Archive for June, 2013

So it’s been weeks. Well, actually months. BUT… I have some exciting news. I just started a new job! WOOT WOOT! This has been an almost year-long job search process and I am so happy and relieved to say that I am back at my former place of employment doing marketing. My previous job, although great experience with (mostly) great people, was not for me for a number of reasons. I was definitely unhappy and have been looking for a change since I pretty much started last April. And let me tell you: a year of unhappiness at a job can definitely take a toll on your mental health (which most likely contributed to my lack of motivation for blogging!). Fortunately, a position opened up under my old boss (who I love!) and I just started last week. Yay for change and yay for a job I don’t get feelings of dread about every Sunday night.

Which brings me to my post for today. My friend sent me this TED Talk last week and I finally got around to listening to it this morning. It’s a talk by a clinical psychologist named Meg Jay who specializes in counseling 20-somethings.

Her talk is about how your 20’s is not a time to trivialize your choices or feel like you don’t have to settle down or worry about anything important [read: career, husband, kids] until your 30’s. Meg’s stance is that those in their 20’s most certainly SHOULD be concerned about these things now; because once their 30’s hit, and when they find that none of these things are in place, many feel rushed and settle instead of finding what they actually WANT.

[Rachel sidebar]
I think, like many of my friends (especially my still-single friends like myself), we sometimes adopt the attitude of “I’ll worry about it later” or “I’m still having fun, what’s the rush?” when confronted about our careers, plans for marriage or having children. But we need to have caution against developing too strong an attitude toward putting things off; because our thirties will come and we need to have solidified as much of this as possible.

But this is a fine line; we also have to be careful not to settle with someone or rush into anything, just because it’s what everyone else is doing. Further, as single Christian women, I think sometimes this settling down/marriage/baby pressure is even greater. We need to start planning in our twenties but ALSO make careful, conscious decisions about those plans while we are making them.

[…back to the TED Talk]
thirtyA common feeling by many late 20-somethings that Meg comes in contact with: My 20s are almost over and I have nothing to show for myself.

One of her patients explained it like this. “Dating in my 20’s was like musical chairs; everybody was running around and having fun. But then sometime around 30 it was like the music turned off and everybody started sitting down.  I didn’t want to be the only one left standing up and so sometimes I think I married my husband because he was the closest chair to me at 30.”

Meg warns: DO NOT DO THAT.

When you push everything to your 30’s, there is so much more pressure and stress to get the job, husband, kids, etc. in order—and quickly. When a number of people think back to their 20’s, they wonder, “What was I doing? What was I thinking?”

Meg’s 3 Pieces of Advice

1. Forget about having an identity crisis and get some identity capital. Do something that adds value to who you are. Make an investment in who you want to be next. Identity capital begets identity capital. Exploration not procrastination. Explore and make it count.

2. The urban tribe is overrated. 20-somethings who huddle together with like-minded peers limit who they know, how they think & speak and where they work. New people almost always come from an outer circle. New things come from our weak ties (friends of friends of friends).

3. The time to start picking your “family” is now.  Grabbing whoever you are dating (or worse: simply sleeping with) when everyone on Facebook starts walking down the aisle is not progress. The best time to work on your marriage is before you have one; be as intentional with love as you are with work. You need to consciously choose who & what you want instead of just making it work and/or killing time with whoever happens to be choosing you.

She continued that changing your life is so EASY in your twenties. “Twenty-somethings are like airplanes just leaving LAX bound for somewhere west. Right after takeoff, a slight change in course is the difference between landing in Alaska or Fiji.”

THE TAKEAWAY:

“Thirty is not the new 20. Claim your adulthood. Get some identity capital. Use your weak ties. Pick your family. Don’t be defined by what you didn’t know or didn’t do. You’re deciding your life RIGHT NOW.”

And that, my friends, is my post for today. Glad to be back!

Read Full Post »