A friend of mine sent me this recently and I just couldn’t resist posting it – with her permission of course. It really will speak for itself but I think it’s a beautiful look into the mind of a young person who is coming into their own and not letting the fear of judgement from others get in the way of accepting her own mistakes, learning, and growth. Here it is:
“Hey Britt, you must be familiar with the shifting point from adolescent to adult, especially with the work you are doing now.
I just experienced that shifting point. Here I am, sitting in the sun on this beautiful island and all of a sudden I realize that there is a time to dream and a time to be realistic. I had a plan, do my thesis here and then go to Canada to do my minor. That plan is about to change. I am going back home at the end of the summer to finish my school there. I can’t go travel the world while I still have obligations over there. I need to start earning money before I spend it. I will be 27 when I graduate with big school debt to pay off and no prospect of a job whatsoever.
I thought, ‘Won’t it be a big failure to come back after one summer when I told everyone I would be gone for an entire year again?’ I remember all those people telling me what an inspiration they thought I was – by dreaming big and realizing those dreams no matter how big the obstacles were or how little money I had.
Am I failing? The answer is no. I am owning up to my responsibilities. I am gonna go back and face everyone, knowing what most of them will think. I think it’s a gift to finally understand what it means to be a grown up. I’m 26 years old and I am a dreamer, I always will be, but I feel like I am now entering a stage in which I can grow in a different, more mature, way.
What people back home will think of my decision doesn’t bother me. I know they will, maybe not say, but, think ‘I told you so’. And I don’t care whether or not they were right. I needed to find my way on my own and make this decision on my terms.
I questioned myself for so long, not knowing what to do and how to handle the pressure I felt coming from society. I feel I am part of that generation that is struggling to meet both the standards others lay out for us and the path we want to choose for ourselves.
I’ve been a defiant adolescent, always arguing the rules people lay out for me. Overstepping boundaries, not doing as I was told by the rules. I could have saved myself a lot of trouble if I had listened to others sooner. But do I regret it? No.
I needed it to figure out who I was. I would’ve grown up either way. But now I am on the path of becoming the person I can live with and love for the rest of my life. Before I was always full of doubt, but that feeling is slowly shifting towards a newfound determination. A form of determination in which doubt is a welcome guest for advice and not making decisions as hastily, whereas before, I saw doubt as an unwanted form of insecurity.”
I loved the honesty in her words and the inner battle that she described so well. No matter how you define it, whether it’s understanding how to be grown up, owning responsibility, or realizing the connections between challenges that got you to where you are now, self-reflection and these little momentary epiphanies are so much of what a quarter lifer’s reality is made up of. Embrace this! You are getting to know you, so allow it to happen! Don’t let judgement from others or the fear of making a mistake hold you back from exploring all that it is to be you.
She also articulates the realization of the need for balance between practicality and adventure. It can be a hard pill to swallow but sometimes it is valuable to consider how things like spending habits will impact your future and reflect on whether or not travelling now is the best thing for you. It doesn’t mean that you’re giving up on your dreams or succumbing to a conventional life. It means that you’re exercising wisdom. If you want to make sure you don’t forget to follow your travel dreams or continue to open yourself to new experiences, write a vow to yourself to do so. Write a list of all the places you will go and read it everyday. Focus on manifesting while you’re taking care of all of the responsible, logistic stuff. Don’t compare your ‘worldliness’ to others’, your path is just as important and magical.
Thank you for reading and thank you to my beautiful friend for opening up about her growth and newfound determination. If you feel like you could use some prompting in finding your quarter lifer epiphany, sign up for coaching. See the packages here and connect with me to schedule your consultation.
May you feel worthy and beautiful from the inside out.