When I was young, I figured by the age of 23, I would have everything figured out. Maybe I would have my own place or already have the job I always wanted. And maybe I would be in a stable relationship and have it grow into a beautiful companionship. But alas, childhood fantasies don’t normally turn into one’s reality. After graduating from college in May, time has continued to surprise me by flying by at a rapid rate. I realize my childhood self is probably looking up at me in dismay, but truth be told, I’m 23-years-old and I don’t know what the heck I’m doing.
After four years of learning how to live by myself and being independent from my parents, I have moved back home. And while I do love my parents and their undying love, I yearn to live by myself without having to panic about rent. After four years of making new friends and learning more about myself in this process, I have gone back to the town where my high school acquaintances lurk in the shadows. I feel like I am 18 all over again, aching to do something different in my life. Aching to meet new people and experience new things.
Except I don’t have the luxury of being 18 anymore. And the earth keeps spinning. Time keeps on moving no matter how you are feeling or doing and it’s going to feel like people are surpassing you. Life isn’t going to give you anything for free anymore. Life isn’t going to hold your hand either. People are going to achieve what you thought you would’ve achieved by now. And some people are going to seem like they have it all when you feel like you haven’t even begun anything. And it’s going to feel scary and you’re anxiety will probably hit a peak, but it’s all going to be okay.
What my childhood self didn’t realize is that everyone is on their own path and sometimes, your path might take longer than others. Looking at another person’s success isn’t going to make your life any easier, so you might as well stop looking because no matter what other people may have in their life, that doesn’t make you any less of an important and amazing person. So what if you still live with your parents? So what if you don’t have the job of your dreams yet? The path you create for yourself isn’t a race to beat anyone in. It’s a journey you have to go only for your own self.
No one can prepare us for what obstacles we will go through, what heartbreak we will experience and what hard days we will have to endure. We can’t study it in a book or learn about it from a teacher. But, what we can do is have patience and faith in ourselves that we will get to where we want to be eventually. We will all do great things with our lives no matter how small or large it might seem to others. Life should never be about the size of your paycheck, the car you drive and the home you live in. It’s about creating your own path and future, taking pride in yourself and never letting the people next to you make you feel like you’re not good enough.
I may be 23-years-old and have no idea what I’m doing, but at least I’m still trying, waking up every day and realizing that life won’t be like this forever. So, keep on trying new things even if you’re scared, keep on applying for jobs you aren’t qualified for and keep on believing that there is always a better tomorrow.