Ten Years Later

I hate the thought of having to feel weird about coming home. I have here in my flat a pair of luggage, a box, and a backpack; and it’s strange to see them all ready for my flight in the next ten days. I’m half excited, half anxious because this time, it’s gonna be “for real” and I’m bringing with me ten years of my life back home. It’s not as if I’ve been living in the other hemisphere – not even out of the country – but I’d love to exaggerate things a bit, so I will.

When I left home for university ten years ago, I had a grandiose plan. I brought with me some big dreams. I’d be this, I’d be that. And I dreamed and daydreamed of them at every chance I had. I did imagine gathering flattering titles and then landing on a really nice job in the metropolis, where I’d have to always put on corporate clothes and talk big things with big people. Sooner, I’d be rich. I was ambitious. In fact, very ambitious and it was a good thing, except that life, surprisingly or not, didn’t go as planned.

I thought…I thought…I thought of so many things…of a different kind of life – one that’s different from what’s coming home with me. 

Ten years later, what have I become?

Precisely not how I imagined it. I look at myself in the mirror and I am ordinary and life’s definitely far from grand. No titles garnered, no flattering awards, no overwhelming place that I personally own, no car, no hacker-friendly bank accounts. Oh, and not yet married, got no kids! But I managed to work for a company though small was award-winning, and where I had to look business-y when talking big things with big guys. It somehow made me richer – at least a bit richer than when I was just imagining life after school. That’s basically the story.

When I think of all those years and chances gone, it’s only failure after failure I could see. Errors, I’m made of errors. The beautiful token expected of a ten-year story turned into a rusty trophy made of brittle pieces. Many times I asked myself, “What have I done?”

Then I see my bags and boxes all packed with my story of ten years away from home. “Who have I become?” I smile a pretty one because there are so many things to be truly grateful for. I had my plans but God had a story to tell.

My purpose for leaving home was university but life took me to a maze full of right and wrong turns. I made it a point to be always different but I found joy in sisterhood, friendship, and belongingness. I prayed so hard that life be grand but I bumped into its simplicity and I felt the bliss.

I was wrong to believe that this decade-long adventure was all about beating expectations and chasing dreams. Nobody told me I was to live a story to make me understand who I am, accept what I am not, and be grateful for all that there is.

Thank God. It’s been lovely. Now, fly me home.

Love,
Ayna

 

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Ten Years Later

Quarter Life Crisis on the Brighter Side

…and finally.

It’s been a fairly lengthy layover since my last post and it feels awesome [and a bit strange?] to be back! I’m sorry to disappoint myself though [and if anyone else] that nothing much has happened except for at least four vivid and vague circumstances:

  1. I am now officially a slave of my corporate designation, which I kind of expected.
  2. It took me by gigantic surprise that my very good old friend, who’s been away for like 13 years, came knocking on my quarter life door and asking me out to explore possibilities of spending time together for like a period of forever.
  3. And just when we were about to kill the annoying distance between us, like a hemisphere far, he went –errr– gone?
  4. I’m turning 25 next week, be officially vested with the rights and responsibilities of womanhood – and I’m taking it like a severely ridiculous joke.

But how does it feel to be turning 25 anyway? Ha, the same question I asked this very good old friend slash short-time long distance lover. I never got the answer anyway…’cause that was supposed to be discussed on mornings over coffee. Which never happened. Don’t ask why. So I’ll try to answer it for myself at least. And I thought I wasn’t going to talk about turning 25 here. Gah!

Default feeling – scary. “Both scary and exciting,” so to complete the cliche. I have been swayed to believe by whatever force that those are somewhat “required” emotions from anyone experiencing QLC (quarter life crisis). Otherwise, you will be thought of as someone who doesn’t care about plans, timelines, goals; doesn’t care that you’re not getting any younger and you could be exhausting your life span anytime soon. But the question is, is the pressure @#$%^&* real?

Precious YES. For myself at least. Career. Education. Relationships. Acquired skills. “Nice” hobbies. Lifestyle. Health. Promotions. Degrees. A place to call yours. A car to drive. Engagement. Wife, husband. Family. Kids. Investments. Insurance. And the list just goes on and on, you surely know. Drives you nuts!

But then, of course, I make my escape from the mental and emotional riot, especially when all these are becoming inhumanly overwhelming. As if it’s torture, yea? Well, believe me, if you don’t handle these thoughts well, they can do for you a bloody imaginary hemorrhage.

On a more serious note [and this popped up just now], to be turning 25, for me, is taking advantage of this little time to recap, reevaluate, and reorganize your plans if necessary.

  1. Recap – How has life been since the farthest past you can recall? What did you do with your 25 years? How did you do coming along through all these years?
  2. Reevaluate – So, you think you made the right turns, right decisions so far? Did your decisions make way for you to a better future life? Were you right at choosing this and that person to let go?
  3. Reorganize plans – If necessary, why not? Plans are plans, not curses you sold your soul for. If you realize you suck at making life decisions, ask for help. I swear you will die bored figuring your own life all by yourself. You need your family, friends, and perhaps a few more strangers to mess up your life a bit more. LOL! If you realize you’ve hurt someone, don’t go on pretending like you aren’t feeling guilty at all. Pick up your phone or drop a message. A sincere “I’m sorry” won’t bite. Right, it’s not easy but it’s not like you’ve got to find the end of infinity first before you say it.

And all that I’m saying to myself as well. 🙂 Those three Rs (recap, reevaluate, reorganize) make me shiver, at the same time, giddy – scared and excited. Well, that’s how it is I guess. Life is meant to be imperfect, otherwise it’s just one monotonous …boring… something. So embrace yourself for who you have become – either you celebrate it or forgive and make peace with yourself. Acknowledge your being part of a universal system and be grateful that you’re a part of it. The universe doesn’t exclude anyone nor anything. In fact, we don’t have a choice but to join it, dead or alive. You know, no one is given the right to be so alone.

So how do I conclude how it is to be turning 25? Well –[thinking]– I’d say, “I’m throwing one helluva grandiose party and the universe is my crowd.” 😉

Oh yes, you are cordially invited!

 

See ya! Love,
Ayna

Quarter Life Crisis on the Brighter Side