What Being 21 Has Taught Me

Being 21 has its ups and downs. I now understand why my friends who are a year older than me were quite uncomfortable whenever I ask them the question: “How’s work?” or “What are your plans?” Honestly I thought, when I graduate I’ll have this relentless freedom, my own money, and I can buy the things that I want.

Well, I was able to have those things but not a lot of it. Figuring out what to do with your life can be a pain in the ass. If you’ve been used to planning everything and knowing where you’re headed to, you will have a mixture of happiness and disappointment. Meaningful goals after all are not that easy to achieve.

Three years ago, I was so ready with my plan, too excited for that matter. Everything was set after graduation. But the inevitable happened, and suddenly my five-year plan, ten-year plan, and other plans had to change or let’s say got postponed.

With the experiences I’ve had and am having I’ve learned how to roll with the unexpected, the inevitable, the surprises.

  1. Hope but don’t expect. Hope is good. One should always have it because when all things are gone, hope is all that remains. But, you must remember that you should not expect. Even if you did perfect in a job interview and many compliments were given to you, never expect that you’ll get the job. Hope for the best but be ready if ever things don’t turn out well.
  2. Let go of what can’t be changed. It may be an outcome that you have no control over or a love story that went downhill. Here’s the thing: you don’t have to put up with anyone or anything that is dragging you down. Always ask yourself if what you’re doing is worth it. Is this sacrifice worth it? Is this friendship worth it? If it is (logically) by all means, fight for it. But if it’s putting more sorrow than happiness, well let it go.
  3. One step at a time. Well, we all have plans for a better future. Like have a decent job, a car, a house, help your family etc. In order to get those things we have to work hard for it. However, if you always look at that vision, and plot this rigid timeline, you may get too uptight. You may stop looking at how awesome the present is because all you can think about is, “I want to get there.” And you get overwhelmed when things don’t go according to your plan. Here’s the thing, those goals will eventually be attained, but as of now, all you can do is be focused with the present. Stop being so anxious about the future, take things slow. Just think about today. Ask yourself this question: “What good can i do today?” As long as you’re taking baby steps, those good work you’ve collected will pile up and one day you’ll wake up with that dream you’ve had. Breathe, think about today.
  4. Accept. Whatever situation you’re in, good or bad, accept it. Stop resisting, stop complaining. If you can change it, try. But if it doesn’t, screw it, accept it. Take the next step forward.
  5. Love. Always find a place for love. Value the people around you. Appreciate whatever you have now. Gratitude is the first step to love. If you change your perspective, and just be grateful, you’ll feel that peace. You are open-minded, headstrong, and at ease. You’ll find it easy to love what you are doing. If you do things for love, then, all is well.

Those are the lessons I’ve learned in my path to #Adulthood. I admit, I’ve learned them in hard ways, by making mistakes and through experience. You can only learn them definitely by experience. I haven’t perfected the art of hope, letting go, taking baby steps, acceptance, and love. I don’t plan to be a perfect human being. The best that I can do is try to be better than I was yesterday. I’m just happy that I have learned. All these lessons are going to be useful through the path that I’m headed to.

It’s good to have a plan, but even if a plan doesn’t work there’s always something better coming. Always.

Dreams and Failures

We’ve been made to believe that we are born to do something great. The human potential can never be limited. We can achieve great heights, that possibilities are endless. This world offers opportunities that we can hop on and poof we’re successful. Everyone around you tells you you can do it.

If you’re someone who’s been used to achievement at a young age, you very well know that you have a tendency to set the bar high for yourself. You set goals, and you’re used to achieving them.You may have achieved a lot, but what if the so called life happens? Can your intellect still prepare you for the inevitable? Did your books teach you how to cope with life?

When you’ve got no answers to the questions such as “Why did this happen to me?”, that’s when everything starts to fall apart. The innocence of that child in you disappears or hides. Suddenly, you’re not this brave person anymore. The more you fail, the more you beat yourself up. Life looks like a big joke for you especially if you’re used to external affirmation.

But, these things that you’ve been through, make you strong. It changes your perspective. You had a tunnel vision before and suddenly here’s a new you seeing things in a different point of view. Yes, at first you’ll get angry, you might even look for people, things, and circumstances to blame. But when you get through that tough place, you become invincible. No one can put you down, and for the first time in your life, you feel that nothing is impossible.

How do you get back up? First, feel the emotion, cry for heaven’s sake. Express what you are feeling in whatever form you want to. If you hide what you’re feeling, it gets worse and worse. All the devils in your head will exponentially reproduce and the hole will just dig deeper. Tell someone your frustrations. Then, after expressing it, baby steps, start.

Start fresh. Start with the lessons from your past. Recovery has no timetable. Take your time, do what makes you happy and try to be happy gradually. Some days you will fail but at the end of it all, you’ll see that it’s worth it. After that long recovery process, you would have developed confidence.

Feel, recover, and exude confidence.

There is no guarantee that things will be alright. Bad things will happen definitely, but it’s up to you if you will let circumstances beat you. This cycle goes on, you get happy then sad, then happy again. It’s a never ending cycle. If others have been able to achieve their goals against the odds, so can you.