Are You Treating Your Twenties Like The Olympics?

Are you watching the Olympics? Stupid question. Of course you are. Unless you’re not, you little rebel you. But at least you know it’s on. And if you don’t, what rock do you live under? Anyway, I have a serious question for you twenty somethings (and if you’re in a different decade, change all “twenty something” references to the decade you’re in as this may apply to you as well):

Are you treating your twenties like The Olympics?

Your first reaction to this might be: of course not. Given that Olympic athletes are trained from age three to give their blood, sweat and tears to perform at one sport – “of course not” is right. Olympic athletes especially gymnasts and swimmers, for example, only have a short period of time to train their hearts out before they showcase what they’ve been working so hard for. They get literally a few moments in time to go for gold, and then, that’s it. They are either winners whose names are forever written in the history books or they go home empty handed.

Luckily for most of us, our personal and professional goals are not under this much pressure.  Our entire lives are not judged by how we perform at one event. We make trials and we make errors. We get to have bad days. We succeed and we fail – every day.

So what’s with the Olympic training everyone?

I don’t know about anyone else but I feel like I have to succeed NOW! I have to have the dream job, the dream apartment, the dream boyfriend; yes, I have to have it all NOW! I’m thinking about it, talking about it, praying for it, crying for it and maybe even dying for it.

Do you ever feel like this?

Part of this stems from my competitive nature. I want to be the best. At everything. It’s a blessing and it’s my greatest strength, and I also know my greatest challenge lies in tempering this strength. I know I’m not the only one. We’re all constantly competing with each other for who has the best…well, who has the best everything.

Take a breather everyone. The twenties are not the Olympics. Yes, we should try to learn as much as we can before life gets even more complicated. Yes, we should feel like our lives have a sense of purpose, and that we’re on the verge of being who we really want to be. But maybe we should also enjoy the things NOW that we’ll look back on and laugh at. Like that one time you only had $25 in your bank account and you made it last a week and a half. Or the fact that you slept on a yoga mat for a week before you got a bed in your first apartment.  (All things that have happened to me).

Now because we’re not Olympic athletes it also means many of us feel the need to be on top of our game every day. And we should be. But repeat after me: Life is not a race. Whatever our career, romantic and personal goals are, if we work hard and have faith, we’ll get there, and we’ll probably change our minds about all of these along the way. It won’t happen the way you want it to or the way you think it will, but we will get there. Don’t look back on your twenty something life and realize you’ve skipped this wonderful decade training for a competition called “the dream life.”

Believe it or not, the dream life is now.

So embrace the madness of the twenty something life and stop treating it like an Olympic sport. You don’t have all the time in the world but you do have the time to make the most of your life right now. That means being grateful for what you have, being as useful as you can be, living in the moment, and being happy simply because you can be.

Now smile, laugh, cry, and have a wonderful Thursday! 

Kovie Biakolo

Kovie Biakolo is a Drake University Marketing Graduate. Originally thinking she was headed to law school in Chicago or a year in Spain, Kovie found herself in the Windy City in digital writing and marketing for over a year. Currently, Kovie is in graduate school for Multicultural and Organizational Communication and started a blog, Life At Twenty Something to write about the good, the bad and the ugly of the twenty something life.

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