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20 Things We Never Thought We’d Become Obsessed With In Our Late 20s

20 Things We Never Thought We’d Become Obsessed With In Our Late 20s

A few years ago you were absolutely okay with eating pizza for dinner each night, living in a tiny flat with five buddies and rocking out on the dance floor till dawn. The time flies though, and you steadily head towards your third decade.

Suddenly you find yourself in your late 20s, slightly obsessed with the opposite types of activities and past times.

Here are 20 things I had no idea I would become so excited about a few years ago!

1. Cooking elaborate dishes

You know you are in your late 20s when pasta no longer sounds like a decent dinner option. We now crave to savor exquisite tastes and opt to spend weeks learning to cook something gourmand (and Instagram-worthy) like Coquilles Saint-Jacques and roasted potato salad with candied walnuts as a side dish.

Yes, it takes a hell of a lot of time, practice and a few kilos of wasted food, but we feel extremely proud as we read all the rave comments under the photo!

2. Local organic vegetables

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    You’ve come to love Saturdays even more! You get up early and dash directly to the farmer’s market for fresh veggies and fragrant bundles of salads. You then happily spend the afternoon chopping and packing them into Tupperware to make the taste last longer.

    You always shop seasonal and inspect each item with notorious meticulousness before stacking it into the basket. Some vendors already know you by name and even make small discounts, and there’s a list on your fridge with of all organic shops around your area with notes where you should by what. Also, you have even attempted growing some veggies and herbs at your windowsill to keep basics at stock all the time and save some money from your food check.

    3. Being concerned about your health

    It’s not that you are getting old, but some extra concern about your well-being has become a “thing”. Suddenly, you became aware of all the negative impacts of certain foods, toxic liquids in your household and even harmful bacteria hiding in the hospitals.

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    You schedule regular appointments to your dentists and GP, you even once consulted a nutritionist and then you were over the moon happy when you realized your new insurance covers vision! You now realize the value of working for a company that offers the best health insurance packages.

    4. Professional cleaning services

    The truth is, you’ve never liked cleaning up. Living in a cramped, cluttered cave with wrappers behind the couch was pretty fine in college, yet absolutely unbearable in your late 20s. Now, every other weekend, you crouch and run sprints around the house with a vacuum cleaner. Sometimes you feel like if someone would gift you a year of professional cleaning services, you would immediately marry them!

    5. Massages

    A night on a friend’s couch leaves you with a terrible pain in the neck. So does the office chair, spending too much time driving, a bad mattress and loads of other activities. It seems like we got into our late 20s and all our pains and aches intensified.

    A 60 minute massage session with fragrant oil dripped all over your poor body is no longer a luxury, but an actual necessity!

    6. Having a preference of wine

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      Long gone are the days you could drink anything that had at least a slight grape aftertaste. A typical conversation with your significant other at a wine cellar now looks like:

      “Why are we taking that Alsatian Riesling again? I’m not sure that year 2012 will pair well with the fish.”

      “But, babe, we’ve drank that red dry Bordeaux last weekend and I didn’t like that nutty aftertaste, remember?”

      At the venue, you can spend a good half an hour inspecting the wine menu and shooting questions at the sommelier.

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      7. Going to bed before midnight

      Why should anyone sane stay out till dawn and rave like a madman to get up at 6 am still hangovered and absolutely devastated? All the cool kids like you are going to bed early.

      A “big night out” now is more like – let’s cook something cool, drink a bottle of good wine and go wild by trying out a fancy dessert.

      8. Enjoying music  from back in the 90s

      You still remember lyrics to most ‘N SYNC songs, right? And chances are, no one’s going to make fun of you when you mention that in public. In most cases, you’ll end up doing a karaoke session and going as low as “Hit Me Baby One More Time” while having the time of your lives!

      9. New home appliances

      For a second you may feel a little embarrassed by being so excited with your new super-awesome self-cleaning espresso machine, but it all goes away once you see how anxiously envious your friends become.

      Your wish-list now has quite a lot of incredible items you would die to have, from a baked taco shell toaster to a pro noodle maker to make your own spaghetti from organic ingredients!

      10. Having a seat at the concert

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        No matter how much you love that band, you will not go to their live gig if there’s no sitting places left! Rubbing elbows with fellow fans in front of the stage (and secretly wondering if that guy in front of you will smack your nose or not) doesn’t sound cool anymore.

