Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Things I Learned at 21

(1)          College is the Best Time of your Life

As I stepped into College, I always told my High School friends how our time was the best time of my life. Looking back, it gives me that little satisfying moment of chuckling about how oblivious I was of the world I was faced with. I always thought sitting in that ancient arm chair, not doing anything with my classmates, was the best way to spend my days. Somehow, doing nothing and just letting things happen did sound appealing at one point in my life.

As I sit in this quarter they call an “office” (having finished the things I needed to do, of course) , It has never been clearer to me that college is the best time anybody could ever have in their entire lifetime. How could I not feel invincible when I had everything under my control? It was that time of my life that, in the deepest sense of the phrase, I was the master of my destiny. Nothing was ever forced into you while you were in College; not even the classes you seemingly “had” to take. You were always left with a choice – to study or to flunk, to shine or to disappear, to make each moment count or to live blindly in the shadows.

It was that time in my life that I surprised myself everyday with the slightest decision I chose to make. I never thought I would end up to be a strong-willed child, packed with my own beliefs and ideals on how the world should be. I never thought that given the option to indulge in the limitless array of possibilities, I dealt with freedom the way that made my parents proud. Sure, I fucked things up once in a while, had my share of failed subjects, and partied hard until I passed out – but hey, who does not go through that? I was a good kid but that does not mean I wasted my youth living the “right” way every day.

I fell “in-love” hard and felt the most painful heart ache I have ever experienced, I gave in to temptations of cutting classes and failed, I worked hard in one of the best school organizations and went on to be a respectable officer in my field. One thing I am most certainly proud of about college was that I had my own business, one that allowed me to create my ideas into tangible items that would be part of other people’s lives.  I stumbled upon hundreds of failures - but that one moment you get to put a smile on somebody else’s face will always be worth the sacrifices you made.

Work allows you to earn money and have freedom just as well but where I am now, I have come to know the difference of living young and free from that of living inside the rules of a rather bigger entity. Having a job means you have to please your bosses and be mindful of your actions – at all times. It means you have to blend into the culture no matter how hard you have to bend. It means creating a version of you that should be turned on as long as you get to be associated with the corporation’s name. It is almost like you get to wear an invisible uniform mixed with the complicatedness of being a unique individual while you prove to everyone else that you belong. It is like being trapped in a fish tank, mixed with different kinds of sea creatures – you are put in a spotlight with nowhere to go.

As I have come to know how it is like to be thrown into the so called “real life”, my mind has been made up that college was in fact, the best time anybody can have in this life. In a way, it felt like one huge experiment – a stage where I was held responsible with every move that I made. I had a whole army of friends and family but looking back now, I never depended on anybody to make my decisions for me or to shield me from the consequences of my flawed judgments. I was the only ruling party in my own universe, an individual capable of winning and losing – but winning some more (for it is through failure we learn the best).

College was the time of self-discovery, where we can all make mistakes and wander the halls aimlessly as we try to find who we really are. It was an excuse to play around this playground of a world. We lived a life where we all get judged less just because of the ultimate leverage of being young. It was that time that we formulated an idea of who we really are and who we want to be. You may not know it now, but as you look deeper into your existence, you already know the answer - you just have to accept and embrace your very existence.

(2)          You can Never Choose who Stays or who Goes

It has always been a choice whether to leave or stay in someone’s life. There is no one in this world that has not experienced loss. By now, I am sure you have thought of one or two people who left; may it be by choice or through an event bigger than us – one that is totally out of our hands. At the higher part of my list of the most painful events in my life would be losing someone special. I know that I could be the hardest person to understand or even to be with; but at the end of the day, those who make the effort to get to know me surely gets to have a piece of me – my loyalty, my kindness, and my trust. Once I fall in real friendship with somebody, I choose to never let go.

You can never choose who stays or goes. You can have this really annoying suitor who would choose to stay even if you try your best to shoo him off every day. You can have this amazing lover who, at some point you thought you would marry – but then you find yourself in that situation where he has made up his mind about leaving you for good.

                See, we are all given the gift of freedom by some kind of higher being. It is the thing – we may wish to select those people in our lives that get to leave or to stay. Sadly, it never worked that way and I am so sure that it never will; not now, not ever. We enjoy the freedom of choosing if we should stay or go in somebody’s life - and that “freedom” is the same freedom that stops us from controlling who stays or goes. Aside from the whole grey area of uncontrollable events, just like you, everybody else exercises their right to decide when to stay or go.

(3)          Dreams are Overrated

I can’t remember exactly when I started dreaming of something I wanted to be or wanted to have. I’m pretty sure it comes innately with the mind the moment we develop our consciousness. I am no expert in this field but based on my twenty years of observation, we all have this image of us that we want to experience in the near future. The oldest memory of a dream that I can recall was that I wanted to be a big shot doctor – then later, when I started going to school, I wanted to be a teacher just because I enjoyed drawing on the blackboard. I remember dreaming of having a sticker album with a complete collection of all the Lisa Frank stickers.

By now, I have realized that as we grow older, our dreams become bigger. As our dreams get bigger, they seem to get harder to grasp. As I have come to realize this, it made me think – which one of these dreams in my twenty one years of existence came true? Maybe there were a few – one here and there, scattered wildly in between the timeline. One thing’s for sure – not one was significant enough to be remembered or praised.

We all have that one vision that we want ourselves to be part of a couple of years from now – as we grow older, it transforms and adapts into the current predicaments that we are faced with.

I have always looked up to people who dream as hard as I could – who see their vision not as tiny flashes of photos but as one bright and vivid movie. I always thought that these dreams are the ones worth living – the ones that are meant to move from the mind into the realm of reality. The sad truth about this is that they are just dreams – visions in that brilliant universe in the mind. No matter how beautiful it is, no matter how vivid and bright it can be narrated, it will just be a dream – unless drawn out from the mind and brought into the physical world. Until then, a dream will just be an over-rated attempt to seduce the receiver – wordplay, imagination, mindfuck.

(4)          Time Heals the Wounds but Never Erases the Scars
(5)          Society does not Recognize Uniqueness
(6)          True Friends Love You More than You Think They Do
(7)          Nobody Ever has the Right to Judge Anybody
(8)          Studying Hard hardly Gets you the Job
(9)          Love is Infatuation
(10)      Photos do not Always tell you the Truth
(11)      The Difference between Acting Mature and Being Mature
(12)      Somebody will Always be Better than You
(13)      Things Happen for a Reason
(14)      There is No Shortcut to Mending a Broken Heart
(15)      Nobody Remembers who they were at 21
(16)      The Number of Years in a Relationship is Not an Assurance that You will end up Together
(17)      Your Parents are your life’s greatest miracle
(18)      Never Revolve Your World Around Anybody
(19)      Trust is one of the Hardest Things to Do
(20)      Let Go of the People who Chose to Give Up on You
(21)      Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder
(22)      Every day is a Date with Destiny
(23)      Every Tear Drop Makes You Stronger
(24)      As You Grow Older, You Carry Heavier Baggage

No comments:

Post a Comment