I turned twenty a couple weeks ago. That day was the hardest day to go through of any birthday (and I’ve had some bad ones). Not because of people but because of the internal reflection brought upon by me reaching another decade of my life.
I found myself watching YouTube videos describing how hard and aimless your twenties can be. Crying because I barely made it through my teens and now I had to go through a whole new level of suffering. For someone like me it was hard to look back at all the painful times knowing that it would just keep piling on. I didn’t want to go through any more heartbreak (this last one almost killed me). I didn’t want to worry about money and career advancements. I definetly didn’t want to worry about whether my chosen career path was actually the best fit for me. This spiralled into reading dozens of articles on lessons people learned in their twenties and whether I had already learned some. I had. But others that awaited me seemed too hard to handle.
That day I had a dinner with three of my closest college friends and sitting there I wondered if we would remain friends through the years or if we would drift apart as was prophesized by the articles. Would I lose the best friend I made in university (someone I would never trade for anyone in the whole world) to long distance and changed values? I recently talked to her about this and realized that she feared the same thing (at least we mean a lot to each other). All of these things raced through my head while having dinner.
After dinner I continued to think about friendships I had and whether they’d last a long time. I managed to get through the whole high school friend loss because I kept my group small and tight. And then again when going off to Guelph. Maybe my twenties would be different and the friends I only see occasionally now would be lost forever because of time and distance. I hope not. I look positively towards the future and hope that I can keep relations with each friend I’ve managed to keep till now.
Another crying moment was brought upon my mom texting me at the time I was born. She told me something that that made me miss my mother more than I’d ever missed her before. Our relationship was healing from the aftermath of my highschool era and blossoming into an overflow of support, trust and honesty. I not only realized the mortality of my mother and family but also my own mortality. I needed to make every moment count to something great (to have relaxing moments of contemplation and peace in between of course). I decided then that I would start spending more time with my family and learn to be the best daughter and sister I could be. I plan on talking to my brother (who’s in high school now) and telling him my experiences so he doesn’t make the same mistake. I plan on listening to my little sister and appreciating her so she never has a moment unsupported. And most importantly, mending any bad relationships by understanding and remaining open minded. Hopefully I do well.
The last thing I want to talk about is less touchy feely and more anxiety riddled. I currently want to become a doctor. Not for the prestige or money but for the people. Making a difference in their lives by literally saving them. This kind of a career path requires hard work and passion (it takes a lot more years of studying to become a doctor) and my biggest fear going into my twenties is if I’ll be wasting it solely on studying if I go into medicine. I dated someone not long ago who focused solely on working hard and pulling all nighters. Throwing their health and youth out the window for the sake of “retiring early” and “being a billionaire”. I didn’t agree with this idea because I wanted to love what I did and do it for a long time. The idea of retiring early was hard because I had so many passions towards so many things that I didn’t think I would retire even if I was retired. I wanted to be able to handle my health and experiences (travelling, socializing, and spending quality time) all while maintaining my hobbies (rollerblading, art, writing, drawing and singing) and having a well developing career. While dating that person I developed the mindset of being happy in the future and waiting for happiness to arrive as things in my life arrived. And as each “lessons in your twenties” article stated, waiting for happiness is the worst way you can waste your life. It will remain a fear of mine. Wasting my twenties on hard work to achieve my dreams instead of living more of my twenties. The only thing I can promise myself regarding this is to be more conscientious of when I deserve a vacation or time away from studying and allowing myself to take a break. Additionally, saving designated time for other things I love to do
I could write a book on every thought that went through my head that day but these were the main issues that I’m sure a lot of people face. In the end that day was the hardest birthday I’ve ever had to go through but it was the most meaningful and exciting too.