How to Be 20

First and foremost, we as human beings have the prerogative to pursue the most beautiful lives possible for ourselves, free of persuasion, and we will all go about our journeys in our own unique ways. There is no right or wrong approach.

That being said, I wanted to share with you my perspective on being twenty and alive. I feel that this is a special period of our lives that many of us don’t know how to make sense of. We feel pressure to define ourselves once we are alone in the world so that we can be understood; no, this is the time to feel free to say that I have no idea who I am. Its not vulnerability, its strength in honesty.

Our 20’s are not the time to try and accumulate wealth, it is the time to accumulate skills, experiences, passions, develop traits that you can cash in on later. Spend your money now on dance classes, piano lessons, kickboxing training, language learning, traveling, put those dollars into making yourself more well rounded for the future.

It is the age of phases. People are pulled along this spectrum of their inherent drive to be successful and their dream of being nomadic. Caught between “I want to be free but I also want to show the world that I am making progress in the societally based way of thinking.” The truth is that you can do both if you believe in the phases. It is a natural dichotomy, we are diverse individuals and we should accept every aspect of ourselves. You want to grind and get money? Do it. Hustle for half the year then disappear for the rest. Your life can be as creative as you are willing to live it.

20’s are the time to learn who, where, and what you love and don’t love. Don’t grow old and wonder of what could have been. Grow old knowing what it was.

Don’t dig yourself too deep, don’t feel like you are obligated to do anything in particular because you owe it to yourself to try and do everything that you have ever been curious about, and do it before you lose the energy of your youth.

-Ryan Anthony Dube


How I Almost Forgot That I Live in New York

Visions of the future are always perfect in our minds. We excitedly create, craft, and construct euphoric experiences from deep within the purity of our expectations. We imagine the lives that we will live in new places, with new people, we assume our experiences; but once we are actually living these lives, we rarely take the time to acknowledge the reality of our situations. What I am trying to say is that before I moved to New York City I fantasized about the lights, the sounds, and the mesmerizing movement every second of every day. But, once I became a part of the city I was consumed by its energy, by the hustle, and I haven’t allowed myself a proper moment to step back, appreciate my life for what it is, and say, “Holy shit, I live in New York City.”

There is a constant parallel that exists within us, several streams of consciousness and thought that separate what we expected from a place, what we actually received, and what we anticipate in our next adventure. This sounds like a congested thought, and perhaps it is because I am writing on an urge to express myself and I have not taken the proper time to work my way through the complexities that I am presenting. I have been living in NYC for only three months now but I find that I was more aware of “life in the city” before I moved than I am today. Maybe it is because you cannot grow used to an idea that hasn’t been actualized. When you dream about the lights of Times Square but have never seen them, the magic lives in the hope of one day being there to witness them. With that expectation, with that belief in the future feeling, the lights will never be unappreciated. But once you have seen them, once you have lived beneath them, once you have taken the pictures and felt your soul move, do you forget the lights? I don’t want to ever allow myself to lose track of my time and place. I want to appreciate the city as if I have never been there before. As if each day I wake up hoping and imaging how great it will be, to recognize that I am truly living a dream.

For as long as I live in New York City, I don’t want to ever forget that I live in New York City, because one day I won’t and in my mind I will know that I wish I did.