I am only 20, yet the past year and a half of my life has been the most bewildering and the most petrifying one I have had to live through. And that’s barring the impact of living through a pandemic and facing the prospect of a potential world war. It’s more about this being as strange and as complex as my personal life has ever been. Everything has been changing so rapidly and I often feel as though I am trying to catch up, as though my own life leaves me behind every now and then. My life has been messy. I start moving in a new direction, and it initially seems progressive, but I only succeed in making it full circle to where I came from. I find a path I reckon will be the path I am to tread, and I get blocked off at the first turn. Every time I feel as though I have it all together, as though I have finally figured it out, I go on to realize that I am only holding the first 10 of a 1000-piece Jigsaw puzzle. When I think I have finally learnt, I make the same mistake again(I know they say it isn’t a mistake if you do it again, but I am certain I do not purposely do these things). I fix one thing only for 3 other things to shatter and need my immediate attention. My life simultaneously falls apart and comes together every day. Sometimes I just want it to stop for a while, to pause for a little so I can catch my breath. There’s often too much going on, and I feel as though I am too miniscule a being for a world, for a life way larger than I am… even though it is my own. And if I am being honest, I realize every day that I haven’t really got a clue what I am doing, that I am uncertain, and I am afraid.
Even though I thought all this is spelt out across my forehead in bold letters, I realized the other day that this isn’t always as obvious to everyone when one of mates said to me, “You are probably more of an adult than I am. You seem to have it all together.” Uhm… no. No, I do not have it all together. Far from it. I too am struggling just like you. Maybe even more. In fact, the reason I write so much is because I am perhaps more confused than everyone is. That is what being 20 is like. I know what it’s like to look around and feel as though you are the only one stumbling through life, as though you alone do not have it together, as though everyone else has figured it out, as though Heaven is smiling on everyone but you. But if you take a close enough look, you will see that most of us are either, in the most literal sense, faking it and just hoping it comes together, or are just good at hiding our problems behind polished exteriors. None of us really knows what we are doing right now. We are just… doing it. Most of us are lost, bouncing from this to that, trying to find meaning and purpose; we are asking the confusing, age-old questions: who am I? Who do I want to be? Is this what I really want to do with my life? Will I be okay? Most of us are afraid, uncertainty weighing us down. We are all walking around with all lustrous facades, but in truth, we are all just trying to figure it out. You aren’t alone at all.
And you know what, I am learning now that that’s okay. It’s alright that I am lost and confused and afraid, that I haven’t worked it out yet. I am here for the first time. I am doing this life thing for the very first time. It’s not as if there is a cheat code or a guide on how to do… anything at all. Of course, I will be lost and confused. Of course, I will not immediately know what to do. I will be messy. I will stumble over hurdles, or maybe even over my own feet. I will fall into several ditches, and often head in the exact opposite direction of where I should be going. I will leap over edges that I should have stayed away from, and I will be too afraid to leap off of those at whose bottoms my rewards lie. I will mistake “this is not for you” for “try harder”, and “stop” for “keep going”. I will miss chances and opportunities because I am too afraid of taking the risk, and I will probably take the wrong risks and end up hurt and despondent. I will mess up… a lot... and mess up some more.
But that’s okay. This is me learning. I am literally learning on the job; I am learning along the way. I have to. See, life is not taught. Life is lived. There is no other way to learn but to live. And all of this, this whole mess that it is right now, is called living. It’s all part of the journey. This is what makes the movie. I am learning to bask in the uncertainty of it all, to bathe in the unknown. I am learning to enjoy being lost for a while, to explore the endless possibilities that come with it. I am learning to revel in the chaos, to look for the little moments of peace, the little moments of euphoria within it. I am learning to let God guide me, to trust that He factored in my stupidity when He brought me here, and thus has a way out for me. I am learning to enjoy it all. I am learning to learn from it all. We all should, really. We will never be 20-something ever again. So instead of wishing it were different, take it as it comes right now. Be 20-something. Learn. Allow yourself to be lost and afraid and uncertain. It’s okay. It all comes together in the end. We will be okay. We aren’t the first ones here, and we won’t be the last. We will be all right, lads. It will be okay. And even if it isn’t, it will be one hell of a ride.
So here's to the most anarchic decade of our lives.