I turned 21
I recently celebrated my 21st birthday. In light of that, I thought I’d write a post to reflect on a year from now. I hope it somehow helps you too.
You’re in a very happy place right now, in life. It’s been roughly 5 months since you’ve started uni, and as cheesy as this sounds, it really is starting to be some of the best years of your life.
You’ve met so many people. Dang, and such wonderful people too. With some, you instantly clicked; with others, it took you a while to realise how well you could actually get along. That’s the beauty of trying to build meaningful relationships. At the end of the day, you never really know with people. They’re always a magical mystery. So see them as that. Give people a chance. Let them in, and learn something. Listen to their stories. Be nice, genuinely nice, because you don’t know what they’re going through. Make friends. Start conversations. That’s what you’ve been doing, and it’s been making you so happy. Don’t stop now.
Expect plot twists. Relationships are dynamic and they all have ups and downs. Don’t settle into one and expect consistency. That’s unfair, because people change. To create these expectations is to hinder their personal growth, and you don’t get to do that for them.
Know that some friendships don’t last, and it doesn’t even have to be for awful reasons. Sometimes its distance, sometimes its time, lack of effort, or simply outgrowing each other. That doesn’t mean you’re burning that bridge. It simple means you don’t cross it as frequently, or at all. And it happens, so stop beating yourself up over relationships involving people who aren’t doing the same. Cherish the moments you have with those around you now, because life throws curveballs, and you never know where you’ll end up with them.
You’re taking chances. Little risks. Decisions that make your heart beat a bit too fast, but in an exciting way. Don’t stop taking these chances, because you’ve never regretted doing something more than you’ve regretted not doing it. You know this too well. And its contributed so much to your growth and confidence. Some risks will leave you with pain, a sting, maybe a bitter aftertaste. Some decisions you make may seem like they’ve failed you. Like you’ve failed you. But do they really, when you always learn? Have you really failed yourself, just because you’re hurt? Take chances. Make mistakes. Learn. Move on.
At this point in time, a lot of things are uncertain. It’s like having a sketch of your plans, but not being able to ink them in with a pen because you’re still unsure. What you can do then, is your best. Invest in yourself. If you can be here now, in your dream university, in a beautiful state, surrounded by such wonderful people, who knows where the future could take you? Wonder in awe, but plan very well and work towards what you want to achieve. Work hard. Do you part and the rest will follow.
Take time to remember that there’s more to life than your little world. Get out of those jumbled thoughts in your head and realise that there is so much more. More than that assignment, more than the tests, more than the pain and more than your little, over-magnified problems. Get out of your nook and revaluate the things going on in your life. Tweak your perspective. Thank me later.
Wherever you are right now, I have some hopes for future me.
I hope you’re still soft. It’s not a weakness nor a flaw, it’s who you are. Stay soft, but be tough. You don’t have to be bitter and cold to win at life. I hope you have more clarity on things than I do right now, and that they make sense to you. I hope you keep those good people close, and learn to detach from what destroys you. I hope you’re still working hard and you’re proud of your achievements.
Most of all, 22-year-old Dania, I hope you’re happy. Because happiness isn’t an end goal, or a fleeting moment, and it’s not impossible to achieve. Don’t live your life content. Lukewarm is no good. Be happy.