Why My 20s Are The Best And Worst Years Of My Life

best, fast, brain, 25, time, irony, naive,worst, 20, 30, 20s, 30s, life, grow, learn, limits, death, rock, bottom, test, age, time, lessons, know, knew, human, love, integrity, wrong, young, heart, I remember being 16. I remember being 11. Anything before that is a complete blur. And after 16, I just remember turning 20. At 20, I knew it all. I was invincible. I was all that and so much more. If someone called, I never answered. If someone wanted to tell me otherwise, I never listened.

21 was always near death. I was testing every and any limit. How much alcohol could my body take? How fast could my car go? How much abuse could my heart handle?

Thinking back, my early 20s were pretty horrific. If pain is glory, then my early 20s were pretty glorious. I didn’t know who I was or who I wanted to be. I had a plan I thought would one day magically come together but I was doing everything to keep that from happening. Ironic, huh?

My early 20s were full of irony. I was full of naivety.

At 21, I hit my rock bottom. By 22, I was trying to piece my life back together. I was more lost than I had ever been before. I wanted to meet rejects like me so I did. I hung out with them night and day and thought I was just like them. I was living a double-life as if I had learned absolutely nothing from my troubled past.

By 23, I was still stumbling. I kept falling like baby Bambi.

They say by 25 your brain stops developing and your values become set in stone. It’s true, by 25, I wanted life to hurry the f up. I was tired of making mistakes and decided it was time to settle down. My mind and body felt older than they ever had before. By this point, I knew who I was. I had become a person filled with love, happiness, and integrity.

How did that happen? From 23 to 25 I had grown up. I was still working at my kid job, but there I was, putting in my time and dedication. I learned that inconsistency was a thing of my past and that if you ever want to be respected you must be consistent in everything that you do.

One thing is for sure, I have never loved myself as much as I do today. I am now officially in my late 20s and so proud of my journey. I am proud of every one of my scars. I am proud of all the things I didn’t know that I eventually learned. I am looking forward to learning so much more, about not only myself but humanity in general.

My 20s have been turbulent, to say the least. They have been more beautiful than I ever thought they could be. They have taught me who I am and who I never want to be. They have shown me I am valuable, special and loved.

Above all, they have proved to me that I still have so much more to learn. And so much more to see, feel and listen to. And while I might think I have it all figured out now, I am sure my 30s will prove me to be extremely wrong.

Love Deeply and Forever,

Karen

I Chose To Be Poor And Here’s What Happened

I was born and raised extremely spoiled. My parents were never super rich but they made sure I had everything I wanted and more. Santa always got me every single thing on my list. I grew up expecting to always be surrounded by nice things and people.

When I was 17, my dad offered me a rent-free condo, a car, and tuition. He told me if I stayed in one of his (local) rental properties I could have all the luxuries from home away from home.

I thought about it. I considered it. I quickly realized that wasn’t me.

I wanted to forge a future of my own. I wanted to get an education while chomping down on ramen noodles every night. I wanted the struggle. I wanted to earn my freedom.

Crazy, right?

I traded in the car for a bike. I traded in a free condo for a dirty half dorm room. I traded in a comfy allowance for some minimum wage scraps. I wanted to live the true American dream and escape the trenches of my childhood home. Yea and that made a lot of sense since my childhood home exuded comfort. Oh, what a tortured soul I was.

I “roughed” it in my own way throughout college. I ate Dino nuggets from Costco and had a cup of noodles at least once a day. Life was beyond amazing! I could do whatever I wanted without answering to anyone… or so I thought.

Life caught up with me and my reckless ways of life but I continued to choose a minimalist way of life. The longer I could stay out of my parents’ pretty house, the better. They even replaced me with a dog.

I lived the “poor” life up. I loved having only enough money to buy eggs, milk, and cereal at the market. Every day was an adventure, a chance to find a really good steal at the local thrift store.

I gave up all things sparkly and traded them in for hard work and long nights. I thought nice things were the devil. I thought I would never give in to the “system.” Haha, yet there I was at a state university studying to become something socially acceptable that would one day pay plenty of tax dollars to the “man” each year.

Upon graduation, I decided to move into a box in a rough part of town. It was the smallest little room you could find. It had only a bed, a bathroom, and a mini-fridge. The kitchen consisted of a hot plate and a toaster-oven. Now, this is luxury I thought!

The point of the box was to never have to depend on my parents for anything. The box was pretty amazing until it wasn’t. Eating on your bed everyday can get really old and it did. I grew out of my box and wanted more space to think and grow.

Don’t get me wrong, I got my Master’s degree in that tiny little box. Although the box was great, I realized I was settling for less in fear of not becoming successful enough to ever pay for more. I literally had boxed myself in. I was frozen in place with no signs of advancing in life.

I decided it was time to take a leap of faith and stop running from my past. I wanted to create a future much like the one my parents created for me. I decided I would get a house. I decided I would take on the risk of a mortgage.

I decided I would be relentless on my journey to achieve more, do more and be more. Even if I had to become a credit card abuser statistic, I was going to make this next step happen. The box made me want so much more from life.

And so I did it! I am sitting in my house as we speak (or type). I am sitting on the couch that I bought. I am looking at a kitchen that I hired a team to make pretty.

I have love surrounding my physical and energetic space. I have welcomed people into my home  and they can feel all of the love I have within my heart. That alone makes this huge risk worthwhile.

I have yet to really use a credit card as abundance has come my way. I willed it and I worked for it and I am now currently enjoying it. Being poor was extremely fun and liberating but accomplishing and reaching for more makes my life so much fuller. I am now able to share love on an entirely different level as I come home to it every single day.

I am now able to share love on an entirely different level as I come home to it every single day.

Choose to take on risks. Choose to take on more. Choose to laugh in the face of fear and doubt.

Love Deeply and Forever,

Karen

Why My Life Is Not A Dress Rehearsal And Yours Isn’t Either

I have had loved ones become very sick. I have been faced with mortality and all of that other stuff they never teach you in school.

I have been terrified of my own life and of the inconsistencies life brings in general. This comes with age and wisdom. It can lead some into deep depression or into quite the opposite.

And while we all have our “story” and our sometimes seemingly unfair circumstances,  we must and will go on. In the end it will always be okay.

I have to admit I used to live my life like it was a dress rehearsal. I would make up excuses as to why I wasn’t where I wanted to be in life.

I would stand in my own way of finding success and pure happiness. I always told myself I had to do A B  and C before I could finally take center stage in the performance of my own life.

It’s not until life events shake your entire world that you realize that your life is not a rehearsal. At least that’s what happened to me. I had to experience a brutal wake up call in order to realize that everyday is part of the main act. 

Tomorrow really is not promised. We must forgive people in our hearts each day. We must have grace for all those we share this beautiful world with. We must take action and live a life full of integrity and honesty.

We must be proud of how far we have come and never take the present for granted. It’s easy to forget that the future is never guaranteed…not for us or even our loved ones.

While we wish and hope for a promising future, it’s not a sure thing we should come to expect.

It’s extremely important to have dreams, aspirations and goals in general. It’s what keeps us going. However, never hold yourself back from reaching your full potential.

Take those risks you are so afraid of taking. Do the things you have always wanted to do. Take that vacation you always wanted to take. Take control of all that is important to your life. Make everything mean something. Be confident in all that you do and all that you are. Don’t wait for a circumstance to change itself, change it yourself and change it now!

Be the best version of you today. Give as much as you can today. Stop practicing and embrace the greatest performance we call life every chance that you get. Choose to live your life without boundaries.

Love Deeply and Forever,

Karen