‘5 things I wish I’d have known in my 20’s’: A chat with my Mum

As Mother’s Day fast approaches and we celebrate International Women’s Day 2018, I felt this blog would be fitting. I’m currently 21 years old. The next decade of my life brings with it some massive pressures and changes that, when I consider that I still haven’t mastered the art of cooking for myself on a daily basis, are pretty bloody terrifying. I interviewed my Mum back before I turned 20 for a radio show and she shared her top tips for smashing your 20s. Back then, Mum was 40 something… Now she’s a little older. I loved this interview and I wanted to share it with you guys so here it goes to celebrate the inspiration that is my Mother- ‘5 things I wish I’d known in my 20’s’. 

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I decided to consult the best and most reliable person in my life for some advice about how to truly embrace my 20’s, my Mum. Mum has been and done it and gave me some words of wisdom, telling me what she wished she would have known as she embarked on her ‘20’s’. In her 20’s, Mum got a job (and another and another after that), she got married, she got divorced and she had her only child. That’s one rollercoaster of a decade, with her 20’s being the home of some of her best and worst years of her life.

1) First up on the things Mum learnt in her 20’s is something that, knowing my Mum, really shouldn’t have surprised me.

“Hangovers get way worse when you get older. If I’d have known that I would have definitely got pissed more.”

I don’t know why I even expected something philosophical and deep from this interview, although we can all learn something from this, whether we drink or not. Your 20’s are a time to enjoy yourself, we’re still young even though it doesn’t feel like it, and life doesn’t have to be taken too seriously. It really is early days.

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2) Next up, “It’s okay not to know exactly what you want to do with your life, in fact I still don’t know now.”

Now this was a massive relief and something that I think everyone I know worries about. I feel like, by 20 I should have some sort of life plan and, if I’m honest, after my degree I have no clue. Mum experimented, tried new things and was brave enough to walk away when something wasn’t right for her.

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3) “Saying that, if you have a goal and something you really want, your 20’s are the time to do it.” Your 20’s are years full of potential and the thought of finally not having any excuses to put off pursuing my dream is both terrifying and really exciting. My mum’s advice was to ‘use your 20’s wisely’, find a work, play balance.

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4) “Having a child is hard, particularly when you’re on your own, but you can do it and she will become your best friend.” The thought that in the next 10 years I could be married with a child is absolutely petrifying, however, whether its just because it was her daughter asking her, Mum also said it was the best thing she has ever done. Mum brought me up as a single parent, which brings with it whole new challenges and, by the end of her 20’s, Mum had an 18 month year old child, not a lot of money and no partner. Things don’t always go to plan but she’s okay now. Everything worked itself out, she overcame the challenges and, if I do say so myself, is the best mother and best friend I could ever ask for.

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5) Finally, “It’s pretty much as my Mum said it would be.” Rephrased, Mum’s are always right. There will be ups and there will be downs and I know going into my 20’s and leaving behind my teenage years isn’t going to miraculously solve all the problems I am facing, but it is nice to know things get better and I have my Mum by my side no matter what.

I am as grateful for this advice now as I was when Mum first gave it to me over a year a go. I am pleased to inform you that the first year of my 20’s has been the best year of my life. I cannot wait to see what the next 9 years has in store. 

Thanks Mum x

 

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