I keep asking myself (although I probably shouldn’t) if my 18 year old self would like the 28 year old I’ve become. Of course back then I was very idealistic and didn’t have a clue about how challenging life could get. As much as I wish I kept up with my lofty dreams of traveling the world, falling in love and becoming an overnight success, I’ve also grown up in so many ways.
I’ve helped out my family through a lot of hardships; held longterm jobs that have taught me so much in business and in life; volunteered abroad; moved a few times and survived the rough lifestyle changes; dated the few wrong people and still believe in romance; kept, lost and gained valuable friendships; mentored and shared my testimony at retreats; ran marathons; skydived; found hope after depression and most recently persevering through the a painful/challenging time of my life.
It’s easy to hate and question myself over not chasing my dreams when I had the chance. It’s easy to regret and wish I focused more on building a super stellar resume (not that my current one is weak). It’s easy to wish I had taken more leaps in finding true love. Sigh….I’ve obviously gone through hell and back with all those questions.
I’m still working through them (that may never stop, as part of life itself). However if there’s anything I’ve learned through all this it’s that life cannot be measured nor achieved in any absolute way. I’ve struggled with the thought of what legacy my grandchildren will know or what my epitaph would say. Or even if I’ve settled in a comfortable despair. Then again I’ve also realized that success isn’t only defined in paper, the ring on your finger, how many kids you have or how much you earn. Success is also about the positive changes and growth that comes out of the lowest and most challenging situations of our lives. Even though it may get bleak, the silver lining of hope can really do so much. Not to mention the faith, perseverance and support to get you through it all.
So would my 18 year old self like my 28 year old self? It may take a bit of warming up, but I really don’t see why not. It took a lot of heartache to make me see that, but I’m glad I did. Life moves on and I will continue to make my dreams come true. Maybe not as expected, but always with a treasure worth enduring. C’est la vie!