The Loss of a Sense of Wonder from One’s Early 20’s
When I run out of things to write about I read what others are sharing on their platforms and I get some inspiration from them. This week for instance, I got my inspiration from Peaceful Dumping, I have told you about them before. I’ve subscribed to their daily newsletter, which comes with a dose of inspiration to boot. Besides it being a vegan site, which I am not, I feel like I relate to pretty much everything she shares on the daily inspiration posts. Maybe it’s because we’re around the same age, and even though in different countries with different cultural settings, we’re pretty much going through the same experiences when it comes to dealing with people, job opportunities, responsibilities, dreams and aspirations and so on.
I admire the fact that everyday she’s able to put her thoughts together and share with her followers what she’s going through, what she’s thinking, or what she’s hoping for. And to be honest, it might look like the easiest thing to do when you’re reading it, but it’s the most challenging thing to do when you’re writing it. Ask me. To take some time out of your day, sum up your thoughts, put them together and jot them down every day. Impressive. And she does it religiously. When I grow up I would like to be able to do that for you, so that you can be inspired the same way I get my daily inspiration from her. For now, what you will get from me is perhaps a weekly dose of inspiration 😉
Let’s cut to the chase now, shall we. So in an earlier post, one of her friends suggested to her to write on, “the loss of a sense of wonder from one’s early 20’s.” Because, as per her friends words, “Life used to feel like one big Enya song.” At this point I realized that I hadn’t listened to Enya in such a long time. There’s some sense of calm that her music brings – that combination of her vocals and instruments, is very spacey. You close your eyes, drift away to some place where your tension is released and you suddenly feel at ease. Enya is perfect for when your nerves are a mess, and this one was quite timely for me.
True to her friend’s words, as time goes by and you begin experiencing the mystery that is the world and what it has to offer, your sense of wonder and the enthusiasm you once had tends to fade and at a really fast pace. You’re practically racing against time. You get into the thick of things and the regularity of it – it’s like a monster with a mouth wide open waiting for you right outside your door, and when you step out, it swallows you whole and you spend your days within its confines. All the dreams and aspirations you had seem to be beyond your reach. Seem, because it’s not because that they’re impossible, but because the way your life is now set up, you’re held hostage.
I was having a pep talk with my baby sister the other day, she has just completed her undergraduate degree. One of her biggest worries at the moment, is whether she will get that J.O.B soon, because she wants to of course be independent and not have to rely on the support she gets from us. Valid. I understand the worry because I also went through the same predicament when I just finished Uni. And it can make you sleepless, because when you close your eyes, all you think about is, “what if I don’t get a job?”, “what if I don’t get the kind of job I want”, “what if I don’t keep up with my peers?”, “what if… what if…what if?”At that point it was the worst feeling, but now that I think back, it was the best time to be and to chart my career path, whether or not I had job – think personal development.
You see, in the early twenties, the realities of life haven’t hit you yet. You’re still somewhat sheltered, you’re under the wings of your parents or your guardians, and if not, you’re still able to see the world from an angle of innocence and it looks so promising, you dream without limitations. Then as you progress further, you find yourself smack in the middle of what feels like an island. It’s a survival to the fittest kind of set up. Talk of 8am-5pm’s if you’re in employment, extremely competitive and political environments and never-ending responsibilities left, right and center. You start worrying about the cost of basic commodities, utilities and your rent because you know at the end of the day, week or month, you will need to have some money to pay for them. It’s not the same any more. If you want it, you have to work extra hard for it, especially if you’re not privileged.
You encounter disappointments and rejections some of which you never imagined could happen to you – from your family, friends, lovers, colleagues, potential and even current employers and strangers. At one point those were the struggle stories told by your folks and their friends during those Easter dinners or Christmas parties, and you would laugh about it because it was funny then, but it’s not funny now that you’re experiencing it. And slowly your dreams and aspirations start taking a back seat, when they were once in the coveted co-driver seat, they had called shot gun. You start giving excuses as to why you’re not pursuing them and that becomes the story of your life. You lose that curiosity that you once had, the passion to pursue things that matter to you and everything around you seems to suck the life out of you.
Until you convince yourself that you’re still a free human and that you’re not operating within any confines. Whether it’s in your work place, in your marriage, in your relationships or in your businesses. That you can actually be who you want to be and still fit into those different roles that are required of you. You just have to learn to condition your mind to remain youthful, in your thoughts and in your deeds.
It doesn’t mean that you have to be up and about without a care in the world doing some grand YOLO things to seek happiness. It means that you can find excitement in the mundane everyday things, because they’re a part of who we are and we can’t disengage ourselves from that. Those cheap thrills, yes those ones. Don’t be to hard too please – if it’s funny, laugh; if it’s boring, be creative, make it fun; if it’s not clear, don’t be shy, ask those questions; if it’s challenging, don’t be embarrassed, ask for help; if it’s hurting, don’t suffer alone, reach out to someone; if it’s not satisfying, say it. It’s easier said than done, but it can be done. Try one every day.
If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in. If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life.~Rachel Carson
You’re not your own. And the joy of being youthful is that you know it, but when we adult it’s a whole other story. So, stay young and have a happy and fulfilling week ahead.
Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*