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. Professional and personal karma. People remember kindness and generosity. I find people that […] 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
Last week my book club got together to discuss “Be Frank With Me” by Julia Claiborne Johnson. As often is the case, the book was a jumping off point for candid conversation and comical discourse, from our host’s rock star past to another members “swipe-right” dating future. But amid our own stories, one line from the book stood out […] 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. Over the next 30 years you are going to learn a lot […] Read more…
A few weeks ago I shared one financial exec’s advice to speak up. She encourages up-and-coming women to elbow their way into the conversations in her male skewed industry. It’s important. You can’t wait for the right time and right place. You have to make it happen. Here, three women share their tried and tested ways […] 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. Take credit for what you do. It’s not enough to work hard. […] Read more…
Listen. Listen. Listen. I’m a collector of friends. I still count many friends from grade school, high school and college as part of my everyday life. Then add friends from my 20s and 30s and now…new friends still in my 40s. Making new friends can take time, but like most good things in life, it’s […] 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. A chair with your name on it at every meeting you attend. Do […] Read more…
This is a follow up answer to the request for advice about the first year of marriage. Great perspective for anyone in a relationship — so smart and real. Thank you to my 40-something panel for sharing their wisdom. ~ Pay no attention to studies or authorities who tell you what “should” happen during year one […] Read more…
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