I had a few requests lately for advice on the first year of marriage. Today we have a guest post from Annette Babich. In her 24 years of planning weddings, Annette Babich has learned that her job is less about the logistics of the big day and more about caretaking and therapy. She has seen the […] Read more…
Career & financial advice for 20-somethings from 40-somethings
Health and beauty and style to self-fulfillment, self-esteem and body image.
Have a “what I wish I knew then” story or a “what I wish I knew” question?
How did you handle them? How would you handle them differently if you could have a do-over?
3 Gifts for a 20-Something
What three “gifts” would you give a 20-something if you were a “Forty-Godmother”? Here, 40-somethng women share the three things to help 20-somethings get a head start on perspective and gain confidence to make decisions that are right for them. No more woulda, coulda, shoulda.
1. Don’t deceive yourself. For so many reasons!
2. Appreciate others in all life situations. There is a good probability that at one time in your life you will be in their shoes. If you never are, you are either lucky, or you missed an opportunity to learn and grow.
3. Allow yourself to feel, experience, and process through hardship. It can be much more painful to deal with in the future if you suppress it. You can pay for counseling, treatment, etc., now or years later when you will likely have compiled regrets and also lost precious time.
– Heidi from Spokane WA
Today’s 3 Gifts came from a reader submission. Share your wisdom…. what are your 3 Gifts?
Dear 20-Something, Five Things I Wish I Knew Then
1. Wear a bikini always, because though you may think you have physical imperfections, after you reach 40 you’ll yearn for the 20 year old opportunity to put on that small suit.
2. Take your first child while he/she is still an infant out with you to restaurants and movies. The child will sleep through most of it and you’ll be out of the house. Once the baby hits 8 months, that part of your life is officially over, so grab it while you still can.
3. Keep a journal, or at the very least a daily calendar. At 42, I’ve already forgotten much of my 20s. It is a shame, because I would love to read where I was emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually at that time. It might give me a glimpse into where I’ll be at 60.
4. Friends will make bad decisions, and behave badly toward you. It almost always isn’t about you or anything you’ve done. They are struggling with something. The first few times, let it go. After that, it is a pattern and time to move on. You’ll make lots of friends in your lifetime. Spend time on the friendships that enrich your life. Let go of the friendships that drain you. It isn’t a failure to let go–it is time to make room for someone new to come into your life.
5. Your behavior toward colleagues and acquaintances in your 20s will impact your 40s. I find people that I met in one context early in my career have now, 20 years later, come back into my life under different circumstances. People remember kindness and generosity. Call it professional and personal karma.
– Mom, former sports agent, Atlanta
20-Something Question: The Unresolved Breakup
Today a question submitted by a 20-Something reader on the age-old questions that arise from a break up. Two women and one man provide their perspective. Also including a link to a great chart from relationship expert Esther Perel that shows the specrtum on relationship accountability spectrum….something that is somewhat lacking in this situation!
Q. I dated a guy for 4 months (long distance). We talked, texted or FaceTimed every day and he flew me to see him a few times. Two weeks after my last trip down there he became distant. I knew he was having issues with the long distance. He eventually told me in a text message that it would be “easier for both of us if we stopped talking”.
I feel so heart broken and discarded. Rejection feels fucking terrible. You think a 30 year old man would be mature or kind enough to get on the phone to have the conversation, but he wouldn’t. This is the same man who told me he loved me. Was it bullshit? Now I’m struggling to be happy and I miss him all the time. I know that I will overcome this, but what do I make of his actions? I just want to be happy again. I finally have the job I want in the location I want and I’m not happy. It’s pathetic that so many things can be going right in my life and I’m letting the one “bad” thing tear me down.
