6 Reasons Being Settled In Your 20s Doesn't Guarantee You'll Be Happier Later On
It seems we place a strange premium on being "settled" in our 20s. We define success as how "certain" we are, and how settled we can be. We see this through what we value: houses, marriages, careers. We "worry" about people who don't want those particular trappings, so much so that we really only accept the other extreme of settling: traveling and being a nomad. We're very uncomfortable with what's in-between the two, and what's interesting is that "in-between" is where most people land.
We're not our parents, and our parents found their emotional security in one another, and in a home, and a marriage. Those things aren't right for everyone, though they're very "right" for some. This isn't to dismiss that particular path, though it's well traveled. This is only to say that the reality is that "settledness" does not equal "happiness," and just trying to seek an idea of comfort is not the same as going after what you really want.
The truth is that you're not necessarily better off for being "settled" in any one thing, in any one place, even though moving around or jumping jobs or dating a lot of people tends to unnerve others. It's because they recognize that desire to keep trying and moving when things aren't right, but they suppress it because they feel that's what they "should do." If they have to suppress it within themselves, they have to suppress it within you (or, at least, try to). To drive the point home even more, here are a few other reasons why being settled in your 20s doesn't necessarily mean you'll be better off:
Your 20s Are The Prime Decade For Growth
This is because not only are you on your last physical growth spurt, but you're finally in a place in your life where you can act on the desires you've always had. You're free to actually make your life what you want it to be in a way that you aren't prior to being a legal adult. This is to say: you change a lot in your 20s, and the people who are most content in the long-term are usually the ones who mold their lives around the knowing that they probably will change, rather than latch on to one idea that's true for them in the moment and assume it will be true forever.
To Create Your Happiness Around Certainty Only Ensures That You'll Eventually Suffer Or Fail
If you can find happiness early on based on how hard you try or how much you can accept or some other reality of the world, you'll have a lot easier time than if you find that happiness in some kind of physical certainty. Relationships end. Physical things can be broken or lost or worse. There is no such thing as "certainty," there is only the illusion that you think keeps you safe.
You Don't Know Until You Try
And the people who are truly successful aren't just the ones who dream the biggest, hope the hardest, or have the best luck... they are the ones who try the most and are fearless in the face of failure. Most people don't jump because they don't want to face themselves if they fall. Happy people don't have that problem, so they're able to keep going until they land where they want.
Comfort Can Easily Disguise Itself As Happiness
We can't tell the difference between "bad" and "good." They can only tell the difference between "comfortable" and "uncomfortable." Because that's all we know, that's what we seek, even if it's not necessarily aligned with what our ultimate desires or goals are. The point is that being settled doesn't necessarily mean you're happy, and more often, it means you're cutting yourself off from the possibility of being open to finding something better down the line.
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