Warning: mid 20s reality check ahead.

After returning from a trip to Iowa to visit with great friends from college, I’ve come back to Denver with a bit of introspection. I’m not going to digress into a big pity party, but sitting in a car for 10 hours driving through Nebraska sure gives you ample time to think on things.

Mid-late 20s are hard. I know a lot of people tell you that your 20s are the best years of your life, but I think that’s only true in hindsight. There are so many changes – good and bad – that make it a really bumpy road. Career aside, what has become front and center for me are my friendships. Having recently (ish) gotten into a relationship myself, it’s been a struggle to keep a balance. I’ve made it a conscious effort to spend time with friends without my boyfriend, with the understanding that I can’t completely neglect him. Granted, it’s my personality to do so, but my friends are my sanity, my lifeline, my reality check. My trip to Iowa reinforced that. Even with my boyfriend in tow, spending time with two dear friends from college was just enough to hit a reset button and refresh me. 

Admittedly, I’m having a really hard time adjusting with some of my formerly single friends who don’t have that same need for friend time.  And I’m sure some of my single friends are having a hard time adjusting to me being in relationship. We’re all going through the same period of adjustment but in different phases. Quite honestly, it’s my problem and I need to learn to adjust my expectations of my friendships and be accepting of how all of those relationships evolve. But when you boil it down, you win some and you lose some in the name of moving forward, and that’s just how it goes.

I know that when I’m 50 and saying to my kids that their 20s are the best years of their lives, that it won’t ring true for them at that moment in time, but that they will eventually realize how much there is to learn about themselves, their friends, their priorities, and their character. And hopefully I’ll be able to say it with some ounce of understanding!

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. – S. Kierkegaard