I still have a good chunk of my twenties left in front of me, but I don’t think I would be able to navigate through them without the lessons I’ve learned while growing up, or in the past few years, from some of my biggest inspirations. And today I’m sharing them with you…

Elizabeth Day’s 3 Ps: Pleasure, prestige and pay

Elizabeth Day’s podcast How to Fail and her book of the same name have resonated with me on a deeper lever, but it’s a concept she talked about in one of her live talks that had the biggest impact on my twenties so far: the 3 Ps, pleasure, prestige and pay. Over the years, she has developed this tool to help her decide whether to say yes or no to things people have asked her, in order to see if they would benefit her in any way. Would it bring her pleasure? Prestige? Or a good pay? I now use it for any kind of situation when I’m unsure about saying yes or no.

HBO GIRLS & the very special misery of being in your twenties

I always come back to the TV series GIRLS when I want a true depiction of what being in your twenties looks like. In her book Sister Mother, Husband, Dog, Delia Ephron said of Lena Dunham’s show that it represents “the very special misery of being in your twenties. Of being clueless, desperate, lost. Looking for love, settling for crazy. Grabbing at solutions because they are solutions, just not to your problem” (p.43). Having watched it as a teenager meant I had more realistic expectations of what being in this decade would look like, and I think it’s because I saw something in every character of the show that makes me think of someone I know or of myself : Marnie is super Type A, Shoshanna is a bit strange but lovable, Jessa doesn’t care about everything, but when she does, she will let you know, and Hannah represents the version of ourselves when we all are when we’re home alone (oh and she is a narcissist).

Books: Prep in particular and the idea of caring

To represent the way I feel on a daily basis, I don’t think there is a quote more accurate than: “caring about everything was draining, but it was also exhilarating” (p.376) in Curtis Sittenfeld’s book Prep. The idea of “caring” about people, values, jobs, cities is so engrained in our everyday lives and we feel like we always need to giving 100% of our attention to everything, despite the exhaustion, because that is how we function. This wasn’t really a lesson per se, but it's food for thoughts.

What are some important lessons you follow to navigate your twenties?