It’s been exactly 37 days since I became officially a quarter century old. This year, my birthday happened to fall on a Saturday…a weekend birthday, yaaay, let’s blast it, right? Well, no! I spent my 25th as normally as an average Tuesday (not even a Saturday), and you know what? It wasn’t sad at all…I actually enjoyed every bit of it; having that turkey sandwich I have for lunch like twice a week, that sinful hot bowl of caramelized apple crumbles (which was by the way the highest blast I could have), spending the day watching lame movies and the evening with the gang in the very same Starbucks we have been hanging out at for a couple of years now. To be honest, it didn’t seem like a big deal to me, you know. I know that now I’m 25 and all but how is that any different from being 24 or 26? Well, 26 sounds a bit scary…still, on the inside, nothing has changed for the past three years. Of course, I have matured and developed but I don’t feel I’ve become “old” in any sort of way.
Nevertheless, this year’s birthday was supposed to be something special…it was supposed to be the day I concluded the “Quarter of An Earthly Century” project! It was supposed to be the day I put together the “I Ching” on how it is to be a young adult.
But I didn’t…it’s been 37 days and I still haven’t written my epilogue! And it’s not because it’s been too hard for me to let go of the project neither is it because I didn’t have anything to say. I was just…busy!
I was busy going to work day in, day out, staying late in the office in an attempt to sort out the hectic madness that hits me in the face every single morning. I was busy going out either on social gatherings that the social convention dictates I should attend or hanging out with friends to blow off the weight of the world and once again be who I really am. I was busy running errands, meeting deadlines…and it has been so very overwhelming the idea of writing itself sounded exhausting on its own!
But here I am, on a Monday afternoon (that I took off just to chill and recharge) and 37 days late, here I am concluding a year and a half of adulting…
No one is sure: No one knows what they are doing. No one knows if they’ve made the right decisions or walked the right paths. And it’s not because they’re undetermined or weak or irresponsible; it’s just how life is at early twenties, you are obliged to re-visit every idea, every belief, every concept you’ve ever developed about life which normally makes confusion your new best friend.
Confusion is good: Yes, maybe confusion is your new best friend but that’s not bad…AT ALL! As a matter of fact, confusion gives you room to challenge your mind, to look deeper into your soul and eventually you majestically discover things about yourself and life that aren’t only shocking but AMAZING!
You run, you stop then you start running again: Look, it’ll be just silly if we don’t admit to the fact life after graduating college becomes a marathon. You run to work, to meet the deadlines, to catch family gatherings on time after having to stay late at the office, to shop for gifts. But here’s the thing, it’s not very smart not to stop every once in a while; to stop, relax and actually look at the world. Running non-stop would never get you on top of the world or maybe it would but then you wouldn’t even be able to enjoy being at the top of the world. And not running? Well, it’s as foolish as running non-stop. Everybody has got to have something to run to; that’s what makes us alive in a way.
There’s nothing, NOTHING, as important as peace of mind: And that in particular, is one of the things that you only get to realize when you ARE 25. All the achievements, the money, the experiences, making your dream come true, being the best, finding your soulmate; nothing will make sense if peace of mind isn’t invited to the party!
Belong!: Just find that one place where you belong; be it your friends, your family, your loved one, your team, that one forsaken bench in the park, your favorite book…just find it, hold on to it and NEVER LET GO!
Be cheesy every once in a while…please!: We are the “act cool, dress cool, talk cool, be cool” generation. We have labeled almost 70% of life lame, and most of us have taken it so far they have stamped emotions lame!! It’s not lame to tell people you have missed them or that you love them. It wouldn’t make you any less cool if you actually smiled at workmates while you wished them a good morning. It’s not “anti-cool” to get to know people instead of judging them and deeming them under one of your mighty categories! And if you can’t say it (and I say that because I wrote the book about failing public display of affection, and verbal expression of emotions), just show it. Leave a post-it note, SMS it, get more gifts…be there.
It’s okay: It’s okay to fall, to fail, to have your heart broken, to be embarrassed. It’s okay to not know, to be confused. It’s okay to cry, to outburst in laughter or maybe yells or tears. Maybe the world won’t make it feel okay, but we should! Whenever life is harsh and won’t let you get away with your shortcomings making your mistakes and vulnerabilities feel like apocalypse, just remember that it’s okay…that it will be okay.