Things I learned before turning 22

in life •  2 months ago  (edited)

I know the title is overused and there are tons of article made with similar tone but today, I want to gather mine. I thought this will be useful to serve me as a reminder and to serve you as a lesson.

Back in the day, I also wrote things like this before I turned 20. Now, I am writing this again before entering 22, a somewhat crucial phase in life.

Several morning ago, I sat in the veranda and thought about the point of my existence, the rain, and other mundane stuff as usual.Then I realized, it’s only about couple weeks before I am turning 22.
Suddenly a wave of fear hit me. I don’t exactly know what kind of fear was it but these days I am envious of my friends who had the chance to study abroad,made cool products, got their first job and graduated.

And what have I accomplished?

Then, I realized that is first thing I have learned and must remember.Stop comparing myself with others. My goals and dreams are not the same as them nor my definition of success or happiness. Everyone has their own timeline so it’s better for us to focus on our timeline.

3 years ago, I read numerous blogs telling me to travel as much as I can and as often in my 20’s. I bought that idea and made it came true. I traveled solo here and there, learned a lot from my journeys, met different kind of people with different cultural background. However, although I enjoyed it, I felt like my life was in a rush.

It was as if I could not travel in my late 20’s or early 30’s. Not to mention, most advices said, invest in experiences rather than goods. Now, I truly disagree with that. If you are still young and have saving, invest it. Buy a house, cryptocurrency, stocks, gold or build a long term plan business. Those are the things that will help you get more long term experiences than blowing up your saving just for a short term enjoyment.

Because I was chasing green dollar bills, I forgot my family. I don’t particularly have great relationship with them but they still ensure my security and well-being even afar.** Our parents grew up in different era with different struggles and world views, but that does not mean, we should forget about them**. It feels great to give back to them for their tireless love and care. So, it does not matter how difficult your relationship with them, provide them with security(material and health) as they have been providing you.

But, rememberfamily is not only defined by bloodline. Mine isn’t and I love them dearly despite our differences.** I also have several other people I consider family out there even if we are from different family background**. And I am sure as the year goes by, you will find more people who you can call family.

Lately, I heard from people around my age that they want to work without a boss, they want to gain financial freedom, and travel the world. Sadly, most don’t want to do the dirty work. I am the opposite, I love working because my life will be incomplete without it. However, I learned through the hard way that** we should not overwork ourselves.** Don’t fall into the pit of burn out because it is difficult to raise from the ground.

Simultaneously, have some patience. Nothing will literally happen overnight. You have to put hours into your goals. If you find yourself comparing again, stop. You are only wasting your time. That was something I failed to understand. I have not put hours and thoughts into things I build, how can I expect to achieve success overnight? I was dumb.

Health is your capital. I can’t stress enough to tell people my age to quit their vices or go easy while trying “fun” things.** I was an avid drinker; Borderline alcoholic, I smoked, lead a sedentary lifestyle and had terrible diet**. As result, my cognitive recovery process was slowing down, my anxious was at its highest, and I had heart-attack symptoms.

If I was an android phone, even my battery is showing 100%, I have to recharge it every 40 minutes or so. As of now, I am in the process of fixing my lifestyle and health.

And last I can think of are,connect, listen and learn. Find mentors, find friends, find the people who you aspire to be. Do you want to be a linguist? go connect with other linguist, listen and learn from them. Do you want to work as developers, marketers, or whatever you want to be; connect, listen and learn. I think that’s something I got right in my early 20. I was fortunate to connect with people who show me doors of opportunities. I was fortunate to find a mentor who advised me about business and life wise. I only need to learn to be less reserved.

Also remember, sometimes opportunities and ideas come when we least expect it and in the least expected place.


❗️ Previously also appeared on Medium with minor editorial work.



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If you are still young and have saving, invest it.

Investing is definitely a good idea, but also, traveling when old might not just be the same experience as young. This is a difficult one, because you can't have the best of the both worlds where you invest everything you have and travel as much as you can, but maybe there can be a healthy balance where you can invest some, but still leave some money on the side for carefully considered trip or two. I guess it just comes down to the person and priorities.

But if you think about it, you're travels definitely haven't gone to wasted if it has awoken you to think more long-term while you're still young. What if you had waited? Would you have reached the same conclusions as soon?

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That's a good insight! my mistake was, I did long travel and far instead a short trip to nearby area; still trying to find that balance. Also, if I hadn't travel, I don't think I would reach the same conclusion or been through some stuff that was life changing.

Everyone has their own timeline.

You got it, keep patience and keep working towards you goals. Good things come on right time

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Thank you, I do believe so !