail, it’s not really failure. The twenty-something years are full of opportunties to find a career path, a partner, a living space, and most of all, a direction. We’re wandering until we find what works!

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2. We are learning new skills.

This is not the time to worry about job hopping too much because every job we work in is a new opportunity to develop and sharpen our skills. This is the time we should wander into different fields of work to learn what types of careers we are cut out for.

Is accounting boring? Try working in social media management! Is working in a law office far too rigid and dense? Start a career in real estate or become a travel blogger!

Right now is the time to push beyond the limits of our imagination. Every single job, internship, or freelance opportunity we participate in is bound to teach us a whole host of new skills. Compiling all of these skills together makes us more impressive during job interviews, while also widening our horizons.

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3. Every relationship is a teachable moment.

We aren’t lost if we separate from someone we love, especially during our twenties. Dating is a perfectly normal twenty-something activity. If you’re married, that’s great! Single, that’s great too!

If you’re still dating, look at the positives. Dating different types of people and immersing ourselves in a variety of relationships is the best way to determine what we’re looking for in a partner. Every relationship teaches us a lesson, whether it’s trust, communication, patience, love, sacrifice, etc. Only by dating different people will we truly determine what we value in a partner.

4. Your twenties are wandering years — the perfect time to try new things and evolve.

If there is ever a time in life when we can afford to be a little reckless, this is it! Our twenties is a decade of exploration. We study abroad in foreign lands, try new cuisine, learn a new language, and discover our passions.

This is the time we can make mistakes because we have nothing but time ahead of us. Yes, we need to be responsible, but it’s also fair to say that we can take more risks because it’s part of the process.

Who cares if we go out dancing with our friends and look like complete idiots? Will someone be offended if we hop around in jobs for a bit to find what career we really fit in? Who will mind if we take our time finding the right direction specific to us?

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As long as we’re chasing our happiness and we’re not hurting anyone in the process, then it shouldn’t matter. We are wandering and wandering until we figure it all out. Every mistake and each new experience is bound to help us evolve.

The next time we feel lost, let’s instead challenge ourselves to feel like wanderers. There is no shame in not having a set path in life, especially when we’re only just beginning adulthood.

Life is about the journey, and we should remind ourselves of this often. We are not lost, we are wanderers.