There are millions of articles on the subject which advice women to travel, sleep with multiple partners and own their own roof all in their 20’s.
I have no idea if any of those suggestions are applicable in reality on the western world, but they definitely leave us a little lost, call your parents once a week? whaaat.. we are Pakistani’s, we most probably still live with them if not married and settled in susral yet. Living with the boyfriend before marriage to know him better, excuse me? We are not even allowed to talk to him on phone till we say ‘qubool hai’ thrice. Travel the world alone, yeah sure as soon as the rikshaw arrives!
So, those lists are totally irrelevant to us. Reading cosmopolitan might be trendy but we usually end up laughing our guts out on the suggestions. Hence, I have made a desi list, which I hope is not only relatable but also a bit realistic for most girls out there. Here are my ten rules to follow in your twenties:
- Get a professional degree- It’s the only accessory no one can ever steal from you, even if you don’t use it for building up a career, it will surely come handy showing off in front of your kids when their results are not at par. One of the most important person in my life is my 18 years old niece and nothing means more to me than being an example for her
- Have a working record of atleast 5 years, this will not only give you perspective and independence which we as humans always crave for, but you can be stable enough so no one can even think of taking away your passion from you before your next phase of life starts. If you have one year experience as an accountant than there are higher chances you will end up teaching math’s in a school after the wedding bells rings because everyone around you will think of your pre-wedding job as a hobby, not as a career and we like it or not, opinions can even influence our choices in our desi setup
- Make your mind about things that matter like marriage, kids, career etc., don’t say marriage is not for me just because you haven’t find your ideal man yet, life surprises us in the oddest of times so keep your options open and don’t judge others for their choices. I had decided I will get married after 28 but then I met my husband and life pretty much took care of itself there onwards, what really matters is that you are clear on your goals, circumstances are not in our control but our choices are
- Spend your first 3 pays on clothes, shoes, bags and make-up, get it out of your system and then stop. Start saving while maintaining a balanced lifestyle, having a full of cash unbranded bag is far better than an empty Gucci one
- Learn to cook; atleast the basics like egg, daal chawwal and French fries, not because they will help you in susral as your mother keeps on telling you but for your own survival, remember, we might love chocolate but its neither healthy nor enough to fill an empty stomach
- Learn to use your voice, speak up for yourself and for what you believe in, its besides the point if you are right or wrong, that knowledge comes with time so it’s ok, don’t sweat on it. If you are a feminist, proclaim it, if someone is trying to interfere in your personal matters, stop them right there and if you have made a mistake, don’t hesitate admitting it
- Day dream- about becoming a bollywood director, studying at oxford, your housewarming party one day you will have to arrange or whatever makes the survival in real world easier
- Take up a hobby, don’t waste your time watching useless sad drama’s, do something creative with your time, if it can’t be creative, it can be something educational like reading Elif Shafak or watching house of cards
- Know what’s happening around you and in the world (also with kareena kapoor). Social Media, News Websites, Google and blogs are not just to kill time and network with random people, use it to gain knowledge and perspective
- Cherish your close relations and get rid of toxic people and frienimies. Also, take time out to fall in love- first with yourself and then with the one who you find worthy of your feelings and attention
Always remember to know your priorities in life and always value your own story- we all have one, we all are living one and our story is the best one ever since we are the heroine of our own story no matter it’s a hit or a flop. While our teen years go by in figuring out who we are and fighting the entire world about everything, our twenties in true sense define our path, the decisions we take are the ones we usually end up living with our entire life. So it’s important to not waste these years following fashion trends which will change in six months and competing with random Facebook friend who’s struggles we hardly know about.
Compete with yourself, Invest in yourself and learn to be honest with yourself.