Nothing will ruin your 20's more than thinking you should have your life together already.

Your 20's are your selfish years. It's the time to immerse yourself in every single thing possible. Be selfish with your time and all the aspects of you. Because bad things will happen in life that put you directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to you. That feeling of being lost is a feeling I stopped fearing. Because getting lost is how you end up finding yourself.   

So I decided to go and get lost the only way I know how too. By flying to another country and experiencing a new culture. Only this time, I took my mum along for the ride. 
When you're thinking about life, just think to yourself; no amount of guilt can change the past, just like no amount of anxiousness can change the future. 

Accept that your past is just a story because once you realise this, it has no power over you.

It took me a really long time to realise that not everything in life is meant to be a beautiful story. Not every person that walks into your life is meant to stay. Sometimes people come into our lives to teach us how to love and sometimes people come into our lives to teach us how not love. How not to settle. How to never make ourselves feel small again. Then those people leave and that's okay because the lessons they've taught us is what remains and sometimes that's worth more than love. Those kinds of people will enter our lives only to show us what happens when we settle for less than we deserve so don't just choose to settle. Keep pushing yourself, keep testing your boundaries because in a society where they profit from self doubt, living your life the way you want too is a rebellious act. 

Then eventually you begin realising that one of the greatest freedoms comes when you stop caring what everyone else thinks of you. You’ll stop waiting for someone else to validate you and complete you, because you see that you’re already complete. And if outside validation is your only source of nourishment, you will be hungry for the rest of your life.

We fear letting go of the image in our heads of how life is supposed to be, but see letting go isn't to forget or ignore. It’s not about losing and it’s not about pride. It's not obsessing or dwelling on the past or blocking out memories and thinking sad thoughts. No, letting go doesn't leave emptiness, hurt or sadness because it's not giving up.

To let go is to cherish memories and move on. It's having an open mind and having confidence in the future. It’s about acceptance and gratitude. It's learning, experiencing and growing at the same time. Because to let go is to be thankful for the experiences that made you laugh, made you cry and made you grow. It's about all that you have and all that you will again one day. See, letting go is about growing up.

To let go is to open a door to a clear path that will set you free. 

You receive closure right after you accept that letting go and moving on is more important than projecting a fantasy of how things should have been or could have been. Letting go of all the expectations means you can learn to find joy in the story you are actually living. And that's when you can begin to feel real happiness. Because real happiness is enjoying the present without feeling anxious about the future. It's not letting fear dictate what will happen next. It's about being satisfied with what you have right now in this moment.

When you become okay with things not having gone a certain way, life begins again. Making peace with the past allows you to apply the lessons you have learned through previous experiences, habits and attachments to build on your new happiness.

If you're mourning the loss of what you thought your life was going to be. Let it go. Things don't always work out how you had planned. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Life is subtle. Sometimes so that you barely notice yourself walking through the doors you once prayed would open. Stop concentrating so much on where you aren’t and start looking at how far you've come from this time last year. 

Expectations kill dreams and feed frustrations purely because they are an elusive form of control that attempts to grip reigns that aren’t ours to hold. Sometimes you have to go broke, lose the person you thought you loved and watch you friends walk away in order to get to where you are going. Trust the process. 

Go out and start taking chances and take lots of them. Because honestly, no matter where you end up and who it’s with it always ends up the way it should be. Your mistakes make you who you are. You learn and grow with each choice you make, which makes everything is worth it. It's time to finally be you and start showing up to your life every single day. Because 10 years from now you want to say you chose your life, you didn't settle for it.  

WORDS: Monique Medved
INSTAGRAM: @moniquemedved

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