As a twenty-something based in the New York Metro Area, I am definitely learning a few things about how to make the most of life. It can be both terrifying and exhilarating to lead a life knowing you are a small fish in a big pond.
There are times I feel confident and insecure. There are times I feel strong and weak. There are times I feel excited and terrified. What’s kept me going are these ways to lead an awesome life that I’ve personally kept in mind. So let’s get to what they are!
Be unapologetic about who you are and what you represent. To me, this is the most important. There are so many opportunities to do the opposite. We can dull down who we are, but at the core, we still are that person. It’s up to us to live in our truth.
This is not easy for me, by any means. Being twenty-six, I can get tempted to not be who I am. Out of fear of judgment, I will either not mention something I love or not fully embody my personality in front of others. But those are just temptations, because then I go through a cycle of “what if” questions.
What if I was truly myself? What if I had no problem saying all that I do professionally? What if I had no problem mentioning I am a practicing Christian? What if I said I’m still living with my parents?
We are not in charge of how other people think of us or what opinions they make. So we might as well let others form an opinion when we are being our true selves. We also might as well be proud that we are always 100% honest and true in representing who we are. That’s just an awesome feeling in itself!
Stay in your lane and never compare your journey to anyone else’s. In any big city, competition is real. In New York City, competition is the realest. Don’t get me wrong, competition can be good, it can be healthy and necessary for us to need that extra push in the right direction. However, let’s not confuse competition and comparison.
Comparison is when we decide that someone else has something better than us. We tend to envy it and want it for ourselves. We will look at that accomplishment like we should have had it, whether it’s a win, promotion, collaboration, gig, you name it.
I used to do this all the time. I used to critique what other people had and say that I was more deserving. In a big city, this is an easy trap to fall into. But I’ve learned something. I needed to stay in my own damn lane. My journey is different than everyone else’s, thus, my wins will look different than everyone else’s.
We all have unique talents and abilities that should be celebrated. We can be a little competitive and admire someone else. But the slippery road of comparison will keep us from really moving forward. To lead an awesome life as a twenty-something, we want to move forward instead of trying to move toward what other people have.
Learn to say no, in a nice way and with a smile; setting boundaries is important. No is an important word to adopt into our vocabulary. I notice as twenty-somethings, we are somehow allergic to it! We want to say yes to everything to make other people happy, when we know in our guts that it is not the right timing or thing for us.
I recently had to say no to an amazing opportunity. If you would have told me months ago that this opportunity would arise, I wouldn’t have believed you. This was something that was my dream and would be any New Yorker’s dream in my yoga industry. But I said no. Why? Because it wasn’t the right time. I had to set boundaries with my own self in what was realistic and not realistic in my schedule.
At times, we are going to have to say no. It is going to happen one way or the other. What matters is how we say no. We can be fake and use an excuse, or we can let people know the real deal. There’s nothing wrong with saying I’m super busy with so many projects or admitting that you have to spend time with your family.
You know what? People tend to respect when we are honest with saying no. It is so rare to see others setting boundaries with themselves. How awesome is it to be an example of that at the same time as honoring ourselves!
Last but not least, the right people will gravitate toward you with right attitude and at the right time. We are badass, kickass, and a big ass deal. We are dynamite just by being ourselves. It’s simply because there is no one else like us. With an attitude of confidence, we gravitate our people.
When I first came into this blog and Instagram journey, I was intimidated. I had a hard time thinking that anyone would care about what the heck I had to say. But I continued anyway. Today, I have built lasting friendships and amazing opportunities that could have only come from being who I am, Shanna Tyler.
I stopped worrying about the timing of everything. I stopped worrying about other people and whether they would like me. Because the right people would come at the right time. You are my people, yes you! I’m so happy you are, too! This life is that much more awesome in being surrounded by the right people who are on your team.
Living life as a twenty-something in a big city is rough, at times. These are the years we are still figuring out what life is all about. We are getting new jobs, quitting old ones, meeting new partners, dumping old ones, embracing our bodies, and hating our lumps. Ah! So much happening.
But what is real are these best ways to live. Setting boundaries is necessary. Staying in our lane is non-negotiable. Representing who we really are is key. And knowing that the right people will come into our life at the right time is straight truth. Now these ways are still all tested by me and worked on by me as a twenty-something. I’m not the queen of them, but certainly here to share them!
What are your best ways to live an awesome life as a twenty-something, especially in a big city? Either as a former twenty-something or a current one, feel free to leave any ways to make this whole life thing even better!