30 Before 30 Day 9: Figured Out

9. You won’t have it all figured it, and that’s okay.

When I was a fresh-faced wide-eyed 19-year-old-about-to-turn-20, I decided that I would have it all figured out by 30: I  was going to be a journalist living in New York, married and about to have kids. When I turned 25, I started to panic a little because what I’d envisioned wasn’t exactly how it was…I didn’t feel like I had it all figured out. Why did I change careers so many times? Why did I still have the same insecurities and flaws I had before I’d entered my 20s? But somewhere along the way in my late 20s, when I started to learn the fine balance of acceptance and ambition, I realized that becoming an “adult” doesn’t mean I would stop growing, and it certainly doesn’t mean I would have all the answers I’d ever need to know how to live the rest of my life. Life doesn’t come with instructions after all! If anything, the older I get, the more questions I have. I’ve learned that it’s good to make plans and know what you want, but to be okay with any changes that may happen to your plans (and to accept those changes fully). For example, I saw myself living in New York 10 years ago, and yet, here I am living in Japan (I thought I’d be in Japan in my early 20s). I’m not married yet, and far from having children, but that’s okay! As for my insecurities and flaws – they will always be there – it’s part of who I am. The difference though is that instead of always succumbing to those insecurities and flaws, I’ve learned to accept them. And with that acceptance came my ability to temper them. Perhaps the 20-year-old me would not have approved my quitting a stable job to move to Japan only to not know what will happen next, but the “matured me” is convinced that life isn’t all about having it all figured out. Life is about living it even in the most uncertain circumstances. After all, I really have realized that all us “adults” are just older kids in a big, crazy, messed up world. No matter how old we get, we won’t know everything (though we sometimes pretend we do), and thus will always be navigating this jungle of a life.

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Osaka, Japan

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