I did something that I had been dreading for the past five years…
…last month…I turned 30!
And yeah, I know that I’m probably exaggerating quite a bit, but to be honest, throughout my early twenties, the idea of making something out of myself before the age of 30 continued to randomly creep in my mind. There would be weeks where I would have a hard time sleeping and all I could do was lay in my bed and think about what a failure I was for not making millions of dollars a year or for not having started a professional career in the field that I studied.
Then there would be days where all I did was compare myself to others. I swear, I would write down a list of all the material things that other people had that I desperately wanted but could not afford. Then at night, I would read that list to the point of feeling sorry for myself and then after what seemed hours, I would become exhausted and fall asleep.
Every day, time was ticking extra fast for me.
By the time I was twenty-five and I started my graduate studies, I thought I was already too old to be returning back to school. After a few months, the growing doubt of whether I was smart enough to be a counselor and the pressure I put on myself to be the best student in class started to become too much to bear. So, I made the decision to quit and voluntarily dropped out of the program.
I was devastated for years.
But looking back, I’m glad that I stopped when I did. And I’m not trying to make any excuses for my actions. I guess, in retrospect, those three years of my life after graduate school allowed me the time needed to work on my issues. I reflected on my bad behavior and I started to piece together who and what were important in my life.
Not everything was perfect, but the journey to live a more normal life started the day I walked away from that program.
And now, I am thirty years old.
And like most people who are lucky enough to turn thirty, I feel an obligation to share some small wisdom that I have acquired throughout my life regarding people.
When I started writing this blog, I was 23 years old and had just returned back home after living in San Francisco for two years. I spent the next few years going back and forth between southern California and San Francisco in order to maintain in contact with college friends. In a strange way, I felt like I needed them to know that I still cared about our friendship and I would spend money that I didn’t have in order to stay connected to them. But soon, those trips were far in-between and slowly, I started texting and calling them less frequently.
At first, I felt guilty. Like I hadn’t done enough to keep them around in my life.
But those feelings quickly faded, my co-workers had become my new friends and I didn’t have enough time or money to continue taking trips to San Francisco.
I partied and shared my frustrations with my co-workers for the next two years.
But then I started graduate school and had to quit my job.
Shortly after, I lost contact with the group of co-workers that I had befriended and my graduate classmates became my new friends. And so and and so forth, the people that I once knew and shared great memories with would come and go for brief moments at a time, only to be replaced by new people.
So, if you’re like me, someone who cares about friendships, understand that the group of people who you are friends with now, will look differently in a few years.
And that’s okay.
Don’t fight it. Rather, enjoy the time you share together.
Enjoy telling each other those secrets that you’re too scared to openly admit to others. Enjoy those late night drives down the beach, eating your favorite fast food burgers, listening to that song that will soon be a reminder of those wonderful memories.
Appreciate time and moments.
And please, try not to waste too much time on people who will drain you mentally.
I made the mistake of falling in love with the first person who showed an interest in me.
I was a naive twenty-one year old in love with a manipulative twenty-eight year old. I spent months trying to get him to love me. And when he finally said, “I love you too,” I didn’t care that his actions didn’t reflect his words.
And when he stopped talking to me out of nowhere, I desperately went online to find him and when I did get ahold of him, he somehow made me feel guilty for attempting to contact him. And soon, his partner reached out to me. And the truth of him being in a relationship with someone else was a reality that I had to face.
Back and forth, hours, days, weeks, and years of my life wasted on someone who could not care any less about me. Yet, I still reached out, hoping and praying that he would finally come to his senses and love me back. But it never happened.
Don’t be like me.
Communicate your expectations at the start of every relationship. And if their actions don’t reflect their words, trust me, you are better off without them.
At the end of the day, try to spend time with people that will love you unconditionally.
In my case, my family has always been a constant reminder of how much my life is a blessing. And I mean that with all sincerity.
And no, not all my relatives are perfect. Like me, they have their flaws and they stumble with getting by from time to time, but in my moments of weakness, I can share what is on my mind with them without feeling like I’m being judged.
And in those moments, they share their thoughts with me as well. And it is during those conversations that we have together, that I am reminded of how we have the same struggles, hopes, and dreams.
And I know not everyone has family that they can talk to when things aren’t going the best. But that’s the reason why I appreciate my family the most.
It took years of heartbreak and disappointments to come to that conclusion.
I guess, now that I’m thirty, I have learned to cherish living in the moment whether I’m with a friend, lover, or family member. I don’t know when our last moments together will be, so I just learned to stop focusing on what will happen in the future and just tried to share a laugh, a cry, or a joke with them. And when they end up leaving my life, or me end up leaving theirs, I will thank them from afar for the wonderful memories.
So whatever you decide to do, just remember one thing: Please spend time enjoying your life.
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