This year, I am entering my quarter-life. I will be celebrating my 25th birthday on the next few months. Single. Broke. But at least, I’m happy. In contrast to what I am now, some of my classmates in high school and college are either engaged, or married. Some already raise their firstborn child. Some have their own home, own car, or even their own companies. Some have been working abroad for a while, earning cold, hard cash twice the amount we get at our own country. In short, they seem to have achieved more than I do.
Despite the fact that they have these things right now, I don’t feel any envy in my heart. Why? It’s because I believe we have our own timing in our lives.
Back to the time I was in college, I got bitten by the travel bug. Since my third year, I have been visiting various places in the region, bringing myself to the urban landscapes of Singapore and Hong Kong, to the ancient kingdoms of Cambodia and Myanmar, and especially to the pristine and white sand beaches of my own, Philippines. But of course, with costs of these excursions invading almost my entire bank account, I was left without enough budget for material things, which anyway, I don’t have priority with. While I spent most of my time planning and doing this (while having a full time job), most people were working hard for their career growth and financial independence. While I was ticking my Asian bucketlist one-by-one, most people were learning the fundamental knowledge of their chosen field piece-by-piece. In short, we had different priorities at the same stage of life.
But there came a time when my interest with travel plummeted while the travel industry actually shoot up like a rocketship. This was the time when I could see my friends visiting the places I’ve already seen before. And this was the time I most likely developed in my mind a new goal: career growth and financial independence.
As you can see, I have lived in a different way compared to most people in my age, but I don’t see any difference in contentment and happiness. It is my natural character not to follow the common social traditions if I am not into it, because I believe that following my own development is a lot easier, even though it’s hard to do it in action with the world as the witness.
I am just pointing out that we don’t need to follow what everyone wants us to achieve at any given point, but what ourselves want us to be. We don’t need to compare ourselves to others, because I am certain that in billions of people there will be surely someone who lives better than us. We just need to look at our own standards, listen to what our heart says, and set it as our own measure of success.
As for me, starting this year, I am catching up with my career by earning the same credentials which the others have earned years before me. I am also planning to take a higher degree relative to my current job. I am doing my best to increase my professional value, to land in a higher-paying, and higher-learning job. Not only these but I also set more goals for myself to be a better person than what I was before. Even though I still occasionally travel, I can say that somehow I am more focused to the other dimensions of life wherein it is not my priority.
If somehow you, the reader, may be experiencing a quarter-life or midlife crisis, I hope you will find what makes you happy at the moment, try to pursue it, and don’t let the external factors make up what you are and how successful you are. You are the only one who can define it. At your own pace.
© jpethoughts, 2019