Defining my decade

Happy Mindful Monday!

Today I wanted to talk about a book I’ve had my nose in all week and finally finished today: The Defining Decade – Why your twenties matter- and how to make the most of them now, by Meg Jay, PhD.

It was recommended to me by my therapist, and being someone who does a lot of reading and enjoys learning through the process, I was looking forward to sitting down with a new book. It reads very easily since it’s mostly anecdotal, but it also got me thinking about some things that I hadn’t yet considered.

Although I’m a very driven 22-year old, completing my Master’s degree, I still feel a lot of uncertainty about what the future holds for me. Am I making the right career choice? Will a different path make me happier? Am I wasting time? These things (I’ve learned) are pretty normal twentysomething behavior and are actually a good thing because it means I am taking my life seriously.

However, some questions I’m now asking myself are totally new to me. When do you want to get married? When do you want to settle down somewhere? Where do you want to settle down? When do you want to have kids? Do you want kids? These things all have seemed like they are so far in the future that there’s no reason why I should even bother thinking about them now, but as Dr. Jay points out, if I want to be successful in my thirties, it’s actually important to think about what I need to do to get me there.

Life can feel very disjointed because our twenties are a time we’re supposed to feel care-free and unrestrained, but the truth is in the (not so far away) future, I want to be able to settle down somewhere that makes me happy and build a successful life and family for myself. I definitely want a dog, sooner rather than later. I want to one day have a baby. I want to live in one place, with the possibility of occasionally traveling if and when I feel like it. I want to live close enough to my family that I can see them more often than just once a year. I want to have a career that makes me excited to wake up in the morning and do it, not just because it’s what I’ve always done, or because it’s what I should do, but because it truly gives me a feeling of satisfaction, and because it allows me to help others in some way.

There are a few points throughout the book that I didn’t totally agree with, but reading it was a great opportunity to start looking inward at the things that are important to me not only now, but 5, 10, even 15 years down the road. Using Dr. Jay’s final words in the book, I remind myself “You are deciding your life right now.”
And as long as I keep checking in with myself and my goals, I think the next few steps will become clearer as I approach them.

Happiness Starts Here

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