Last weekend I stayed over a friend’s house. We went to same highschool (1997-2000) and then had degrees in different colleges. Yet, we still keep in touch in some ways and meet occassionally to catch up each other’s stories and updates. My friend, a young and bright girl now working for a private bank, shared her thoughts that as a ‘recent graduate’ (the reason I put this in parentheses is we actually have more than 1 year working experience) who just start up our career, we are now in a race. A race to build our career the right way, a race to find a prospective husband/wive, a race to pursue masters degree to be better-equipped in our life and career, and so on, and so forth. And why now? Yes, it’s now or never! Because we’re now in our early 20’s and everything good and better and best must be started now! Or else we will lose out in this fierce competition and have to spend the rest of our lives as losers… ‘MEMENTO MORI!’I startled with a shock to know that her thoughts and fears are similar to mine. Then we couldn’t help to wonder as to why we have to be part of the race. Look, we hold bachelor degree and we’re lucky enough to be employed. We have supportive family and friends who are proud of what we’ve accomplished so far and trust our judgment. Why can’t we just enjoy the ride and be happy with what the future holds for us?The answer to this question may vary. I will tell you some facts to consider.
- Twenties are our golden era and it happens right here, right now. The good news is we are here too, conscious as well.
If you pay attention to the TV commercial of babies’ milk (I don’t recall which brand) that tickles every parents’ mind : Do you see gold?It implies that early childhood is a very important for a person’s growth. That if we give proper nurture and nutrition to our children, we can proudly say that we have done our significant part in bringing them up, with high hopes for their future. The TV ad mainly targets parents as potential buyer of their product because the children who consume the product are not fully conscious of the importance of their golden era. They may be sucking up their toes when you try to inject the idea of ‘golden growth era’ to their brains!Equally important as the early childhood stage is our 20’s. It’s our own golden era that we can grasp totally and consciously as it’s our call to decide what we think the best for us. Not your parents, not your friend, unless you experience the ‘failure to launch’ syndrome preventing you to live your own life as a grown-up.
- For most of us, 20’s are the average age when we finish our degree, start a full-time job and prepare to settle down.
We start our independence (in some terms), no matter how close our ties with family. Although we may live alone when we study at college, we still depend on our parents’ money (at least for tuition fee). Now that we have our degrees and we have a job, we’re involved with the real life’s demands and needs. And decisions we make at this stage are critical and relevant for the rest of our lives. Such as, if we choose to work for government as civil servant we will have different life style and of course different future from our friend who works as a financial advisor, for instance. The first job you have doesn’t account for how you will live your career for good, BUT it definitely will be on your resume. And it’s up to you whether or not you will stay in that business/industry/company. Just remember that if you don’t have what you like, you have to like what you have! It’s not that easy finding a job nowadays and you just can’t keep changing job the way you change your clothes. It will have devastating effect to your career and professionalism. That’s why, every decision counts. Every step taken will lead you closer or farther to your destination. Sad to say, we’re forced to make every single of it on a daily basis. And once you screw up, the worst scenario is you’re f*cked up for the rest of your life! *evil grin*
- A lots of strategic decisions are best made now
Imagine: you’re single, have no husband/wife nor kids, you’re old enough to take care of yourself and not to make your mom worried about you. Come on! You can backpack to Europe or take masters in Australia or take new assignment in Saudi Arabia (regardless financial issues to support these activities :D). Twenties are your very moment and so often, those chances won’t come to you again.
- Think about future husband/wife? This is it.
Like the law of nature says, it’s the early bird that catches the worm. (I don’t want to put it in plural noun to avoid those of you think that I’m a bigamy proponent). As a matter of fact, you have more choices than when you are in your 30’s. Because all the nutritious worms belong to other birds already. And maybe you will end up alone for the rest of your lives, with breast cancer because you don’t breastfeed your baby (you don’t even have a baby, hello?) or utery cancer because you never conceive a baby. Freaking nightmare, huh? I’m scared to death, honestly! And just to add to our nightmare is the story of an old lady dies alone and her cats eat her face…
- It’s all about the picture perfect.
If you read those lifestyle and beauty magazines, you know exactly what I’m talking about. We live in a society that put youth on a pedestal, when we glorify the concept of being young and successful. Do you know that a significant portion of the richest people on earth are those under 27? And they’re not people who were born rich. Let’s face it, they’re goddamn brilliant and fortunate. And we can’t want anything but similar story happening to our lives. And we don’t even have to think about those socialites and ‘new rich’, just take a look at our friends and acquaintances. Do they look more successful than you? Are they living a happier life? Voila! You’re suffering early 20’s crisis, just like me and my friend.
I won’t draw any conclusions because the truth is, I can’t figure out any. Each of us is struggling with our own battle and trying to be the leading star of our own movie. The tragic part is not the sad ending of the movie but the fact that some of us refuse to take the leading role and satisfied with the supporting role of their own movies. Because the truth is, there is no sense living your life without this. To make the journey and not give your best effort – well, you haven’t lived a life at all. You have to try. Because if you haven’t tried, you haven’t lived… Stay open. Who knows? Lightning could strike. And you could be the Forbes cover one day! CARPE DIEM (seize the day)…