At 22 year old, I wrote a blog post to myself entitled “Finding myself 20XX (23 year Old)”. I think I wrote it when I left my first job because of the first major setback in my life. I was lost and confused. I needed to calm myself down and navigate my life. So, I turned to my blog to help myself and this was what I wrote:
“I am going to launch a project and that is called finding myself. The subject of interest will be myself and the ultimate beneficiary of it will be myself too. I have no idea how I am going to do it but this place will be where I am going to document all my trials n errors, successes n failures, discoveries n self-revelations in a messy but clear way, cos life is a puzzle which we r all trying to unravel. Being introspective is a way to heal our soul and make us a better person. Being extroverted is a way to help us connect to others because we need it for our spiritual well-being too.I am not sure if I should set a deadline for this project. We are subjected to change so finding myself should be an ongoing n never ending process. But being plainly aware of my weakness, the tendency to procrastinate, a never ending deadline will probably pave the way to a natural death of this project. I shall decide this later.”
Fast forward 8 years, looking back at what I had penned down then, I am a little surprised by my ability to concoct these statements. I guess in times of despair, it really pushes one to think deeply.
The purpose of sharing this is because I hope any young adult out there who is struggling to orientate or move forward right now will find my experience beneficial or at least comforting. You are not alone and I am sure you will be able to find a renewed sense of purpose once you have looked inward and contemplate deeply about your life’s vision and goals.
To find out how I managed to move on from my first setback, you can check out these 2 articles:
In this article, I shared about the 5 habits/insights that I had learnt in my twenties which had improved the trajectories of my life. If I only have time for 1 habit in the list, I would definitely not give up on reading/learning.
I had to add in learning because everyone has a different preference to learn new information. Some like reading, while others like listening to podcast, observing others or watching videos. I had a big argument with a long time friend (more than 10 years) yesterday about the value of watching TV/Drama/Videos. I think watching TV series and Variety Shows are a big waste of time but that is how she chooses to relax and de-stress. We went away still holding on to our belief but I think I need to be more aware of people’s varied preferences towards learning and not be too dismissive.
Over the years, I gravitate towards reading. I find that books are more reliable than people. People, especially adults, like to be right. Therefore, most people speak to persuade or convince others that their thoughts/ideas/habits are superior instead of trying to listen and understand the other party’s perspective and needs. I am no exception to this as well. Increasingly, I find myself trying to exert my opinions over others rather than listening. Somehow somewhere, I lost the ability to listen. Because of my caution towards people’s motive, preconceived notions or limited experience, I trust books that I choose more than people. Books open doors to thoughts that are beyond my immediate network of friends.
Books are easier to deal with than people as well. I can choose the books I want to read. If I do not agree or like it, I can just put it away and pick up another book. However, I just can’t cut people off abruptly when I do not wish to partake further in the discussion without being impolite.
Nevertheless, the downside of reading is that it takes a longer time to get the answer through books than through people. The right network of people can bring wonders to your life. I believe it will take time to build the right network of friends and partners. It took me 12 to 17 years to find the books that I like and re-read whenever I need fuel, support and inspiration. Likewise, friends that stay will stay while friends that diverge may cross path again down the road.
In this article, I shared about the tussle I had with my dad with regard to my career choice. This experience made me realised the importance of instilling independent-thinking in our children. I think one of my goal as a future parent is to be able to TRUST the decision made by my children. I need to equip my children with the ability to think on their own so that they will be able to educate me in future.
I am pointing you towards this article as you will probably be facing objections from people around you, especially your loved ones. I hope you will have the courage to stand up to your inner voice.
You may be wondering what was my setback? Perhaps, I will be comfortable revealing it in 5 years time. Stay tune!