        Neither does a free ticket for a Katy Perry concert…without sitting.

        11. Quality clothes

        You are no longer friends with Forever 21 and H&M. At some point, you’ve started feeling really awkward when walking in. Besides, you are tired of throwing away another pile of tiny dresses, small t-shirts and shrunken sweaters.

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        In our late 20s, we like to spend more on clothes only if it’s actually worth the price. A pair of rubber designer flip-flops for $20 is a rip-off, but a pair of good suede loafers is a wise investment.

        12. Having “productive” weekends

        There’s no longer an “epic” story to tell on Monday about getting wasted, hitting 10 clubs in a row and waking up in another state. Those days are past and now you love telling stories about how hellishly productive you’ve been during those two so-called rest days.

        You’ve cleaned the entire flat, cooked for a five-person dinner party (with two dish changes!), finished reading the Ernest Hemingway biography, washed the car, cut the lawn and even had time to try a new hairdo!

        13. Dinner parties

        No longer “you bring your food, I give my space to chill” types of parties, but fancy Martha Stewart-inspired feasts with matching napkins, two glasses for water and wine, at least three different types of forks, fresh floral bouquet (that you’ve struggled to make two hours after watching that DIY video), napkin holders and candles.

        You have even thought about ordering calligraphy for name cards, but is seemed like too much, right?

        14. Establishing a sacred morning routine

        Because morning defines your mood for the whole day! You can sacrifice those 15 extra minutes of sleep for a series of yoga exercises and extra five minutes in a warm shower to gather your thoughts.

        You’ve ditched coffee for a glass of hot lemon water, you typically cook salads and smoothies instead of cereals and get your clothes prepared in the evening. All those procedures are sacred and you can not be deprived of any of it!

        15. Documentaries

        Watching soap operas and reality shows? Duh, we are so over it! Instead, we prefer to actually learn something new while interacting with the telly or opt for some beautifully puzzling art-house movie for entertainment.

        16. Brunches

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          Will our generation someday be named as “the brunchers”? It seems like everything we do involves a brunch. What shall we do today? How about having a brunch at that new awesome cafe around the corner? No brunch offers? This place sucks! I will never tag it on Instagram, even though the coffee looks pretty.

          17. Private space

          Sharing is no longer caring when it comes to your “own space”. You are okay to pay that dreadful solo rent price, so that you won’t have to justify an hour in the bathroom, while listening your whining roommate on the other side of the door.

          Or your music choices, or your right not to wear pants around the house. The freedom to do whatever you want in your space is almost overwhelming!

          18. DIY’ing

          In your late 20s, your YouTube subscription is full of DIY channels – from nail art to authentic reed basket weaving. I’m not even mentioning how many pictures you have pinned on your secret DIY Pinterest board.

          During the last year you’ve probably attempted making all kind of stuff, from that shoe holder planter to a wood-burning camp stove.

          19. Treating pets like children

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            Because yes, it is absolutely acceptable to dress up both of your cats in lovely Santa costumes and send that photo as a postcard to all of your friends and family. Also, there’s nothing weird about you seeming to always post pictures with your cat doing cute things or talking for hours about how clever it is and what new tricks it’s learned!

            20. Telling the truth

            We no longer care that much if someone thinks we are “rude” or “unkind” when expressing our opinions and telling people what we really think. We are too tired of pretending to be “okay” when things are bad and can usually just spill everything out to our close friends without being ashamed.

            Also, by our late 20s, we’ve come to realize that we cannot change who we are or change the people around us. But we can always let them go and get rid of any toxic relationships that spoil our lives.

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            Elena Prokopets

            Freelance Writer

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            Last Updated on November 11, 2019

            Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

            Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

            A dysfunctional family is more than disagreement or constant arguments. Anything from plain neglect, to abuse and even verbal and physical violence is the everyday experience of those who are part of a dysfunctional family.

            You know how this looks:

            • Parents constantly comparing children.
            • Siblings in conflict because of tolerated bullying.
            • Domestic violence.
            • Adultery…
            • And many others.

            For all the members, this will mean emotional pain and even trauma; which, in case it doesn’t get resolved, will have a detrimental effect on the individual’s personality and development.

            Needless to say, the younger members are the most vulnerable, but that doesn’t mean the parents are out of danger, as most commonly the parents play the roles of abuser-codependent, and in some cases, both parts inflicting pain on one another.

