Your twenties are a time to be selfish. They are a time to do what makes you happy, make your own choices/decisions, and really find out who you are. A little over a year ago, I was a recent college graduate and boy, did life came at me fast. All of a sudden it was time to officially be an adult and figure out what the next step in my life would be.
Although graduating college was a huge accomplishment, I felt lost and like I really didn’t know who I was. I knew that I needed a change and for once in my life, I had all the time in the world. My time as an undergrad student was a busy one – balancing being a full time student, working part time, being in multiple organizations while holding important positions in them, and trying to balance having a good social life and good family life. Now was a better time than ever to take a chance and do something that made me happy. Like I mentioned in a previous blog post – my junior year of college I decided to accept an internship with Disney in Orlando, Florida. My parents had taken my sister and I to Disney World many times when we were little. It was truly one of my happy places. I figured why not go one last time – have fun, make new memories and just enjoy the moment one last time before committing to full time adult life.
So, I did exactly that. I packed my stuff up and moved halfway across the U.S. to basically get my shit together, but at the same time – have fun, experience new things, and really live in the moment. Looking back at it now, moving back to Orlando is one of the best decisions I have ever made and my four months there really impacted the person I am today.
When I moved to Florida, I was definitely in a time of change – I had lost important people in my life through failed friendships/relationships, I was no longer a student for the first time in 16 years, and I had moved over 1,000 miles away from my family, my friends, and everything I knew. This move truly felt like a new beginning and a fresh start for me.
These are the benefits that I gained from being selfish in my twenties:
- Finding myself – being on your own in a place that is not your home & where you have no family really teaches you to depend on yourself more than ever. My first few months in Florida I started to take chances, go on adventures, do things by myself and out of my comfort zone. In the midst of living in the moment, I was learning more and more about myself. I also was able to learn more about myself through strangers who became friends, it’s amazing what you can learn about yourself from other people. People who don’t know you that well, and people who do. I also realized how important it is to ask yourself questions – when you react certain ways, ask yourself why you reacted that way. Learn what things you love and what things you don’t love. Let your social interactions teach you about yourself and also turn to your family for advice and reflection.
- Growth – it is very important for me as an individual, to be someone who is constantly evolving and flourishing. I am not the type of person who is okay staying in the same place forever and not taking on new opportunities or chances. There are going to be times and situations in life that will push you out of your comfort zone – do them anyways! Although you may not like going through those experiences, at the moment, you will eventually look back and notice how they have changed you – for the better. Be open minded and really try to learn from your experiences.
- New friendships – during my time at Disney, I met so many people from all over the world and when I say all over the world – I really mean it. I have friends here in the U.S. of course, spread out in different states – but I also have friends in different countries (Japan, New Zealand, Australia, England). I think it is so amazing to be given the opportunity to meet and form friendships with people from all around the world and also know that I have a friend to visit in those places. Meeting people from different countries is so amazing because I feel like it can be a learning experience such as with language barriers or having different cultural norms. I believe that cultural awareness is important and really opens your eyes about the way other people live and things they believe. At the end of the day, love and friendship is a common communication that everyone understands and forming new friendships is such a wonderful thing.
- Reflection – moving somewhere new and not knowing many people(at first) means that you’ll spend a good amount of time alone: voluntarily or nonvoluntarily, it will happen. Spending time alone is very important – everybody needs alone time every once in a while, although not everyone likes being alone. When you are alone – you are able to reflect on previous experiences in life and can truly be alone with your thoughts. Although many of us try to be the best person we can be – we unfortunately aren’t always going to do or say the right things all the time. We are human and we are not perfect beings. You are going to lose friendships/relationships and we may hurt people we may have never had the intention of hurting.. things happen. As long as we can reflect on these situations, put things into perspective, and acknowledge our pasts – we still have the ability to change the outcome from what it previously was. It is important to reflect back on situations and feel the emotions again, whether they are good or bad and it is important to give yourself the ability to feel & be present. Forgive people for hurting you and forgive yourself from hurting other people. You cannot let past experiences eat away at you because they will hold you back from growing.
It’s crazy for me to think that in just four short months, I was able to rebuild myself and become a person I had always imagined I could be. Although being away from my family and not being able to see them everyday was tough, I feel like moving away was just what I needed. In January I moved back to Texas feeling happy, free, and confident in myself. I no longer felt scared of the unknown or lost because I knew that anywhere I ended up, I would be okay and that I was strong enough to handle anything that came my way.
Now a year later, I am honestly, living my best life, literally. I have a great job with an amazing organization, I am back in the love and care of my family, and I am overall in a really amazing place.
I encourage anybody who is feeling lost or unsure of their path in life to take a chance and don’t think twice about it. As cliché as it sounds, you only live once. Don’t you want to make it a happy and good life? Do what makes you happy or what makes you scared, just don’t be afraid to feel and take chances. The best things come when you least expect it, and usually have the best outcomes. You don’t have to move to a completely different state like me, start by doing little things like traveling and going on little trips to different places on your bucket list or get that dog you’ve always been wanting – the possibilities are endless.
Never be afraid to be selfish – not just in your twenties but in life because ultimately you know what is best for yourself.
I am ultimately grateful for you Disney ❤
Thanks for reading!
Xoxo, Lori Allison