I turned twenty last March, and so far these past eight months have been the most hectic but amazing time of my life. A lot would feel that I should start taking life seriously since this is a very crucial time, even when they say that almost every five years. The rest would say that I should enjoy it because the best is yet to come. But the way I see it, here is what I learned and am struggling to at my second decade of existence:
1. Friends come and go, and when they leave, sometimes you just have to let them.
I used to have this BFF group that I knew ever since I first got my boobies, and I thought that they would be my BFFs until we all get married and have kids, possibly arranging them to get married to one another. It seemed possible, since our parents were also BFFs. Things happened, we got separated, and here we are. I keep attachments to some of them, some who bother to check up on me mostly. Maybe it was my fault that I didn’t reciprocate, I don’t know. But I think it just dawned on me that I didn’t want that friendship. It’s not their fault, it’s probably mine. I sounded like I was trying to break up with them, and I was.
The people you know and talk to every day, sometimes it’s not enough to make the friendship last. And we shouldn’t feel bad about it! People change in the course of time, and changes among friends don’t synchronize. You can’t keep filling the gap when there’s a hole at the bottom, it’s never going to be full no matter how you try. There are people who will stay, of course, those of whom we click so well with. Keeping a small group of people whom you know very well is better than a huge population of those you barely know at all. The key is building and stabilizing friendships that are worth lasting for a lifetime.
I know a few people that I want to keep as my friends for the long haul, and I try to connect to them even when we are cities away. We’d just have coffee or walk around the city, catch up on one another. If it’s countries away, Skype is a friendship saver. It’s not suppose to matter where they are anyway. The internet will be of a better use for communication rather than anything else.
2. You can’t achieve everything.
The problem with our generation is that we are so invested on the fact that we can change the world and make a name for ourselves, no matter how we get it. It’s great to have hope, especially when it’s the only thing that keeps us going. And when we look at what we have achieved, we will feel that we did not do enough. That’s supposed to be alright!
I told myself before that I would write a novel, something with depth and that is unforgettable. I wanted to write a book about my brother, Aaron, and how we deal with his condition. I wouldn’t be blogging right now if I didn’t really want to pursue it, writing and storytelling (I was a pathological liar when I was a kid) has been my thing since I was young. I even wanted to write children’s books, but I never really knew how to draw illustrations. They seemed to be easy to achieve for someone like me, since I have the sources and inspiration to do so. And yet you still can’t see my books even in the most shabbiest bookstores in the face of the planet. And I’m okay with that.
Not everyone can be great, let’s admit that to ourselves first of all. The inspiring rags to riches stories fill our heads with the illusion that our lives are like movies that are going to be blockbuster hits by the end of the first week of showing. And when it’s not, we get all depressed and disappointed. We all want to achieve so many things before we turn a certain age, and we just have to face the fact that life is bigger than our dreams, and no matter how foolproof your success plan is, when it’s not going to happen it’s definitely not going to happen.
I never stopped dreaming about that though, there is no harm in wanting to achieve something. Maybe I can do it in the future, maybe not, I’ll let the future take its course. But I’m not going to start investing on something and forgetting about my life. Chasing dreams sometimes leaves you lost when you start to look around. You don’t know where you are, how you got here, and you’d wish someone was there with you. I wouldn’t want that, even if it means making it big.
3. It’s okay to be normal.
I know people who want to have their first million dollars before they turn 30, become huge celebrities, or make an impact in mankind and maybe get a sainthood from it. Their aspirations are great, but sometimes they feel too overwhelming. Why can’t anyone like to be just normal? There is a certain bliss in a consistent life, I have realized. Sure, some people would think that would be boring after a while, that I won’t get to ~*live my life to the fullest*~.
In my opinion, the simple contentment of things you have, the people you’re with, that’s pure bliss. Humans have an insatiable need to yearn for more– more money, more properties, more friends. It’s not settling for less than you deserve, it is being humble and contented of the blessings you receive that you may not even deserve. I’m lucky enough to still be breathing right now, lucky enough that a canister didn’t fall on my eye and made me half-blind, lucky enough not to fall into a downward spiral of despair. The word ‘enough’ is something a twenty-something would probably start looking for in the years to come.
Being normal wasn’t supposed to be depressing or self-depreciating, but every author started quoting that we should be different and stand out from the rest, that every teenager aspired it and wanted it even if it meant bad consequences. It made the society of today yearn for attention, making them ~*unique*~ like a special snowflake, because it will make them feel important. Being different doesn’t make anybody important. People with disabilities want to be treated just like everybody else, why are the normal ones trying so hard to do the opposite?
4. All work and no play sometimes pays off.
I do have my fun every now and then, and by fun I mean eating fast food while watching shows while still in my pajamas fun. But most of the time, I do work. I am a very busy girl, balancing school and home and relationship at the same time. It’s not easy, we all know that. Sometimes I have to sacrifice things in order to make room for other things. It sucks every now and then, and it would make us sad and cry boo-hoo. But the hard work that I do feels rewarding at the end, that those sleepless nights of finishing deadlines instead of partying has a better consequence on me. Do your job fast, finish it fast, and then have fun. Work ruins fun most of the time, and being twenty, we have to accept that. We have new priorities, responsibilities. Call it a party pooper, but that’s just how it’s going to be. You might as well get used to it.
I can’t even remember the last time I went out partying or got drunk. I sound like a complete killjoy, but that’s true. I am too invested on different things than what people my age usually do. People say it means having an old soul, or having a foot up my ass so high. I’d like to think it’s both. Being a hermit is nice sometimes. For one, I don’t get any contagious diseases, air-born or sexually transmitted. My liver and heart would be in a healthy state. And I get to remember events in my life that I wouldn’t if I was completely drunk or high. I don’t get to embarrass myself. The neurons in my brain won’t get fried.
People think that it’s all glitz and glamour to be all out and socializing, that making mistakes and being irresponsible is okay. Tell that to yourself ten years later, and you will be slapping your younger self afterwards. I wouldn’t do that to my own, I’d actually give her a high five and tell her to keep going.