I was having lunch…well, more like watching her eat lunch, and in the midst of our conversation, I got reminded that I’m actually more 24 than 23, I turn a year older in about a month. I’ve been holding on the age 23 for a long time. I don’t want to grow older. When I was 16, I couldn’t wait to be 21+, but now I feel like nah…I’m growing old way too fast, can someone slow this life thing down.

I kinda dread turning 24. As a teen I always had this desire to do something remarkable by the time I was 21/22. I wanted to be some rich whiz kid or have mad degrees and be famous or whatever. I fear getting to 28/29 and feeling like I haven’t done anything with the potential I feel within me, (or that I have deluded myself to believing I have). I feel like time is running out.

When I was 16, I had all these plans and hopes for my future, things I would do, the person I would become. Now at 24, I am tempted to wonder in despair “What have I accomplished in the past 8 years?” I may not have all the accolades I expected to have by now, but I cannot deny that the past 3 years have given me such precious gifts of insight, understanding and growing maturity. I have learnt so many things I didn’t even know I was supposed to know.

I was supposed to be a millionaire by 21, or somewhat close to that. I had all the cliché dreams of cars, houses, vacation spots, world travel, fame, and so on. I quickly found out that I really don’t have such an intense motivation or drive for some of these things, they don’t excite me all that much. It’s quite the tense dilemma, wanting to do big things and at the same time not having enough burning desire for it. I’m rather lazy I admit. So I’m really just focused on doing remarkable and cool things now. I have a very different picture of my life ahead at 24 that I did at 21. I now want things like world travel, collaboration, personal growth, happiness, cool design projects, change, skill acquisition, freedom and self-knowledge. It’s all too apparent to me that the castles you build eventually become your prisons.

I’m skeptical of the lifestyles and the rich and famous, material things are cool, but in my opinion, only up to a certain point. I seek my thrills in variety. I fear getting stuck in one career path forever or in some manner of rut. I guess that’s why I like the idea of being a multidisciplinary designer; we get to interact with diverse fields and people (if we do it correctly), it can lead to an exciting and interesting life.

So me at 24, and me at 21…quite different people. Life is incredibly unpredictable. If you had asked me at 18 if I would be the person I am now, doing the things I do now, I would have said no. If 6 years ago, I couldn’t really imagine my life now, then how can I predict the next 6 years with any form of certainty? I guess you really can’t.  Life is really what happens when you are busy making other plans.

So in retrospect, I’m fine with turning 24. I have something a lot of people don’t find this early in life, a clear understanding of self and ambition. With the wisdom I have picked up so far, I’m excited to tackle the coming years earnestly, living, loving, laughing and creating epic shit.

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