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21 Secrets for Your 20s

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1. Never looking at your budget and never making a budget is the exact same thing.

2. The possibility for greatness and embarrassment both exist in the same space. If you're not willing to be embarrassed, you're probably not willing to be great.

3. Feel no shame in seeking help from a counselor or therapist. We all have crap we try to wrap and hide under the Christmas tree. Get rid of it before it smells up your entire holiday.

4. All job listings on Craigslist lead you to a warehouse in downtown LA "wearing something nice with shoes you can walk in."

5. Don't ever, ever check Facebook when you're:

  • A. Depressed.
  • B. Drinking.
  • C. Depressed and drinking.
  • D. Unemployed.
  • E. Anytime after 9:17 p.m.
  • F. Struggling with being blessed with singleness while all your friends seem to be blessed with 2.4 kids and that blazing white-picket-fence shining with the glory of Jesus Christ himself.

6. All those amazing college friends you swore you'd never lose contact with after college yeah, well, you might lose contact. Moving all over the country, getting married and having kids all make that 45 minute conversation with your sophomore roommate a little more complicated than it used to be over a game of Mario Kart. Making and keeping friends in our 20s takes intentionality.

7. Your 20s will produce more failures than you'll choose to remember. The key is when you fail, don't begin calling yourself a failure.

8. Every breakup has two breakups. I'm no physicist, but this is a law of physics, of this I am certain. Yes, you'll have the first tearful, "It's over" sitting in the front seat of your Honda or on a park swing. Then, one to two months later after there's "been talk," you'll have the "real breakup" because she forgets to call like she used to or he checks out the waitress like he's a judge for Miss Universe. And gird those loins because in the second breakup, there will be a lot more breaking.

9. The Freshman 15 is nothing compared to the "cubicle cincuenta." Don't sit at your computer perched like a Roman gargoyle. Don't let office birthday cake be forced on you like a cigarette behind your middle school. Bust out before your butt does.

10. And yes, cubicles don't make sense to anybody other than upper management. I would be willing to bet that only three percent of all "cubicle americans" actually have a positive outlook on life. And half of that three percent is stealing from their company.

11. If at some point between 22 through 27 you feel like you're six years old again, lost and alone at the San Diego Zoo (it's a big-frickin-zoo), frantically searching for a familiar face -- hold tight. You're experiencing a bit of a quarter-life crisis. Stay put. Pray a lot. And in no time someone will call your name across the loud speaker to tell you where you can be found.

12. Reckless drinking and reckless flirting have a direct correlation. Friends don't let friends drive, or flirt, drunk.

13. If you grew up going to church, at some point in your 20s you'll probably stop going to church. If you grew up with faith as a central part of your life, at some point in your 20s, faith might move to the outskirts of town next to the trailer park and three-legged squirrel refuge. Your 20s are a process of making faith your own apart from your parents and childhood. Sometimes that means staggering away so you know what you're coming back to.

14. Don't ever begin dating someone you first met whilst in swimsuits. Doubly-don't if you're both in swimsuits whilst holding an alcoholic beverage.

15. "Obsessive comparison disorder" is the smallpox of our generation. Nine out of 10 doctors agree this disorder is the leading cause to eating a whole sleeve of Oreos while watching Real Housewives of OC. Say no to obsessive comparison disorder before it starts. Remember everyone is too busy putting a PR spin on their Facebook profile to care much about yours.

16. Life will never feel like it's "supposed to." Being 20-something can feel like death by unmet expectations. However, let me be so brash to say that you are right now, at this moment, exactly where you need to be. But you'll only be able to see that five years and thirty-eight days from today.

17. You might have your first kid and realize what it's like to be young, a parent and have no freaking clue what you're doing. And for the first time in your life, you also might actually understand your parents for the first time.

18. Marriage WILL NOT fix any of your problems. No, instead marriage will put a magnifying glass on how many problems you really have. We grow up carrying bags with our insecurities, fears, bad relationships, problems with our parents and you name it. Begin to ditch these bags now. Newly married and living in a small apartment is no place to store a luggage set full of shiz.

19. An assortment of crappy jobs are a 20-something rite of passage. Figure out what you need to learn there and learn it. If you don't, an assortment of crappy jobs might be your 30, 40 and 50-something rite of passage as well.

20. Great ideas alone mean nothing. Your ability to persevere through 16 major setbacks, a lack of passion, forgetting why you started this great idea in the first place and all the people who allude that your great idea is actually quite terrible -- well, that means everything.

21. The grass is always greener on the other side, until you get there and realize it's because of all the manure.

This article previously published on Paul Agnone's blog AllGroanUp.com.