There’s so much pressure placed on people in their 20s to have it all ‘’figured out’’.
The adult world.
What are the qualifications of being an “adult”? Is it the age, the maturity? Or graduating from college, entering the real world, finally having a job?
Society expects you to have a solid plan for the future from A-Z but . . .
. . . you don’t.
Ask someone where they see themselves in ten years. Some people don’t know what to answer to that. Some would stare blankly at you and only shrug. Because they have no freaking clue.
It’s not that simple. But that’s exactly what your 20s are for—gaining experience, discovering your purpose, unraveling the meaning of life, and learning things.
It’s a time you’re celebrating the independence that you have been waiting all your life to have, but with that, responsibilities follow you like a shadow and you feel overwhelmed and burdened.
I remember we had a little reunion with my mother’s side of the family. I was excited to see my cousins. We barely saw each other since some of them live in America and some live in Southern side of Luzon while I stayed in the city of Manila.
We exchanged stories, talking about work and all that stuff. My female cousin now worked on her clothing business and she has saved so much that she could practically travel wherever and whenever she want. My other cousin is a gym instructor during the day and he’s a dance instructor during the night while kuya (big brother) worked in the US as architect.
Talk about workaholic! And I mean that as a compliment. What’s not to admire about someone who knows what they wants and knows exactly how to get there?
As they chatting away about their busy life, I couldn’t help but awe . . . and feel directionless. I started asking myself questions, the typed that freaked the heck out of me because of the pressure and the fear of not being able to succeed in the future.
What I’m doing with my life? Why does it feel like I’m going nowhere? Why am I not have a solid career? What is exactly my plan?
Sure, I know where I want to be in ten years—successful in my chosen career, happily married with cute little kids, and serving the Lord. I can see myself visiting my folks who were happy and settled in a simple house living a quiet but peaceful life as I provided for them.
How do I get there, though? How do I get to that place? Will I even get to that place?
It would be plain blasphemy to life to say that I am unhappy. No, I am beyond grateful for everything in my life now. I am beyond grateful to have a life support that allows me to still be human.
All I could think about now was experiencing the world, learning about different cultures, seeing the places that have so much history in them, meeting locals and getting to know strangers and thank them. Yes, thank them. Sometimes, we learn better when we dip our souls into another. ‘Living in the now’ for me means going out there, seize the moment, enjoying the present. I believe that there is always something noble about living in the present. I think one of the easiest (and hardest) ways to enjoy life more is to simply be more in the present in it—appreciating the beauty of sunlight, or maybe the rain. Listening to its sound. Observing the puddles if it’s creating amazing reflections. Maybe you’re in the office. Can you see all the lines around you? Can you spot a great composition that they create?
If there are people around you, can you take two quiet minutes to observe them? Can you comprehend the amazing complexity of fellow human beings?
Have you ever experienced to be filled with some mind-blowing wonder? By traveling different cities, I got to experienced it and learned a thing or two.
One of my favourite things about traveling is meeting people. It gives you the chance to meet different types of people from different walks of life. I love being able to converse with someone, with no script and no expectations. And how the universe would magically align for you to have a certain experience. The constant coming and going. The overwhelming flux. The confusing, chaotic mess at airports, seaports and railways. Crossing paths by chance. A welcoming kind of disturbance. It has led me to believe that everything and everyone is connected.
See, there is so much to be aware of in our present moment that we usually ignore because we too much worrying about the future.
Some people might not get it. They might think it’s nothing but a waste of time and money. It’s not practical. Why spend money on traveling, they say. Some people were asking me why I’m always in out of town instead of working for my future and why I’m not just save up for more important stuff? Why I don’t be like my cousins? Honestly, because of these comments, there were times I feel bad about myself and I even came up to the point that I questioned all my decisions in life and my worth as a person.
Am I being irresponsible for being an easyggoing girl and do travel because I’m being too curious about the secrets of the world and wanting to discover new things?
Am I wasting my time wondering about the galaxy, gazing up the stars until I feel insignificant and wondering about life instead of dedicating my whole time working in the office so that one day I could get an achievement to brag about, or a framed certificate of whatever to show off to people? Is it bad if I’m craving to live life to the fullest?
I’m working hard too to find my place in this lonely world. I’m trying to prove them wrong. I’m exerting effort and giving my best in everything I do. To where I’m heading, it’s still unclear to me, but I have hopes for a brighter future. With baby steps, I will find my calling in this world and learn to love myself a little more.
I do believe that life isn’t about working hard just to survive. There’s still so much more to learn about the present.
This hypothetical dilemma plagued me. I didn’t want to write about anything else until I found an answer. I’ve somehow settled for this: pursuing one dream does not mean I have to sacrifice another. I’m inclined to believe that I can achieve both: to have my food business while being an author at night with a casual home office AND travel the world. There’s so much more to be done to get there and it may not be its time just yet. But I believe there exists a greater plan being strung together than that I have for myself. The glaring truth is that the rest is still unwritten . . . and I find solace in thinking that as long as I’m on what I believe is the right path—I’m doing good. I shouldn’t be comparing my journey to others. We’re all going at our own pace. At our own time. There’s no need to have it all figured out right now.
I’d rather be the person with eyes full of life from seeing the world and wise from knowledge. Having the guts to refuse the norm and live my life the way I wanted. I’ll never stop wandering.