Photo by Matthew Ball from Unsplash
For my first ever blog post, we aren’t going to talk about the wonders of being 20. We aren’t going to talk about how everything’s going to magically put things into perspective at this age because it’s not. It’s never going to turn out right without your hard work.
We aren’t going to talk about how your mind feels like exploding every time someone asks you what you want to be 10 years from now. I bet you think about it every minute of your life.
Your future. It’s scary, isn’t it? The fear of the future never goes away, and it’s great that it doesn’t.
The idea of uncertainty is mind-boggling, but it’s all we have. The fear allows us to be strong because somehow we never know what we’re up against; it’s what keeps us going. When you see someone your age making it in life while you’re still in the same place as that someone was years back, you just feel like trash floating in a stagnant canal.
Sure, you may feel happy for your friend and you may even support him in his endeavors, but you can’t help but ask yourself, “What about me? Where am I going with my life?”
The answers to your questions will shape differently when they come from different people. This blog post isn’t about life as you turn 20 or what to do now that you’re 20. This is about your journey way before that.
Remember, what you feed your mind is as essential as what you create out of it.
5 THINGS YOU NEED TO LEARN BEFORE YOU TURN 20:
DON’T EXPECT ANYTHING. ENTITLEMENT IS YOUR ENEMY.
It’s inside all of us, that sliver of entitlement. We all have pride in each one of us, and that’s not a bad thing. What’s worse is when you think you’re above everybody else and expect a special type of treatment from people (even when you don’t deserve it). Sorry to rain on your parade, but you don’t deserve anything without working for it. You can’t say you deserve to achieve a dream you did not plan for, sacrifice for, or even fail in.
Don’t expect life to lower down its walls for you, it’s not. You will need to climb over it brick by brick to get to the other side. Don’t expect people to be kind to you because you’ve been kind to them. Don’t expect bills to stop growing just because you’re going through an emotional breakdown over the past weekend, it’s not. Life doesn’t care if you’re not ready for it, but it will surely make you care. It’s all part of the process. Hold on and don’t let go. You will make it.
CHOOSE FRIENDS YOU CAN BE YOURSELF WITH.
Be careful with whom you trust your plans. You need a friend who celebrates with you in your seasons of joy and mourns with you in your seasons of pain. It’s okay if you don’t talk with your friends every day, what matters is you feel their presence in your journey despite their absence (through the unconditional support they give to you). Stop tolerating friends who show signs of jealousy and hate for your plans. Remove them from your life if all they give you are doubts and reminders of your weaknesses. Thank friends who support you and make you aware of your mistakes, but do not allow them to build in more fear in yourself.
People are tricky, including yourself. Sometimes you meet people who genuinely pray for your success and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes the people who have been in your life for the longest time aren’t meant to be in it for another day. Sometimes the people you’ve let go of are the ones you yearn for when you feel like drowning, and it’s okay to swallow your pride and let them back in.
EVERYTHING WILL PASS.
Trust me when I say, that the pain you’re feeling, whatever it is, will not last. Even if you feel broken or torn for feeling unappreciated or unseen despite all your efforts and silent successes, always remember that there is a purpose why people are blind to them. There is an incredible purpose for your pain, and that’s okay if you can’t seem to figure out it all yet. You are given that challenge to test how much burden you can take, and when you pass that test, eventually you’ll thank yourself for not giving up.
Acknowledge the problem you’re in. Take a deep breath and think about ways to alleviate your situation without dwelling more on the failure. Remember your goal, your dream. Put in mind the days you’ve invested into reaching this point of your journey, and tell yourself how stupid it would be if you were to give up because everything isn’t working out well at the moment. Remember Advice #1, you don’t deserve anything until you work for it.
THERE IS ALWAYS ROOM FOR GROWTH.
Pat yourself on the shoulder in the face of failure. That means you’re moving forward. That means you’re trying. That means you’re not in the same place as before. Most people think failure is the end of success which is wrong. The mistakes you’ve made are a manifestation of your commitment to your dream. You’re getting out of your comfort zone and trying out new strategies to attack the problem.
Enjoy failure, especially in your teens. Enjoy the fact that you don’t know everything and you can’t learn everything in a single day. You need people to help you get out of that quicksand. Don’t be stubborn; you’re still learning like everybody else. Either in success or in failure, you need to constantly sweat, bleed, and suffer to grow. The reason you feel like giving up is that you’re still gradually transforming into somebody who can take it. You’re still in transition, embrace it.
DON’T BE AFRAID. FEAR IS A MYTH.
Fear is like a gigantic force field separating you from your dream. Don’t allow that force field to discourage you from going past it because you have the power against it. Only you. It’s normal when you want things to be under your control. You want everything to be organized and perfect and according to your daily timeline. That’s a great attitude for a dreamer to have, but remember that you’re only human and it’s impossible to wrap everything around your finger.
You need to find a balance between writing everything down and ripping out the same page if in case the circumstances don’t fit. Versatility and resiliency are very important attributes to learn. That’s the paradox of life — the beauty and disaster work simultaneously. Stop being afraid of failure. Stop being afraid of the time you might waste doing something entirely different because it’s never time wasted. The time you waste is the time you don’t work for your dreams. Thinking about it, the fear overwhelms you, but that’s because you’re looking way too far from where you’re supposed to.
Your life doesn’t only begin and end in birth and death. Life begins and ends anytime you want it. When you stop believing in yourself because you’re tired of failing, then you’re on the road to the death of your life, your dreams. That’s when your life ends when you’re not trying anymore. But when you take that step, when you put on that shower cap, when you put on that first pair of shoes, that’s when life starts again.
You might like: 20 Things Every 20-Year-Old Should Know
“The path to whatever your notion of success is will likely not be linear. Don’t take continuous personal growth for granted. Just because you’re older doesn’t necessarily mean you’re wiser. Your 20s will be full of failures. Let them happen and learn as you go.”Holden Desalles