This is What You’d Say to a 25-Year-Old kid When You Have Figured Much Out In Your Life

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Are there people around you who behave in a way, like as if they have already figured everything out?

Your parents were used to be like that in your head. Maybe. Until one day you realise that they are far from super smart and wise than you thought. Or some older and more sophisticated friends. They are usually those who you look up to, who seem like having peaceful and balanced lives, and always give you good advice to deal with stuff in a “grownup” way, since you are the little kid who gets lost easily.

Like my friend, Nile.

Nile is about my parents’ age. But since we both like to talk about everything in the world, we became friends very naturally. Happily married with two children, he’s sportive, healthy, good with people, and has an open mind to the world. Preciously, he also has a very critical mind. I’m still suffering from my quarter-life crisis. For me, he seems to be one of those people who already have answers to everything in life.

One day, I turned to him with my career choice problem.

“Nile, I’m stuck now… I’m supposed to apply for a well-paid company job… it’s good for my CV. But I don’t know if I really want that in my life right now. I’m still young, fresh-grad from university. I need to travel and experience the outside world more, before everything else drags me back. Thinking about all this is definitely not good for my job-search. I’m just not motivated anymore…”

“When I was young, like you, I got a permanent position offer at a huge multinational corporate. But I turned it down. The reason was that I also got a chance to teach English in Norway for a year. It was perfect. Because it was a foreign land for me and it’s also temporary. I felt that one-year delay from the “grown-up” working life would be exactly what I needed at that stage of my life. Then when I was in Norway, I got to meet my wife… I had no idea what was gonna happen, just felt at that moment that it was right, without thinking much about what was going to come next. It obviously turned out great for me.

“I’m not telling you what to do. I can’t. I can only say for my own life and not for yours. I’m just telling you, that it is useless to think too much about the possibilities in the future. We cannot calculate every step we take and always precisely land at the destination on which we set our eyes in the past. Living a life is not like playing chess. It’s much more complicated and without the ultimate result of winning or losing.”

Indeed. How can we even start predicting our own future? Great prophets in the world history were either spoken to by God, or the greatest scholars. But they never predicted any individual’s future. Even fortune-tellers do not tell your fortune by calculation.

Planning is such a “grownup” thing. Kids never plan. But “making a plan” is almost the first thing we learn from our parents in order to “grow up”. Because we can feel naturally, so the only thing we learn is to think. “Thinking ahead” is planning. It’s good for us, most of the time. But when it’s crucial to feel first, we should try to delay the thinking mode. Feeling gives the general direction, planning (calculation) is in charge of the specific steps in that direction.

“Find the balance. Balance is always the key.” Nile said.

 

 

 

30 Days Writing Challenge – Day 10

 

Meditation Can Make Me Forget to Write a Title

This morning, I woke up, feeling stressed, dreadful, and distracted. It’s not what anybody wants — in a morning when it’s sunny, birds chirping outside of your window… Good start of the day — it shouldn’t be so hard.

“If now I’m going back to sleep, I will have nothing else but nightmare.” I thought. So I decided to do a meditation session with an audio guide from “I am here“.

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I woke up feeling so much lighter.

The problems didn’t disappear. They are still there. But after the meditation, they seems to be “beside me” instead of “inside my head”, as how I felt before.

The world hasn’t change. I have.

I still have obstacles blocking my way, but at least I’m not carrying them on my shoulder anymore.

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Job searching leading nowhere is one of my problems.

“It’s not that bad.” I’ve learnt to say to myself quite often lately. Job searching is never easy, not to mention if you are looking for a job that requires proficiency of a language which is not your native tongue. It barely matters how good your language skills are.

But I won’t let myself accept a job that I’m not really interested in. Just to avoid wasting my time. Whether every day, every hour is enjoyable, is the key to my life choices — at least it should be. Using my summer to spend with family and to go on vacations, while searching for jobs in media and communication related field, is the right choice comparing to spending the whole summer in front of the computer screen, worrying whether I could get enough money for the month.

Be true. This is my challenge, also the solution of some problems.

Afraid of loosing something can be a sign of its importance, but it can also mean that I’ve been trapped in the dark void of possessiveness. Wanting more, keeping more. They are beautiful things, useful books. But my luggage only becomes heavier and heavier. Possessing more and more things grands me psychological satisfaction, but it makes me unhappy.

Be true to others. Because, it’s not just about being honest with the others so that it’s “the right thing” to do. Being true to others also allow your life to be easier. Being true to yourself results in saving your own time and energy to persuade yourself into doing something that you will possibly regret.

 

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What is making you, in this moment, happy? Like Milan Kundera’s Kalinin —

“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.”

What’s considered “boring”, such as repetition of certain things, is peace. Excitement cannot last. Inner peace and gratitude can.

Humans have brains that make us complicated: we think of the past and the future, we imagine the best and the worst. Dogs are simple. Emotions can go up and down. But they can be more focused than humans. The ones that can focus as well as dogs are human babies. Their mind is like sky. Sunny, rainy, cloudy, windy — everything is possible. But when the clouds float away, there is the clear sky again.

We are too used to our complexity as a marvelous gift from god. Yet burdening it with too much from the outside world is diminishing its functionality. Now it’s time to combine it with our instinctive ability to focus. Getting lost in the chaotic world? — This is why meditation helps.

 

 

30 Days Writing Challenge – Day 9