Sunday, 22 September 2013
11 Reasons I'm Grateful About Being 22

Yes, my 22nd came and went very quickly earlier this month. While I sometimes still am in denial and tell people that I'm actually, I do realise that I am now an adult. And while I find it totally weird that I am now getting so old, here are 11 reasons why I'm glad that I am still 22. I'm sure this doesn't apply to everyone, but you may relate!

1. I can still say that I'm a 'young adult' rather than an 'adult'
I can't stress on how important this is- knowing that I've not fully transcended into adulthood. I'm still able to go about my life as someone who is barely out of teenage-hood (okay maybe a little more than barely).

2. I can live independently without my family and still be fine
I'm not at that stage in my life where I'm obsessed with finding my purpose in life and family becomes very important. Yes, they are still extremely important but it is also okay when I'm not with them. What a perfect balance- I enjoy their company when I see them, but am fine when I'm not with them.

Funnily enough, this is the only picture I took for my birthday
3. I don't get judged for things I do 
A lot of adults like to judge. How many times have you heard your parents talking about how someone's actions didn't reflect what society expected of them? Things like getting your ear pierced. Or having a good time at a party.

4. I can still get compliments like 'oh you're still young!' 
22 is when you start hanging out with older people. That's when you start your professional career (well that's the case for me anyway), so you are dealing with older people with more life experience. And here's the best part: Before you join the club you can still enjoy the 'you're still very young' compliments.

5. I don't need to have my whole life 'figured out'
I can still say I don't know what I want to do in the long-term, or where I see myself in 5 years. I have a vague plan of still remaining in the corporate world and moving up the ladder, but beyond that I don't really have much figured out. My current plan would probably last for a little over a year, and that's when I go back to the drawing board. But that's fine for me- we have to deal with changes in our lives all the time anyway.

6. I can still use inexperience as an excuse
Not knowing a lot of things can sometimes make you look bad in front of people. Think about the time you went fine dining and didn't know which knife or fork to use. Some mistakes can only be forgiven for so long, and I'm grateful that because I'm 22, I still have the luxury of being able to commit mistakes and having it attributed to inexperience.

7. I'm not as hormonal as 4 or 5 years ago (though some would disagree)
While I'm nowhere near being an adult with stable lives and whatnot, being 22 means that I am very close to that stage now. My career is starting to take off and I am starting to see what life is like for many, many years to come. But it also means that I am not as hormonal as I was during my teenage years 4 or 5 (maybe even 6-7) years ago. Or perhaps a more accurate statement would be my hormone levels have stabilised? I don't know, I'm not a doctor.

Birthday at work! 

8. I get to do adult things
By this, I mean things like making an appointment to see the doctor for something trivial. Or going out without having a curfew. I get to make my own decisions on what I want to do, which can be scary sometimes since I sometimes feel as if I would be lost without counsel. But I guess learning to listen to your instincts and act on them is also part of being an adult.

9. I don't have to feel bad about walking into a Cotton On store
You know those stores- the type that teenagers go in because the clothes are cheap. Adults shun them because of the quality, or maybe it's the low prices, or something else. But I do like stores like that because the products are still things that I would wear outside of work, and I'm glad that I'm not too old for them yet- I still fit in their demographic.

10. I can still bear discomfort 
One of the biggest things I don't like about ageing is that your tolerance of discomfort diminishes. When you were little not washing your hair for days would've been fine- see how long you last now. This is especially so when travelling- I've always had the belief that adults have less tolerance, i.e they need a proper bed, they need food at certain times of day, etc. I know that that day will probably come to me, but I'm hoping that it will only happen in my 30s or later, and I can enjoy my travels in my 20s.

Tried my hand at modelling... kind of
11. I can have financial independence without the burden
I cannot imagine how exciting this is. As I'm only at the beginning of a whole new phase of my life, I don't have much. It's like when you first move houses- you have the bare essentials and that's it. The same goes for financials. Right now, I have a job that pays me enough to cover rent, utilities and my expenses. It's quite a comfortable life for now, because everything is kind of clear cut- I have things that I need to pay for every month, and so on and so forth, but I don't have to worry about major things like a mortgage or a car loan. Heck, I don't know how those things work. But for now, it means that I won't have to obsess over having to pay all these debts.

I'm sure there are more benefits, but these are all I can think of now. Granted, different 22 year-olds would have different experiences, but I thought it would be nice to contribute still.
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Saturday, 7 September 2013
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I know I'm guilty of this- constantly using 'being busy' as an excuse for many things. But I recently read an article that really changed my perspective.

Here's an excerpt:

We're all just so "busy" these days. "Slammed" in fact. "Buried." Desperately "trying to keep our heads above water." So much of this is about out-doing each other. To say that "I'm busier than you are" means I'm more important, or that my time is more valuable, or that I am "winning" at some never-finished rat race to Inbox Zero. 

