7 lessons I've learned as I reach my 20s

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Oh crap I'm 20. I've reached my 20s. I feel old already. HELP.

I've had several self-claimed mid-life existential crises before my 20s. More like quarter-life crisis amirite...

I believe that everything we do and face is an experience. If my car breaks down, it's an experience for me and I'll get to learn how to deal with situations like this in the future better. If I lose my purse, that will also be an experience for me, and I will learn from my mistakes. Anyways, these 20 years of living, breathing and surviving have taught me valuable lessons. But I had to learn them the hard way.

This is a bitter post about a fraction of the crap I've gone through and what to expect in the future. I'm only scratching the surface. Yay.

So here's 7 cruel lessons I've learnt for the duration of 20 years that I have lived so far:

1. Don't expect or hope for anything good.

If there's anything these 20 years have taught me, it's not to expect anything great to happen. Because I will only be sorely disappointed. I have been disappointed and let down so many times that I am sick of expecting things to be done the right way (or my way because sometimes I can be a control freak lol). I don't expect anything anymore, or usually I will just expect the worse. I'd rather be pleasantly surprised. Honestly, that's no way to live - living in fear of something horrible happening.

 2. Don't trust anyone.

Yes, you think of that person in the image you've created in your mind... only to be let down when said person acts in an unwanted way. This also relates to No. 1. I expect that person to do the right thing, but they never do. Promises are always broken and they mean nothing to me anymore. Things change, priorities shift. I always give people the benefit of the doubt and I choose to believe they have good intentions. But yeah this is reality, it doesn't happen the way you want it to.

3. Don't get attached to anyone.

People who come into your life, will leave you whether you like it or not. And you will leave others' lives as well, but they don't seem like they care as much so that doesn't matter. It's a way of life. Ultimately, it's not really your choice whether something or someone leaves you. May be your doing, but not your choice. It's theirs.

4. Don't care too much, or at all if possible.

My downfall in life, is that I care way too much. Even when I am not suppose to, I still do. I care for unneccessary things that aren't even my problems or don't even relate to me, but I can't help but care! What is wrong with me!  It's hard not to care because it's instinctual and habitual. I'd live a happier, easier life if I could turn it off like a switch. And caring too much for other things and people just leads to pain and suffering most of the time. UGH FML.

5. Life is unfair.

I used to be naive (maybe I still am) or maybe just sheltered, and I thought the world could be fair (just-world fallacy), where basically what goes around comes around. I don't see the people who are so rude, insensitive and just plain mean being sorry for what they've done. I'd like for them learn a lesson so they'd stop doing the bad stuff. They just keep doing it again and again, without realizing how much pain and hurt it's causing others.

But, God is watching. Maybe He's trying to teach us a lesson instead. Maybe His plan is greater and I just have to wait and see. It's very hard for me to take faith in something I can't control or is uncertain, I guess I have some control issues that way. I hate things I can't control because I don't know how it's going to work out or behave and I probably won't be emotionally equipped/stable to handle it. I worry all the time about things, and I know I shouldn't worry about things I can't control but it's how I was born, it's part of me.

6. Take opportunities as they arrive.

"We do not get unlimited chances to have the things we want. (...) Nothing is worse than missing an opportunity that could have changed your life." - Addison Montgomery. 

I have had so many opportunities that have passed me by that I regretted not jumping on because of my doubts and worry. A good example would be not applying for the Google Student Ambassador program when I could. I wanted to be a GSA. But I was lazy and afraid of the future. I procrastinated, and in the end the deadline passed me by. I let that opportunity slip from my hands.  There are so many things I should've and could've done, but didn't.

Regret hits me all the time. It's very normal for chronic over-thinkers like me. We visit the past, and wished we could've done more to make it better. I know, people tell us to move on and let go of the past. Well guess what, it's not as easy for me, as it is for you. We all have different coping mechanisms and personalities. I wish I could live in the now than to constantly revisit my past. Part of me doesn't want to because I miss the old days.

7. Things rarely go your way

It's true. Things that you want or plan, never ever go your way. And that's life. If things actually follow the nature of how you planned it out to be, then you're one of the lucky ones. I don't know... but a lot of the things I genuinely need that I ask from God, I never get. They're definitely not out of childish desire or on a whim in my opinion. Maybe it's a "Wait for it", maybe it's a "No". I'll never know. I'm not going to lie, I'm extremely bummed out that it hasn't occurred or will never happen. I'm trying so hard to try to accept what is going on, but I just can't. All I know God has a plan for me. I don't know what that plan is, but it's a hard road and I'm barely surviving.

I miss when I wasn't bogged down with worries and hurt. When I was quirky and happy-go-lucky. When I didn't need to CARE about all these things I don't want to care about. Ugh if this is growing up, I don't want to grow up anymore. Oblivion, death and not living a full life already scares me.

So basically, 20 year old me turned into a 70 year old pessimistic, grumpy person who hates everything. Good to know.

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