Journal #4 - STEPPING INTO YEAR 20
For some reason, this blog post has got me stressing more than I thought I would be. Initially, I wanted to create the generic "20 Lessons I Learned by 20" article, but realized that a lot of the lessons I listed somewhat related with each other. Not only that, but ironically, as much as I've learned a lot over the past two decades, I also feel like I know nothing at all.
Maybe it's because I've spent the last few years going through so much emotionally that I'm now in this state of introspection; reevaluating and analyzing all that has happened externally that effected me internally. Apparently, not many people get anxious about turning 20, but I've been thinking heavily about it for almost a month and what it means to me. Sometimes, I think of all the pressure that derives from all of the good stuff you hear about being in your 20s, like how they're the best years of your life. Then I think of finishing school, settling down, adventuring some more... and then what? I'm finally old and living in the country somewhere after living my impactful and fulfilled life? I guess my biggest worry is this:
What about the in-between?
Now that I think about it, what I'm scared of isn't totally off key with everyone else. It's the fear of the unknown; Loss. Death. Heartbreak. Failure. But also, every other plethora of wonderful experiences you can possibly encounter. I'm looking forward to what I'll have the opportunity to create, experience, and learn for the next year and more, but I can't help but focus on the factors outside of myself that I can't control.
Not only am I getting older, everyone around me is also getting older. My siblings, my friends, and my parents, especially. It's sometimes difficult to cope with knowing that loved ones aren't forever. How am I going to make a life of my own when there's so many people around me that I don't want to leave and whom I don't want to leave me?
Just some of the treasures in my life.
Every day on the news, someone goes missing or someone passes away. Next thing you know, I'm staying up into the early hours of the day, thinking about how it would feel to find out that something has happened to someone I love, and sometimes, I even wonder how the effects of some terrible event would effect others if that person was me.
Here's What I Can Say...
One of the biggest lessons I learned when I went to Montreal and New York was the importance of ohana. If you never watched 'Lilo & Stitch' or aren't familiar with the term 'ohana' in general, "Ohana means family, and family means no body gets left behind." I love my friend/chosen family just as much as I love my blood-related family, and when I felt far away enough to feel disconnected, I missed them a lot. It could also be due to the fact that I come from a big family, so being isolated for two weeks felt different, in a sense that there was no one around me I could check up on or take care of and vice-versa.
If you're younger and reading this, maybe you're going through an angsty stage, and that's fine... because one day, some experience, whether that's a trip or a TED talk, will change the way in which you view family. I mean, you most likely only resent your blood family right now, but just remember that you only get one (but if they suck then I get that too).
When I celebrated my 20th Birthday with my friends yesterday, one of them asked me "How has your perspective changed now that you're an adult?" My bad if I didn't get the wording right, but it was something like that. Anyways, the more I try to settle into the era of my personal roaring 20s, I've noticed that growing older makes me more sympathetic towards others. Especially with what I've been going through for the past month; confusion, anxiety, belief, and doubt all mashed up into one on becoming an adult, I feel as though my understanding of the people around me grows. If I'm feeling this way right now, then I know that others have felt it before as well. If I'm noticing that death, loss, and change has a stronger presence on my life, then I know that others see and feel it too.
I learned in school that the world is a mess of mistakes from an early age. I learned that there are children and families being taken advantage of for the benefit of people in developed countries to buy cheap clothing. I learned that some people's lives are considered less valuable for reasons that are illogical. I learned that the life I live, including my environment and lifestyle, is completely different from regions across the world. I see how you could just ignore it all while enjoying all the luxuries you have, but I feel as though there's a huge gap of inequality that can only be filled with good things like sympathy and love.
In high school, I told myself I wanted to be just like Emma Watson after she became a UN Ambassador; fighting for women's/human rights and standing up for what she believes in. I started University and didn't really enjoy the intro class to what I thought would be my major, which I hoped would lead me to my end goal. After my first term, I've been lost for a while, and finally decided to let go of trying to find the specific path and answer to my question, so I decided to take things slow and let time show me the answers.
Leaving my teen years behind, I can say that because it's generally one of the most prominent periods of change in one's life, you kind of have to learn to just accept what you do know and what you don't; which leads me to a thought that came up in my mind last month:
Sometimes, knowing yourself is knowing that you don't.
Over the past few years, I've constantly had to reevaluate my values, my inner Constitution that I subconsciously created as I've grown up, which are very important to me. This includes what I want to do in life, what kind of people I want around me, what kind of a person I want to be in this world, and more additions to many existential crisis'.
I know that I'm not completely malleable and I do have a set of values within me, but there's also a part of me that's like a blank white board. Sometimes, I think I know something about myself, so I take note of it. Then something happens and I end up erasing the thought, and I'm back at square one. All of those adults telling me that I don't have to have it together all the time have gotten to my head, because now I know (or I think I know) what they're talking about. In the end, I'm honestly just tired of trying to find the answers to all of my worries. I've surrendered to the unknown.
Working my last shift before my mini break from work, I noticed that I started silently singing the song "One Step At A Time" by Jordin Sparks. The Universe sent me a message, because this throwback bop portrays exactly how I'm currently feeling on the inside.
You wanna show the world, but one knows your name yet
Wonder when and where and how you're gonna make it
You know you can if you get the chance
In your face as the door keeps slamming
Now you're feeling more and more frustrated
And you're getting all kind of impatient waiting
We live and we learn to take
One step at a time
There's no need to rush
It's like learning to fly
Or falling in love
It's gonna happen when it's
Supposed to happen and we
Find the reasons why
One step at a time
I want to end this journal entry article on a brighter note, so here's a little video vlog I made my last night in New York (SPOILER ALERT, ooo!) after staying at LaGuardia Airport for 8 hours, running on three hours of sleep, a stuffy nose, and nothing but granola bars and water in my stomach for the next 24 hours.
This video never fails to make me smile.
And if you're still reading, a few hours later, I decided to watch "The Help" on TV, fell asleep, and almost missed my flight back home.
CHEERS TO REACHING TWO DECADES!