What you're trying to say with these responses is: I'm busier, more in-demand, more successful. Here's the thing: it's harming how we communicate, connect, and interact. Everyone is busy, in different sorts of ways. To assume that being "busy" (at this point it has totally lost its meaning) is cool, or brag-worthy, or tweetable, is ridiculous. 

By lobbing these brags, endlessly puffing our shoulders about how "up to my neck" we are, we're missing out on important connections with family and friends, as well as personal time.

That made me pause and reflect. Yes, I constantly say that I am busy whenever someone asks me how I've been doing. And it is true- I have been keeping myself occupied with various commitments and goals. But I guess the one big difference here is that by busy, I do include my social engagements.

The article ended on a cheerful note, calling for all of us to keep an eye on our negativity and steer conversations away from that, instead focusing on what is making us happy. It is rather stupid to think that being busy makes you better off. We constantly wave our busy-ness around as if it is something to be proud of, and use it as an excuse to get away with things. I have done it, and have it done to me- how many times have you tried to schedule a catch-up with a friend only to be rejected or have them cancel on you because 'something came up' or that they're 'really busy'? My guess is, quite a bit.

Upon reading that article, 3 things popped into my mind.

1) It's about life's purpose 
We all have different priorities in our lives as we age. As a child, you don't think twice about having food on the table. As a university student you think about the parties you want to enjoy. As a working adult, you fret over whether you would have enough money left over to save. But really, at the end of the day, 'being busy' gives us the satisfaction that we are doing something meaningful with our lives, real or perceived.

The current society we live in look down on those whose life has 'no purpose'- people who make enough to scrap by for the day and with no worries about tomorrow, taking each day as it comes. We degrade people who seem to laze around all day doing nothing. To a certain extent, I do think that these opinions are justified, but it comes because we are inherently obsessed with finding our 'purpose in life'. Some turn to spirituality, others turn to work or volunteering. By talking about how busy we are, it's actually saying how fulfilling our life is.

2) We really are busy, and you're not important enough
One of the most important things I've realised in the last few years is that if someone cares about you enough, they would be willing to carve time out to be with you no matter what. But sometimes, when a friend tells you they have to cancel on dinner because they're busy (or some other work-related excuse), it strikes me as being the same as saying 'you're not important enough'.

Think about it- if you were dating someone you really like, and you both are crazy over each other, it doesn't matter if both of you are lawyers or doctors working crazy schedules. You will find time for each other. But it is when someone doesn't matter as much, and you can't be bothered making the effort, that you find it appropriate to use busy-ness as an excuse. So really, you are not missing out on anything- you chose to miss out because you don't think that these people are worth spending time with. Harsh truth, but if you think about it, I'm sure you have done it to someone.

3) We need balance
Having said all that, we are living in a world where we are constantly connected and on-call. Work never ceases. How many articles have you read about the statistics of work outside of work, i.e. doing work at home or checking your emails during vacations? I have read it a lot.

Technology has made us all control freaks- we think that our companies cannot survive without us and they are constantly depending on us. It is partly true, but that definitely cannot be healthy. Technology has perhaps spoiled us; we all have our work emails on our phones now. But it is also important to have a balance- something not a lot of companies and people are aware of. I'm not sure about how it works in Malaysian companies (though I hear it is pretty scary), but I am very thankful that I don't work in an environment where I'm expected to work overtime constantly. This allows me to find time to go to the gym to get my fitness levels up, meet up with friends and enjoy some precious alone time.

Poster picture for 'balance'- an interesting development don't you think?
What do you think? Are you too busy in your life?
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Sunday, 1 September 2013
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Happy September! I'm hoping that by immersing myself in my blog a little more I'll be able to write a little more often.

I really do have a confession- I've been having a lot of writer's block. The thing is, nothing comes to my mind anymore when I try to think of something witty. Heck, even right now, when I'm typing this up, I do not have an idea for the title. So whatever it ends up as, you know that I haven't even thought about it when I came here.

But I have been thinking of getting a little more into blogging again, simply because of the nature of my work. You see, I started working in a digital marketing company, and so a lot of the things I do revolves around the cyber world and of course, blogging is a big part of it.

Which is why I've been thinking of taking this blog in another direction. But where to? What can I possibly write about constantly? That's a question that's been leaving me stumped for quite a while (and also partially explains why I haven't been updating much). I would like to write something other than just my own life; I'm not doing my writing skills any good that way. I bet that if I tried to write a review for a movie I saw recently it would pale in comparison to what I used to be able to come up with.

So be patient while I do a little soul-searching. In the meantime, here's a video about multiple dimensions and universes.

Have a great week ahead!
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