You know when one finds themselves looking at their life, we tend to have two sights, forward and backwards. We spend a majority of our time focused on the future and what is to come. Always planning and anxious about where we are going and trying to ensure that we are doing the groundwork to get to where we are going. We spend so much time immersed in the what ifs and little time in the now. We spend equally as much time studying our past and trying to piece together the areas we could have done better, the things we have experienced and the things we wish had been different.
Once bitten, twice shy – has always been a statement that would twirl around in my mind.
This is because it is true.
Growing up, I was the child who wore many hats. I was both an introvert and an extrovert. I was both talkative, yet very withdrawn. I found comfort in spending time alone reading books, discovering worlds I would never travel, by authors I would never meet.
There was a day I came across a lovely little girl. I was visiting with a friend who knew her mother, and immediately took to the precious little girl. In no time she got comfortable and started chatting to me. She was in a headwrap towel, from a hair wash as I learnt from her mother. At some point she got agitated and insisted her mum remove the towel and that her hair dry and they could style it later. I was amazed at the length of her hair and commented on how long it is, and that she looks like a barbie doll. She looks at me with confusions, looked at her doll and goes on to say, “no, I cannot look like a barbie doll, because barbie dolls have long straight hair.”
I have spent much of my life looking into the lives of people I admire. I have always been one who believes in the power of learning and not making mistakes that can be avoided by learning from those that have walked the path before you. I take great pride in seeking and gathering information from people I admire. It is something I tremendously enjoy doing. However, it gave me the false impression that in taking time to learn from people and asking what the things they wish they knew when they were growing up, it would somewhat save me from making mistakes.
Ever look at the world and all you want to do is shoulder the burden of everyone who is hurting. You want to soothe away the pain of others, you want to wipe away the tears of those hurting and you want to be the superhero of a tragic story. When you look at the stats of world hunger it turns your stomach, never mind a picture of a child so food deprived that she stares starvation and death in the eyes. The pain we see in our friends and family, wanting to help, wanting to save and feeling helpless. When that becomes your burden, wanting to make the world lighter, less painful and less deprived. You want to shoulder everyone’s problems, but where to start, apparently the answer is with you.
There is something about being in your twenties that puts an immense pressure on you. It is as though you are fast walking in a race and no matter how much you try to run, you cannot seem to get yourself to do more than a minute worth of running. It leaves you feeling exhausted. You try to pace yourself and walk at a speed that allows you to still be in the race, but it feels like for every minute you walk, at least 15 people have passed you. You try to convince yourself – own race, own pace – but the truth is, for every person who surpasses you, you feel a great surge of angst and anxiety.
When I was in university, I used to be consistent. Consistent in giving up. Now, stay with me. Every beginning of the year when the new year’s resolutions would roll around, I would promise myself that this would be the year of fitness.
2016 was the year of fitness. NOT.
2017 was the year of fitness. NOT.
2018 was the year of fitness. NOT.
No, I do not mean it in the sense of deleting one app and then leaving the others. No, I mean I went and deleted Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I did not end there; I went and deleted LinkedIn and Telegram. As though that was not enough, I went and deleted WhatsApp. l know, at this point we realize two things.
Financial Literacy 104 – Activated