I CAN’T BELIEVE I AM NINETEEN.
It. Is. Just. Crazy. Where did all that time go? Do you know what is even crazier? Everything that has happened when I was eighteen.
When I say everything, I mean everything, from the decisions that I made, to events that occurred beyond my own control. I admit that I made silly decisions or that I could have tried harder or done better for some things but I also admit that I am still only human.
I thought that I could meet the expectations that people have for me, that I have for myself, but at the end, I was drained out with all of the efforts that I was putting in. I thought that if I made everyone else happy, I would be happy and sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.
From going through an identity crisis to heartbreaks; eventually, I had no motivation to do anything and I went through a dark, ‘off the rails’, self destructing and emotional phase where I hated life.
After some time, I realised what I was doing to myself, so I took the first small step of seeking help through family and friends but I feel like I don’t have the right to say that I was ‘depressed’ or anything. However, I also didn’t particularly enjoy the things that I had to endure.
At the time, I thought that I was like limestone, where I felt weak and could crumble at any given moment. The funny thing is, now after hearing my story, I hear people comment how I am strong or hard like a solid rock. Although I don’t really believe it, there are truths behind it.
It is quoted in the Quran: “God does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear.” (47:31) Although I have been put through a lot of things in the past, I am still alive and yet, I am still smiling as I am grateful for all the good and even bad things that have happened in my life. In fact, as I turn nineteen, I am the happiest that I have been in a very long time.
This is because I reflected on what had happened, and I learnt from them to become a better person and to have a more meaningful life. Therefore, I believe that there is hikmah, wisdom, for why things had happened; I would not be the person I am now and I would not be as driven or passionate for what I hope to achieve later on.
For my eighteenth I was gifted a diary where it would ask me a question each day and I would have to answer for the next three years; so from there I could see how much I have grown or how I had thought differently over the years. Personally, I’m really optimistic of what the future holds and it was nice for me to read what I had written over the year. It’s actually so weird because it had asked what I should celebrate for August the 5th (which is my birthday). Last year I wrote: “My 18th Birthday which is today. Felt so much love by the person I love.” This year I wrote:”That I am finally finding self-worth and self-love from myself.” How times have changed.
Now at the start of nineteen, I am being selfish and I am not sorry. I am finally focusing on myself and I am slowly trying to figure out where and how I could obtain self-worth and self-love. So I have set myself realistic goals that I would like to achieve by the time I am twenty such as saving money to travel with my best friends (even if it is to Fiji or Aussie) and doing the best that I can in university; I’ve also bought a whole stack of books for me to read so that I could expand my knowledge and look at things with new perspectives, I also joined a gym near uni (and got one month membership for free by referring to a friend (yassss!)) and I am finally following what the ‘female wing girls’ always remind each other (or namely just me): “No boys.”.
It’s amazing to see how much I have changed in a year and not only do I see this in myself but with other friends too; it’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just a part of growing up. Just make sure that you are on the right track and if not, take a step back and slow down; figure out or plan out what you need to do. Ask yourself this: “What is the next right move?” (Oprah Winfrey) The more you experience, the more you learn. And hopefully you- I mean we- learn not do the same mistakes again.
Nonetheless, I am super excited and optimistic for what the future holds. At the end of the day, I am still so young with my whole life ahead of me and that by staying positive, I could achieve anything, if I really set my mind to it. This holds true for anyone reading this as well by the way. And again, I hope to live the rest of my life with meaning.
So no matter what you have been through, just know that you are actually stronger than what you perceive yourself to be. Just please don’t lose yourself before it’s too late, do something about it rather than wasting your precious life away.