24 years later


There is this certain pressure on me every time I turn a year older. The kind of pressure that can perfectly be encapsulated by two questions: How have I changed? Where am I headed? To say that I have not learned anything would put my 24th year to sham; to say that I got both myself and my life completely figured out would be a total overstatement.

Fresh from college, my head was filled with ideals. I had very specific expectations from life and how the world should be. Now, a full year into working for a publishing company, I am greeted by the learning that the world never bows down to our wishes. The world just is.

I suppose I have changed in the sense that my idealistic self has been chipped off by blocks. At 16, I would be sad at the thought of this. At 24, it’s now a simple fact of life I’m grateful to slowly learn and accept. With the lack of perfect situations life has to offer, I’m starting to develop a renewed sense of appreciation for the tiniest details that in a way have a glimmer of perfection

Having good breakfast, drinking great coffee, feeling the wind on my cheek, having hilarious chats during traffic—suddenly these make the highlights of my days. I realize that when I truly appreciate these almost-minute day-to-day details, everything becomes lighter. Heck, the whole world can be in full-blown chaos and I could care less because of the sumptuous breakfast I just had.

This isn’t something we learn when we are young and hyper-focused on the glitz and glam of “bigger” and more prominent events of life. I suppose this is something we learn when we come of age, and I’d like to think I’m on my way to fully understanding this.

Where I’m headed, I can’t tell you yet. In fact, I’m still in the process of knowing everything there is to know out here before I pin down where (or what it is) I want to direct my days to. But here’s a precious take away from my 24th year: It really isn’t so much about the destination, no. It’s all about the walk – the precious moments that make up my days and the memories I create with the people around me. And if I just have a complete understanding of what it is to live well – in spite the world being just is – I’d like to be able to say, upon reaching my final destination, “now that was a really, really good walk.”

I wrote this 5 days after my 24th birthday last October. I wanted to share with you this very personal mental note from me originally only to myself, but now also for you. :) 

Look back: January.


How my month of new beginnings was marked:

1 Awesome officemates.

2 Slowly but surely easing into work-work-work!

3 Cake was shared on my parents’ 35th wedding anniversary.

4 My nephew turned 4 with a chocolate fruit loop cake.

5 Korean food with childhood friends.

6 Food trips with officemates. Ribs, anyone?

7 Reunited with old friends.

8 A life-long promise and a kiss were shared by two good friends.

9 Life’s sweets of friendship and gifts of words.