selfish youth

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Fear is something that lives in all of us whether we like to admit it or not. It is something that has definitely hindered me from pursuing ambitious goals, from letting people into my life, and from fully embracing who I am and what I value. Allowing fear to linger and not making a conscious effort to conquer it has inflicted a lot of regret and brokenness in my life. This past weekend, I felt like I hit a wall. Not physically (though I would not be surprised if that were the case), but mentally and emotionally. I realized that fear was constantly creeping into every aspect of my life and preventing me from believing in my potential. It wasn’t just about my potential to achieve my goals, or the potential for great relationships to develop, but more about the potential to just do more in my everyday. There is so much I want to explore and experience, but I never actually do it. I’ve lived in LA my whole life minus the four years I was in NY, but the vicinities I’ve ventured are so limited. My weekdays consist of working full-time, and my weekends have consistently been the same, doing the same activities. Don’t get me wrong, I have had a lot of fun, but I can’t help thinking is this what every week will look like? Is this just going to be an on-going cycle? Am I okay with that? This is when I hit that “wall”. I am not okay with that. I don’t want to be okay with a routine and a cycle that just seems easy and comfortable. I want to venture out and not let the fear of missing out or the fear of being alone keep me from going forward and being my own person.

People I look up to and have experienced more years of life than I have always tell me, “Your 20’s are the years to be selfish.” The word selfish has never been one that sits with me well. I always felt it was a fault in character, and the worst insult. However, these individuals I call my role models put it in a different perspective. They remind me how these are my glory years and how I must appreciate and live in my youth. I always took that piece of advice with a grain of salt, but lately it is resonating with me more and more. Turning 22 doesn’t make me feel any older or any wiser. It is that insignificant year similar to the years between 18-21 where nothing is that exciting or monumental. It isn’t an age where you can buy your first lottery ticket, or an age where you can purchase your first alcoholic beverage. It’s what I like to call a “floating year”. I didn’t have a lot of anticipation or expectations for my 22nd year of life, but I realized that was the worst way i could look at it. 22 does not change anything for me in terms of the law or in society, but it is a new year that has the potential to be full of incredible experiences and fruitful growth. It is my choice to allow that to happen.

People tend to go through a quarter-life crisis when they turn 25, and, knowing me, I’m sure I will experience it just the same, but I felt like I went through my personal life crisis in turning 22. I know, I know. *Roll your eyes* You’re ONLY 22! No, I am not old. I understand that I am still VERY young. However, I also feel like each year will continue to fly by quicker, and that my youth will be over in the blink of an eye. I am becoming more wary of wasted time, living idly and for the satisfaction of other people. I don’t want to look back when I turn 25, 28, 30, etc. and think that my years were not fulfilling. I truly believe my 20’s are for ME. Though that may sound self-centered and haughty, I don’t mean it that way at all. I’ve let fear rule over several aspects of my life, for years of my life. It has torn me down and made me push many people away. It has made me question who I am and who I want to be. The person I was at 18 is completely different from who I am now, and who I am now will be completely different from who I will be another 4 years from now. I don’t want fear to be an obstacle interfering with me becoming the best person I can be. This year, I make it a personal goal to destroy those fears and to focus on my personal growth. These are the years where I can explore life and find my passions. I can build confidence and let go of many of my insecurities. I thought that the college years were the years I would really find myself, but I’m realizing that this is just the beginning.. Adventure awaits!

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