In my circle of friends, I’m infamously known for being late. It didn’t help that my last name ends in those exact 4-letter word. I graduated from university after 8 years. I was the last one among my friends to have landed a job and transitioned into full-blown adulthood. It’s been 8 years since I last dated that some of my friends have expressed their impatience. Sometimes, I sit and think about the things that I missed as consequences of the things I did and didn’t do. And I only end up blaming myself for feeling left behind, for actually being left behind.
Recently, I stumbled upon this F. Scott Fitzgerald quote where he said “It’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit.” Maybe it’s true; maybe it’s not because my family says so. Maybe I’m just trying to console my achy ego with a quote of unverified origin. Maybe you’re feeling the same way I do now? If that’s the case, here’s a virtual hug.
Twenty-five is a young age, and yet I feel as if everything I do now is a matter of life and death; that if I do this, I will never be like that; that in two years, I should’ve done this or it’s never going to happen. But I realized things do pick up once you start working on them, that all you have to do is to trust the process. In this “process,” failures are plenty and inevitable, and the best way to deal with them is to learn from them. Of course, don’t forget, the most crucial part of all this is you learn to trust your potential and to be kind to yourself.
People might invalidate your effort by using your situation against you—don’t listen to them. And as much as possible, avoid comparing yourself to others. Remember this “timeline” thing you’ve probably seen on Instagram? Work on your own timeline. It’s yours. Nobody gets to dictate what you should become at a certain time. The moment you let them get to you is the time you’ll lose sense of your self.
Do whatever it is that makes you feel fulfilled. Pour your heart on staying determined because motivation is unreliable. But don’t think for a second that success happens in 48 hours or less; it’s a work in progress and in due time, you will reap the results of your hard work. Lastly, inspire others as you work your way to living your best and only life and to becoming who you want to be.
I hope we all find the courage to start and keep going. I hope in months or years from now, we’d look back and see how far we’ve come. Then we’d realize “being left behind” is just a state of mind, after all.