            Most like to think these problems stem from deep-seated issues, and that therefore it’s pretty much impossible to deal with them.

            This is only true for families not willing to do what it takes, for if only a single member is determined and knows how to do it, the whole family can do a lot of progress.

            In this article, I’ll break down for you the basic steps of fixing a dysfunctional family. Although it may seem hopeless, it is possible to turn things around.

            If you have ever felt in this position, or if you know somebody who is, this article is for you.

            How to fix a dysfunctional family

            In a few words the solution for a dysfunctional family lies in dropping the ego, focusing on the solution, switching blame for responsibility and doing the work as a unity, for the good of the whole family.

            And this will accomplish things you once only saw as a dream.

            Dropping the ego? Switching blame for responsibility? Doing the work? What does all this mean?

            It’s simple. In a nutshell, it’s that which will allow you to turn a dysfunctional family into a functional one.

            Let’s take a look at how exactly this can be done. And near the end we will also talk about what you can do in a dysfunctional family with cynical traits.

            Dysfunctional families where not only problems are well-known, but also nobody seems to want a fix or openly decide to perpetuate the harmful behaviors. Such as the case of abuse and physical violence.

            There is also a solution for these, it’s just not what you are expecting…

            Dysfunctional… Or just average?

            Most families are dysfunctional, though at varying degrees of dysfunctionality.

            The milder cases, are just marked by “typical” comically-shrouded bullying or lack of interest in other members’ development or wellbeing.

            You can know a family is dysfunctional if their interactions are anything different than cooperation, solidarity, care and support. But let’s get more specific…

            A dysfunctional family is one in which members directly or indirectly suffer emotional and/or physical harm inflicted by other members of their family. Most commonly, perpetrated by the parents.

            Even harmful actions as “passive” as neglect, which is inflicted by inaction rather than action, signifies a dysfunction within the family.

            Dysfunctional families have conflicts such as:

            • Unrealistic expectations
            • Lack of interest and time spent together
            • Sexism
            • Utilitarianism
            • Lack of empathy
            • Unequal or unfair treatment
            • Disrespect towards boundaries
            • Control Issues
            • Jealousy
            • Verbal and physical abuse
            • Violence and even sexual misconduct or abuse

            You may think a dysfunctional family has very little or nothing to do with personal productivity, but you would be wrong in thinking this way…

            If a person is not emotionally well, she will not be able to perform as desired, as the emotional harm that has been inflicted will hinder everyday performance in the way of inability to concentrate, lack of mental clarity and low levels of inspiration, motivation and discipline.

            Having a functional family does exactly the opposite: It creates productive members with no emotional baggage.

            How to turn it around

            When you’re part of a dysfunctional family you know it. You can quickly identify in other members the behaviors and conflicts that create the dysfunction.

            But just in case you’re having trouble telling functional from dysfunctional I will tell you the following:

            One of the easiest ways you can recognize if you are in a dysfunctional family is to survey your won feelings.

            We often overlook this, but have you stopped to ask yourself how you feel?

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            As cheesy as it may sound it really sheds a lot of light on the subject.

            What behaviors, actions and attitudes in your family you wish were better?

            Do you think certain behaviors and actions from your family marked you in the past?

            Sadly, we cannot go back to the past to correct it. But we can do a lot in the present…

            Correction is possible

            In order to fix a dysfunctional family, you must start by putting an end to the behaviors and actions that are affecting you.

            Verbalize it.

            All members of the dysfunctional family have one issue in common: They don’t put a stop to the harm.

            Whenever you feel your boundaries being overstepped there is just one single word you have to remember: STOP.

            This is the door to a better, more functional family, because after this, comes the fix.

            But first you have to identify and make others know where exactly lies the problem.

            So go ahead and fearlessly start with “Stop”, followed by your expression of dissatisfaction.

            Putting it to work in real life

            In real life it would be something like this:

            “OK, stop! Every time you belittle me I feel you don’t care. I need attention and respect, and it is your responsibility as my family to provide them to me”

            Or:

            “Stop. When you compare me with my cousin it hurts, I feel like I don’t matter and that’s not ok. I ask you to stop doing it.

            Or:

            “Please stop. When you start yelling all respect is lost and it turns into a battle of who can do it louder. Don’t raise your voice and let’s work this out the way humans do”.

