Another year added, another opportunity to reflect.
Hello everyone and thank you for visiting my blog you gorgeous human being. If you are new here, welcome to one of the best sites on WordPress and you are right on time because today is my birthday! Can I get a big Huraayyyy!
Question for fellow bloggers, are birthday blogs a thing or this is one of those content ideas we steal from YouTubers and call it our own?
I have officially left the comfortable mid-20s and I am now entering the uncertain late 20s. The kids nowadays call it “pushing 30”. It sounds crazy that I am saying this but here we are. Your boy has grown. He is now a grown man. These last two words are a tad bit scary…. but you know what?
I have submitted to the idea of growing up. Acceptance is the key to be truly free.
I have submitted to the idea of growing up because time always comes bearing gifts and this is what is getting me excited about the next chapter in my life. However, let’s unpack some obstacles. Growing up watching American movies that were presented as comedic but were laced with ageism made me terrified of the idea of growing up. Have you ever watched those movies about turning 30? They make it sound so dreadful. It is the reason why so many of us 20 somethings were/are terrified about this idea when we are just borrowing Hollywood ideas of ageism. When you detach from this idea of ceasing to exist after 30. You will realize it is the opposite because I know a lot of people in their 30s absolutely killing it right now and are having their post-20s glow up.
Outside popular culture, as a chronic online person you encounter hot takes from hot blooded Gen-Z who say anyone over 25 is old and should be in an old people’s home. When I was just about to turn 25 this used to bother me but now, I just chuckle and like or even comment on these edgy tweets. The amusement comes from the fact that I also used to view time as a curse, and I am also amused by how much I have grown to become less offended by many things. You just learn to laugh more at yourself and take things less seriously.
Obviously, this is not a universal experience, but I would like to believe that some people relate. I will discuss this more shortly but let’s explore some of the insights you gain from getting older.
When I was younger I had little to no empathy. I once used to be very critical of people. However, as I get older, my eyes have their own pair of eyes. Let’s call them inner eyes. I largely credit life experience for this and it has opened my eyes a bit more. I am beginning to see a lot of things differently. Suddenly that uncle or aunt who never married seems relatable and you extend grace. The alcoholic cousin. The cousin who got pregnant in high school. The relative who keeps distance from the family and among other examples.
You develop empathy as you get older because you also make a lot of mistakes along the way. “Could never be me” is a popular phrase used on social media, but you realize you are not special and that could be you. If I make mistakes, why can’t I extend the next person grace? Your empathy grows with age.
This is one of my favourite insights that I am carrying as I enter my late 20s. I used to treat people who had differing opinions as enemies. My mindset at the time was that they are out to get me. I was very good at demonizing people but then I had an epiphany not long ago. People act according to their own worldviews, they are not out to get you, they also feel the same way you feel. They are also equally demonizing you and are frustrated when you don’t understand their point of view. So, if we are all fighting to be heard how about we tolerate each other? It doesn’t mean we have to be best friends and do spa dates together. However, in the debate arena, how about we throw light punches that are not meant to be fatal? This is the mindset that is helping me cope in this opinionated world. It is not perfect yet, but I am learning to be more tolerant. People are a result of their background, being intolerant of their background means that I am dismissing their culture, values, and belief systems. If I want mine respected, then I should be equally tolerant.
3. Healthy Detachment
Detachment is healthy and this is a big lesson I am learning. There are two forms of detachment for me. The temporary one and the long term one.
The temporary one entails occasional detachment from events, people, and life in general. Occasionally, it is okay to disconnect and fall out of “touch”. In my early 20s I wanted to be on top of everything. To be present everywhere but I am realizing that requires a lot of energy and energy is precious. It needs you to conserve it.
Last year I took a 6 month break from social media and I only returned beginning of this year. I know I have mentioned this many times before but that was a pivotal moment for me.
To be brutally honest, I have nothing to show for it. I didn’t learn karate or become an expert in forex trading. I did not come back with a chiselled body or anything like that. The popular narrative is to disappear for 6 months and come back with these shiny objects. While this is good, if I had come back with shiny objects I would have absolutely showed them off but I think you should do this for yourself. I came back as a better person but that’s hard to show people. Some internal progress can be achieved from stepping back and catching a breather. However, we live in a world where people want to be present everywhere and this results in failing mental health.
Sometimes it is okay to fall out and be “behind”. The world will catch up with you and not the other way round.
The long-term detachment has been in terms of causes or values I used to hold dearly. I still do but I sense some detachment. When I was in my early 20s, I signed up for every cause on campus activities. Climate change, gender-based violence, and so forth but like I said earlier, you cannot be present for everything, and this was a hard pill to swallow. However, I have chosen my cause, one that I will go to the end of the world for and that is Mental health. Remember that 6 months break I took? I went also went on a self-discovery journey. I wanted to identify what meant the most to me as a person and as a writer. Since then, I have been writing and talking about it. Honestly, I am not the best mental advocate out there, but this year was the first step. Next year will be better.
Back to the main point. Long-term detachment. You are going to eventually drift from many things and settle down for a few things you care about. Isn’t that the point of adulting? Settling down?
However, what most people don’t mention is how healthy it is. It is self-care. Choose your battles wisely. Also don’t feel guilty for not having the time for all causes that exist. Choose one or a few and go all out. You will find much more fulfilment that spreading yourself too thin.
Listen. I am a writer. I could have gone on and on but for the sake of readability I didn’t want to continue so I will end here today. Thank you for reading and if you are a regular thank you for continuing to support my blog. I do not take for granted the time you spend reading my write ups. I will continue sharing my journey and learning from you as well.
Take care and see you soon!