I just finished reading a fascinating book called The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter—And How to Make the Most of Them Now. I was drawn to the subject matter because of my work with adult twins. The twenties can be particularly challenging for some twin pairs because they are facing separation struggles and the impact of romantic attachments on their twin connection.
Author Meg Jay, a clinical psychologist specializing in adult development, defines what she calls “identity capital.” She writes:
Identity capital is our collection of personal assets—a repertoire of individual resources that we assemble over time. Some identity capital goes on a résumé … and other identity capital is more personal, such as how we speak, where we are from, how we solve problems, how we look. Identity capital is how we build ourselves—bit by bit, over time.
She highlights how important it is for adults to have a sense of their uniqueness, explaining that “distinctiveness” is a key component of one’s identity. Many twins understandably struggle with defining their sense of self because they have been labeled as twins for the majority of their younger years. Dr. Jay is passionate about helping young adults realize that this stage of development—their twenties—is crucial to their future. Believing that you can “waste” your twenties and not get serious until your thirties is very flawed thinking. Her research shows that the efforts, relationships, and commitments one makes during this decade substantially influence the choices, decisions, and outcomes of one’s future professional and personal life.
I plan to share more of her exciting findings in future blogs.