            As you can see, here you start by putting a stop to the toxic behavior when it arises. And afterwards you verbalize why it’s wrong and what needs of you need to be fulfilled.

            This is what you have to remember:

            1-Stop.

            2-Why it’s wrong?

            3-What you need.

            And this will also work well in case you need to do it for another family member.

            It’s a family thing

            A dysfunctional family cannot be fixed by one member alone.

            Yes, a single member can initiate progress and be the leader of the change. But in order to completely become functional all members must contribute to the solution.

            In other words, you will need cooperation…

            So don’t be afraid of asking for it!

            Approach your family member and ask to be listened.

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            We sometimes feel our needs are “not that important” or we simply believe they won’t listen. But thinking like this would be like being defeated at an unfought battle.

            You will be amazed by how much people listen when you voice your needs, especially if it implies showing yourself open, vulnerable and in need.

            It’s not a free-for-all battle

            In order to get your family to cooperate, first you must fix your individual relationships with every member of the family. Remember: Relationships are always between two people, and two people only.

            No matter how complex, the quality of a multi-member relationship (like a family) will always depend on the quality of the individual relationships.

            Once you have straightened the relationship with every member of the dysfunctional family you will be able to better communicate with other members and help in the betterment of their individual relationship.

            And this is where we will talk about the fix itself. The one I mentioned in the introduction…

            The method

            1. Drop the ego

            Wherever there is conflict there is ego.

            You cannot fix a relationship where there is ego, because the ego will want to win. Always. Yours and the other person.

            Ego craves control and satisfaction, and in many cases, to establish dominance.

            What does this have to do with a dysfunctional family? Everything. Ego will interfere with every plan you have to fix it.

            It will make people suborn and defensive. And it will also make them drop responsibility. This is why, the first step is to drop the ego.

            After you make sure you are not going to allow your ego to interfere you must work to make the other person do the same. How? By speaking from the heart…

            Tell the other person how important all this is to you.

            Tell the other person that it’s not a matter of arguing, but just working things out together.

            Point out how it is not possible for you to do it alone.

            And ask for sincere attention without any desire of opposition, because what you are doing is by no means in the hopes of harming the other person, but just to better the relationship and stop the damage being dealt to you.

            You will have to point out the mistakes you need corrected, that’s for sure. And that leads me to the next point…

            2. Not blame, but responsibility

            When talking about others’ mistakes we often use an accusatory tone. And that’s natural, it’s what things should be like if ego was not present.

            But since we are all creatures of ego, this immediately brings the shields up. And then unsheathes the swords…

            When we blame others they automatically enter a defensive state, and this only leads to a failed negotiation.

            What you need to do is to shift from blame to responsibility. And even that will have to be done carefully!

            Instead of telling them off or demanding change or complaining, calmly point what the problem with their behavior is.

            As much as this feels contradictory, also make them feel understood. You know how difficult it is to accept a mistake, so just make them feel it’s no big fuzz… which does not mean it’s ok, but it takes tension off.

            You will do something like this:

            “Hello dad. Can I talk with you for a minute? I really need to tell you something.

            I have been feeling pretty sad lately and I know this is something you do care about.

            You see, whenever I talk about my accomplishments you mention something else that makes my achievement pale in comparison.

            I know you don’t do this intentionally and I know you might have not realized this until now, but I want to let you know this really brings me down.

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            It would mean a lot to me if you could stop doing it, and it would help better our relationship, because this has already forced me to distance myself from you. And I don’t want that, I want a good, healthy relationship with you”

            What happened here?

            We started off with making it something important, something that needs both time and attention. Then we openly show ourselves vulnerable, just as we are.

            We also mention why he should listen, and shove our feelings there again, because they are important.

            We describe the issue with no attachment and with no hostile intention. It’s just a description.

            And then we take the blame off. Just before we assign responsibility without actually saying it.

            You are not blaming him directly, but you are pointing out the inevitable fact that his actions are causing a dysfunctionality. He is now responsible for changing.

            This is what “switching blame for responsibility” means. What comes next? Doing the work!

            3. Doing the work

            What would any of this mean if, in the end, nothing changes? Exactly, nothing!

            This is why you must follow up with every change that needs to be done.

            Do so in a manner that is not hostile. Bring it up in a casual manner, and emphasizing how you both reached an agreement and how that is important to the family.

            If the person doesn’t follow up don’t hesitate to bring it up again, and tell them you feel disappointed that your honest try at it was not listened.

