This was meant to be written as a birthday letter to my self, one that I always write every year from me and to me. But looking at the time frame, I thought it would only be wise to safe this for the new year.
So, on what term would I pick up such topic that most of the people are dealing with and try to overcome and put it together as the beauty of mid-life crisis?
'Well, she's bullshitting because there is simply nothing beautiful from midlife crisis'
But, have you ever had a moment in your life
when you felt so lost?
Have you ever felt like what you did was a failure?
Have you ever felt like your so confuse and anxious of the future
that you don't know what to do?
or where are you going with your life,
or what's your purpose or what you actually wanna do?
and out of a sudden you realise how unhappy you are,
you just sit there and cry yourself out?
Ladies and Gentlemen, oh dear millennials
As a part of evolving homo-sapiens, you and I ought to feel the dynamics of life where it takes you up to cloud nine and drop you into the deep ocean where you feel like you can't breathe. From what I have realised about this generation is that we want things instantly, we want to have things immediately and we barely appreciate the art of patient and waiting and delayed and whatever you call it. I myself get angry when the A&W queue line in Jakarta Airport took so long to clear and it was only 3 people in front of me. I am so used to the fast pace life that 5 minutes wait got me tempered up even though I am not in a hurry.
In my opinion, there are so many things that are wrong about this generation. We tend to compare our own achievement to other people's success. We tend to look at other people's beauty rather than taking care on ours. We tend to over-analyse, over-think, and we tend to worry too much about what people think about us or about what they are going to say about one thing or million things that we do.
But what if I say it is normal if you and I are anxious of what the future holds? What if I say that it is okay to be at a certain age or certain point in your life and still confuse and still worry about what it might take to reach your goals? Or what if I say that it is OKAY to be 30 and single?
First of all, society sucks. That's all you need to understand.
The society sucks for having their own standard whatever it is, wherever it is. People are tend to be labeled as a failure if they reach certain age without certain achievements. And certain society, especially if you live in Indonesia, you are labelled as "nggak-laku" if you are 30 and single. And with all those long list of society standards (you-name-it), you will be judged, with or without your acknowledgement and for people who can't take it, they tend to overthink about it and it turns out as a mental problem.
Some people that we know battle things that we do not know about. The worst thing is they could have the biggest smile and look like the happiest person alive but they might be the people who suffer the most and they are good at hiding it. But if you are that type of person (as what I have just described above), you need to reach out for help. Start a conversation with basically any of your close friends or family and tell them what's going on. Or even if you are dealing with anything, reach out to people and start a conversation.
I wouldn't say midlife crisis happened to everyone, but people in their 20s are the ones who are mostly confused about where their life will lead to. Confuse about what they are gonna do or if the decision they make is the right one. There are really no math calculation to solve this, but really it goes back to you on how you wanna deal with this so called 'mid-life crisis'.
As the beginning of the new year, it maybe a good idea to take a step back and re-analyse your goals instead of making a new one.
Stop comparing. Yes, it is easily said than done. But I really mean it. Comparing what you just started with what other people have achieve only lead you to achieving what THEY achieved not what you wanna achieve in the beginning. Your goal and your friends' goal are two different things even though it looks the same. Your path of achieving your goals and your friends' path of achieving theirs are already two different paths. Do you get what I am trying to say here? When you compare, you lose focus on your own goals, you lose confident and you stopped believing in your own capability. If your friend achieved X thing in X months, it is good on them. But if you need to take longer in achieving yours, it is okay. As long as you do it 100%, with good intention and put your heart and soul into it, you'll see a difference mentally and physically. Remember that you are achieving your goal for you, not for other people to praise you.
Start small, one step at a time. Good on you if you can start big, three steps in one jump. But if you are scared about starting something and worry more on failure, maybe all you need to do is start small, one step at a time. Let's say you have been wanting to travel to your dream destination. In the bigger picture, you need to have X amount of savings, etc. But what if you start a little holiday project on your own? Start small by researching how much the return ticket would cost, or list out the places you want to visit in that city or country, then you are able to work out how many days you actually need. Then all this little steps will lead you to work out how will you save for it and if you're 100% committed to it, eventually it will lead you to visit your dream destination, be it in couple months or even years, but it will take you there. Everyone you see at the top started small at some point in their life, but perhaps they never give up no matter how hard it was. They fought through. But imagine if they never started those little steps?
Don't look back. Stopped dragging yourself back to yesterday. Appreciate what you have done in the past when it was good, learn and grow when it was bad. My one go-to quote is this "If you win, you win. If you lose, you grow". I apply this mostly to anything now that I learn to appreciate any moment that happened in life. We can only do so much and turning back time is not something we are capable of. Rather than crying or stuck at what I have done in the past, I should carry on. Life is not waiting for you to catch up with your past, but it's waiting for you to build it and the decision is yours.
Surround yourself with your people. Your people refers to those who supports you, who always have your back. Who are not afraid to criticise you in order for you to grow. Surround yourself with positivity. As you grow you don't have time for unnecessary talks anymore and you should also find people who root for you, doesn't matter if it is a stranger. Surrounding yourself with positive people helps you grow.
Put yourself first. Always. One of my life motto : always put yourself first. I started to give zero damn about what other people want or what their demand or expectation on me. If I am not happy about it, then I am not happy about it. It is about the goddamn time you need to start taking care about yourself and your mental health. You may deny that you have a 'mental' problem, but baby girl, stress is also mental-related in the medical book, so there you go. Start asking yourself if what you are doing right now is making you happy or if it is what you REALLY wanna do. Start asking yourself what was that one thing that made you happy or if you haven't really figure it out, go on a trip or start exploring your interest. You never know what will you discover tomorrow, next week or even in the next couple months. Then start working on it. You will see so much difference on how you let things circulate around you.
Lastly, this may not be related to any of the discussion above, but I hope you'd start asking your close friends and family or anyone you know or even strangers, start asking them "Are You Okay?". Looking at the trend of this generation, we might be lacking communication and/or asking personal related matters. R U OK? is a suicide prevention charity in Australia, reminding people that having meaningful conversations with mates and loved ones could save lives. R U OK?'s vision is a world where we're all connected and are protected from suicide. Their mission is to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with people around them and support anyone struggling with life. And I am not quoting this because of marketing purposes, no. But I have the same vision with the organisation that "starting a conversation can save lives".
It doesn't have to be anyone, it can start with you. Start a conversation, ask people how they are going with their lives. It can be an eye-opening conversation, it can be anything.
I hope in this New Year, you will be able to achieve things you planned for. I hope you start small to get to where you wanna be. I hope you keep your circle right. And lastly, I hope you love yourself more.
Lots of love,