I’m 25 today.
That means, as I’m constantly being reminded, that I’m a quarter of a century. It doesn’t feel that profound to be honest. Maybe that’s because I’m not really a birthday person, like yeah on the 28th February 1993, with the snow covering every inch of Copenhagen, I entered this world in the wee hours of the morning, that’s great, I just don’t need to party every year because of this. Or it could be that on average we’re not gonna see 100 years so, why do we say that?
If you know me you know that I am fake-deep 95% of the time, it seems like I got a lot figured out but really I think that I just don’t take myself or anything so seriously. Yes, as a young person it feels like we’re carrying a lot on our shoulders; we carry our dreams and aspirations and sometimes we try to balance this with the expectations of loved ones, with the ever-gazing judgement of society plus the journey of finding some sort of enlightenment or purpose. We’re highly sensitive, and endlessly connecting to a slew of information from all corners of the globe…we never turn off so to speak. You’re the relationship that you will spend the most time with so listen to heart (uurghh why do I sound like a Disney movie)
I’m 25 today and my career path is non-existent, my friend circles are getting smaller, I’m spiritually more in tune and I’ve somehow gotten to a place where I have accepted me. I should also add that I have a couple of degrees that aren’t really helping me in the ‘real’ world but daily experiences are teaching the kid a little something here and there. So here are some of the things I have learnt, observed, written down in the past year:
- Talk to your parents, grandparents etc. Hear their stories, learn from their truths. A lot of the time we just look at our parents as the people that raised us and seldom as characters in our stories with their own narratives. Sit down and spend time with them before you no longer will be able to.
- A bird is never shown how to fly, those instructions are wired within the intricacies of its genome. We’re kinda the same, we may not be able to fly in the literal sense but within each of us there is an immense capacity to transform our lives (and others’) with compassion, understanding and light. Through coming together we soar, we accomplish considerable feats just because we have faith in the greater good.
- “This is the only life I have. Why surround myself with halfhearted things?” — Katharine Anne Keegan
Why waste the finite amount of time we have doing things that are of zero interest to us? Work towards your dreams without the thought of time, or age…Do what makes your heart sing!
- “Patience is necessary, and one cannot reap immediately where one has sown”
(overthinking, creating, making mistakes, building, analysing, breaking down structures, going back to the drawing board, having faith, patience and perseverance…rinse and repeat)
Life is a process without a blueprint or instructions. There is no reference point. So the only real way we can live is not recreating, but experimenting along the way.
- When our own sense of self-importance and compass redirects from being grateful and thankful to being selfish and craving attention, we start losing. Turning away from the noise of our surroundings and looking inward towards our imbalances will start the road to inner peace. Prayer and solitude. Figuring yourself out, before running to fix everything around you. You and then the world. You before all else. But you never get here out of inaction.
- Being happy in the moment regardless of the uncertainty of tomorrow is truly one of the most fulfilling things in life. Being happy can only come when you have mastered contentment in the presence.
- I have met people who have the means to travel, are able to and choose not to. It truly baffles me each and every time. This world will shape your view on life. The different cultures, people, landscapes, histories will help us be better people… these are the experiences that help us connect and get us out of that bubble we live in and show us what wonder lies in this home we all share. Travel enriches our lives, and if you’re in a position to, then do it. You never come back the same, but you always come back wiser.
- I always wondered why people would say “in the grand scheme of things…” Were you not living with the bigger picture in mind? Were you taking each day for granted, feeling entitled to this thing called life.
If this journey is one of betterment, of growth, of love…then it doesn’t matter how hard it gets because these tests are individual. This story has 7 billion vantage points. And you are unlike anyone who walks on the face of this wondrous planet.
The fact that you are living and breathing makes you already part of the ‘grand scheme of things’. So what do you bring to the table?
There has to come a time in your life when you realise that your competition is yourself. Your journey of growth is unique. Your challenges and triumphs will never mirror someone else’s story.
- Listen to your gut. Move to what feels right to you because the only person you will spend your entire life with is yourself, so you might as well be your number one fan, believer, hype person. Aim for the furthest place your eyes can see and then some.
- We owe it to each other to hold out a helping hand, to be empathetic to the experiences of others and accepting of someone simply because they bleed red. Too many of us think that we can’t make a difference but what you don’t get is that it all starts with a smile you put on one person’s face. Embrace your common humanity and come together. Evil or not, every human deserves a standard level of dignity because we are not judge or jury.
- There are billions of different storylines out there. Hopes, dreams, aspirations manifested in the hearts of people that deserve everything the world has to offer. Not all will watch the sun rise this morning, not all will see the night. But if I could pray for one thing it would be your contentment in the here and now, your peace of mind and your acceptance of yourself. We all chase around ideas before we even fully chase ourselves. Be still and listen to who you are and run with it.
- “Take advantage of five before five:
your youth before your old age,
your health before your illness,
your riches before your poverty,
your free time before your work,
and your life before your death.” — (Hakim)
I hope that wherever you’re reading this from, you can take something away from my lessons. The road to becoming the greatest version of yourself will not be easy but it will be completely worth it.