            It may even be a subject in itself, and therefore the need for another conversation.

            “When you go back to old habits it shows that you didn’t really care about what I said. But back in real life you just reinforce how much contempt you show towards me and my feelings.

            I talk with you because I care. Because although it would be easier for me to just distance myself from you I rather do my part in nurturing this relationship.

            But there is just so much I can do, if you refuse to do your part I can do nothing else.”

            You need very clear and positive communication in order to make this work.

            Love is all you need

            You must remember that in order for a dysfunctional family to become functional, all the work needs to stem from love.

            That is the single one requirement for all this to work: Love.

            And what happens if it simply is not there?

            What happens if, nobody is willing to do what it takes?

            What happens if a member of the family refuses to change and is happy with the harm he or she is dealing?

            There is only one thing you can do:

            To break away.

            Let’s be honest, people, especially adults, are very difficult to change.

            There is a Jewish proverb that I love, which sums it up like this:

            “We spend the rest of our lives trying to unlearn what we learned before we were 7”

            If you find it very hard to change the very traits that make your family dysfunctional or if it’s simply impossible, you still have a card up your sleeve…

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            Although nobody likes to beak away from family members, we must remember we have a responsibility with ourselves as individuals, before any relationship with anyone.

            You have the responsibility of making yourself happy and free. Because you matter as an individual, regardless of any relationships you have, be it family, friendship or romantic.

            Putting distance

            So in case you are dealing with a family member who is simply unwilling to change take both physical and emotional distance.

            What do I mean?

            Learn, first, to take their damage in a detached manner.

            Don’t let it hurt you further. Instead take a deep breath and distance yourself emotionally.

            Don’t be attached to feelings such as “Why doesn’t she love me?” or “What did I do to deserve this?” or “If he wasn’t like that my life would be perfect”.

            Simply refuse to keep participating in the emotional downward spiral and accept, even if it’s painful” that there is nothing you can do. Accept that even without that relationship you are whole, you are worthy of love and respect.

            They are their responsibility and you are yours. So decide what is best for you.

            Realize it only comes down to two possibilities:

            I keep the relationship and therefore accept the abuse. Or…

            I choose my peace of mind.

            And don’t let your mind fool you. We often think that since we all are imperfect, we must take the good and the bad behaviors of people. And we are especially forgiving towards our family…

            Well, guess what? We are also responsible adults who are aware and must own to their acts. Never excuse abuse or violence or transgression towards you or anybody else.

            Choose your happiness and if possible, also distance yourself physically, as it will increase your peace of mind tenfold.

            How to prevent it

            There are two key concepts you must bear in mind in order to prevent the dysfunctionality of a family:

            • To be completely aware of one’s own mistakes and not allow them to impact others and…
            • To make sure our SO’s are also on the same channel before creating a family (i.e. having children)

            Dysfunctional families are the product of irresponsible paternity, for the decades-long unresolved emotional conflict ends up surfacing in the family inevitably, and it will for sure harm those who least deserve it: Innocent children.

            You may notice we went from talking about family, to talking about individual relationships, to talking about you. We went from “them” to “us” to “me”.

            Why? Because in the end you have the power to fix a dysfunctional family. To correct the mistakes you have in yours and to prevent dysfunctionalities if you don’t have a family but plan to create one.

            Priorities and clear thought

            You may be part of a dysfunctional family, but that does not mean you are powerless or that you have to suffer the consequences.

            You learned today how it’s all a matter of priorities and thinking clearly.

            You learned that, if love exists, everything is possible. You learned that even when there is no love and no fix for your dysfunctional family, there are still things you can do. It’s a matter of choosing your peace, because you deserve it.

            Everything will be better if you apply this knowledge. If you talk to that problematic family member. If you help them see the harm they are doing. If you make sure they do change and treat you the way you need to be treated…

            If you choose yourself over that toxic family member. If you refuse to justify the harm that others can do to yourself. If you realize the most important relationship you have is with yourself.

            And lastly, that you also have to be aware of your actions and be open to criticism. Because we might be unknowingly harming others. And that would be us creating a dysfunctionality. Don’t allow it to happen.

            Dysfunctional families are not impossible to fix. It just takes love, cooperation and responsibility.

            But if you tried and those elements are not present, just choose yourself instead.

            Featured photo credit: Xavier Mouton Photographie via unsplash.com

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