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sliceswiththings's avatar

What do you wish you had/hadn't done in your twenties?

Asked by sliceswiththings (11718points) February 22nd, 2011

So those of us at the beginning of them can make the most of these years and older Jellies can live vicariously through us.

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28 Answers

Bellatrix's avatar

I wish I had travelled more before I got serious with someone, married and had children. I don’t regret my children, but I didn’t use the time before I had them as well as I could have.

I also wish I had kept a diary. It is amazing the names and things I don’t remember. Things I would have thought I would never forget.

markferg's avatar

i wish I’d picked a better accountant.

misstrikcy's avatar

I wish I hadn’t got involved with the wrong guy, and got my arse kicked through my entire twenties, and not having the strength to leave.

augustlan's avatar

I wish I’d stuck with therapy and taken care of my issues once and for all, rather than taking things on a little at a time and waiting until I was well into my thirties to get them all resolved. What a lot of life I missed out on!

tedibear's avatar

I wish that I had been more serious about my college studies. I’m fairly intelligent and should not have graduated in the middle of the pack. I made up for it the other two times I went back to school, but that first time… well, I still kick my butt over that.

In my later 20’s, I would have gotten over my first husband after the first round of our relationship instead of hanging around, going back and forth and then marrying him.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Like @augustlan , I wish I had identified and worked on the subtle but emotionally crippling family issues early enough in my life to take a different tack. I didn’t do this until my early 50s so some things were just too late to do. Good news, I’m happy and have a great life, but I often wonder how it would have gone….

Cruiser's avatar

I wish I didn’t turn 30…sigh.

There was though a job I wish I took but I was self employed and determined to make my own way….that was a rough road smoothed out by rocking great times!! Wooo HOO! My twenties KICKED ASS!

joannamc's avatar

I wish that I had kept in touch with the interesting people that I met in my twenties. I was terrible at keeping in touch and it was not so easy back then! Keep in touch with the people that you meet along the way as it is important to realise that friendship counts and people who meet now may not become friends until later in the journey… but you need to be in touch with them to discover that.
Surround yourself with interesting people and then keep in touch with them – That is what I wish I had done in my twenties.

Jude's avatar

Traveled, and came out earlier and dealt with all of that (inside of hiding away from family and friends about my sexuality). I didn’t come out to my family until I was in my late 20’s.

filmfann's avatar

I wish I hadn’t kept a friend who was abusive. He was cruel beyond words, and I thought I should help a friend during his divorce, but in reality he berated me to the point that I felt I was worthless. I didn’t drop him until he insulted my wife, at which point I stopped talking to him. It’s been 26 years, and he now wants to talk again, but every time I consider it, I get angry again.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

The diary thing would be at the top of my list. I’ve done it for the last 15 years or so, and it’s amazing what you forget. The rest has been pretty good, so no major regrets.

glenjamin's avatar

I wish I had spent more time with my true friends, and practiced guitar more instead of getting trashed all the time. I also wish I hadn’t done certain drugs. But other than that, no regrets really.

joannamc's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille thanks for link… on repeat for the day!

YoBob's avatar

Well, there was that totally hot and obviously willing red head. However, I made the choice to catch a ride back to Austin after the show so I could be at work the next day rather than staying with her in San Marcos.

Of course, I’m certainly thankful for how things have ultimately turned out, but I’ve always wondered how things would have played out if I had stayed.

gailcalled's avatar

See the lovely summations of @augustlan and @JilltheTooth for my answer.

partyparty's avatar

I wish I had been emotionally strong enough to have walked away from an abusive SO. It took me some eight years before I was ready and able to leave him. So many wasted years

aprilsimnel's avatar


Imagine this as the continuous low murmur in the back of your head from the time you left for college at 18 until you were 35: You abandoned your aunt who raised you! She’s mentally ill and needs you to care for her! And you ran away! You’re a bad, terrible, horrible person who deserves no happiness for doing such a terrible thing! You will pay!!

I spent my 20s absolutely hating myself, afraid of living, afraid of people and terrified that everyone I met would realize I was a “phony”. I barely dated, I didn’t go after good jobs in my field, I didn’t network, I didn’t show anyone my writing. I would pick people who were just like my aunt to replay humiliation and abuse. If I did do something I enjoyed, just one thought of my poor aunt having one of her way-outsized and frequent rages because something didn’t go her way would make me feel awful again. As if my presence had ever actually calmed her down (it hadn’t, unless you count hitting me as a way to calm down).

I wish I had been able to break out of my guilt and fear that I was a bad and selfish person for wanting to live my own life, but I didn’t know how, and I thought that since I didn’t babysit my aunt, who has BPD and schizophrenia (and who refused to get treatment, but liked to punch people), then I deserved to be miserable, lonely unfulfilled and broke. I do feel bad about the people who did get close enough that I played out these issues on.

Sunny2's avatar

I wish I had chosen a photography subject to concentrate on when I traveled. I know people now who (while taking other pictures as well), have a collection of: toilets; chandeliers; trash cans; doors from around the world. Too late now.
I also wish I had made a list of the places I wanted to visit arranged by how hard the trip was physically. I never imagined I’d have the opportunity to travel as much as I have, but now there are places, like Machu Pichu or Antarctica, that I can’t do for health (or lack of it) reasons.
I’m extremely glad I spent 3 months on a motor scooter and camping in Europe in my 20’s. That was a blast. So many good memories. (no photos)

sliceswiththings's avatar

Thank you all SO SO much for these answers. This is really great stuff. I really appreciate your sharing. I’m going to start my diary tonight.

VS's avatar

I wish I had not done so many drugs (although apparently I suffered no ill effects from said drugs) and that I had gone to law school instead.

bunnygrl's avatar

I wish I had been a little more selfish (that sounds so awful, but I turned down some wonderful chances because of my family situation), I wish I’d kept diaries, I wish I hadn’t been so afraid to try new things when I had the chance. I wish I’d had my eyes opened to some friends who totally used (and abused) me so I could walk away from them before they did as much harm as I let them, ultimately, get away with. I wish I’d taken more time to be me, instead of what I was expected to be.

wundayatta's avatar

My early 20s were the favorite time of my life. I wouldn’t change it. My later twenties, I grew a little bit more lonely, so if I could have changed that, I would have.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Finished college.
Learned to communicate with my spouse better.
Not been a perfectionist.

tranquilsea's avatar

I basically spent my twenties getting married, having kids and working through a boat load of issues that overwhelmed me…with the help of patient therapists and a saintly patient husband.

Just live life. Enjoy it. Seek it out. Take risks.

cookieman's avatar

While I wish I saved more (any) money, I did do a lot of traveling, bought a house and lived a lot of life. So I probably wouldn’t change a thing.

Come to think if it, in my thirties I did a lot of traveling, remodeled my house, adopted my daughter and lived a lot of life but still didn’t save any money.

Hmmm…let’s see how my 40s go. :^)

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