A. Unfortunately all men are not mature. It sounds like you dated someone who wanted to be in love with you and maybe even believed he was but then either met someone else or decided he wasn’t in love when distance kept you apart. It’s terrible to miss someone, but frankly after only 4 months of long-distance dating you must admit to yourself that you really didn’t know him as well as you thought. The most important thing now is for you to get closure (either by hashing it out with him or dealing with it on your own). What you should NOT do is keep wondering why or questioning “what’s wrong with me?”. He wasn’t the one, but there IS a right guy out there. – 40-something, NYC, mom, wife, retired ad exec
A. Rejection feels terrible because it’s terrible. Someone who is clearly not honest with you doesn’t deserve you, but I don’t think the fact that he’s not worth your time makes it hurt less. It does mean that you can be grateful his true colors showed now, as opposed to five years from now — think of the time you have saved! Let yourself be angry and upset for a while, and don’t beat yourself up for not being so resilient that you’re unaffected by the hurtful actions of people you trusted. It’s completely normal to feel sad, outraged, and confused when someone who’s led you to believe that he values your emotional well-being does something damaging — it would be really weird if you didn’t feel like crying or screaming at the unfairness of the situation. You don’t need to bounce right back with a smile and a sunny attitude.
The best insight I can offer from the other side of 40 is that when painful things happen — and they’ll keep happening throughout your life — I know from experience that I’ll come out on the other side eventually. I might not know when or how, but I’ve learned that no matter how hurtful the breakup, lost promotion, family crisis, or any other event, I’ll get through it, and go on to feel happy again. The sadness still feels just as real, but alongside it is the recognition that there were times before when I felt so sad that I couldn’t see my way past it, and somehow I moved on. And honestly, I wouldn’t want to be friends with someone who has never experienced any kind of emotional setback and lived to rebuild his or her life. People like that tend not to be very thoughtful or empathetic. – 40-something, education, wife, mom, Los Angeles, CA
A. Well firstly, it’s very likely all over. The more you hurt and show him this the more you will continue hurting. You need to take the plunge, accept its over. Absolutely stop communicating with him and get something else going in your life. It’s the holidays and festive…try to get involved in it. The longer you leave this hanging in the forefront, the longer it will be be for the pain to begin to recede. Let’s face it….it was 4 months long…it is more of a crush than a love affair. You will have many more ahead of you. – 50-something, divorced male, exec
What three “gifts” would you give a 20-something if you were a “Forty-Godmother”? 40-something women share three things to help a 20-something get a head start on the confidence to make decisions that are right for themselves. No more woulda, coulda, shoulda. 1. A key to your sense of self worth so you always have 24 hour […] Read more…
When you reach a certain age, you have already put up with so much nonsense and heartache. You realize…WOW, I’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way trying to find that guy who was supposed to be the prince and might grew up and might fit into the vison I had for my life. […] Read more…
What three “gifts” would you give a 20-something if you were a “Forty-Godmother”? 40-something women share three things to help a 20-something get a head start on the confidence to make decisions that are right for themselves. No more woulda, coulda, shoulda. 1. Learn how to brag well. Or as an old boss of mine used […] Read more…
I call it the drama. That was the funny thing about being 20-something. The drama associated with being twenty and trying to prove yourself and make everyone else happy. You have to grow out of it. You have to develop the ability to teach people how to treat you. It’s how you treat yourself – you […] Read more…
What three “gifts” would you give a 20-something if you were a “Forty-Godmother”? 40-something women share three things to help a 20-something get a head start on the confidence to make decisions that are right for themselves. No more woulda, coulda, shoulda. 1. If you have done everything you can to make a relationship work and […] Read more…
A fave 40:20 theme reprised…on dreams and making them your own. ~ I teach and mentor young women in the performing arts and the funny thing is that I have talked a few women out of this dream because I can tell it is not their dream. I can tell when there is the feeling that it […] Read more…
What three “gifts” would you give a 20-something if you were a “Forty-Godmother”? 40-something women share three things to help a 20-something get a head start on the confidence to make decisions that are right for themselves. No more woulda, coulda, shoulda. 1. Life is not a dress rehearsal…live it fully present. 2. Learn to be happy […] Read more…
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