I think your 20s are the hardest part of life. I mean, everyone goes on about how hard it is to be a teenager, but actually I think it’s tougher to be in your 20s because you’re expected to be a grownup and expected to earn your own living and be successful and I think you feel like a kid still.
– Nigel Cole
As you may or may not know, I will no longer be a teenager anymore as I am slowly approaching the big 2-0. It honestly does feel like I turned 18 not too long ago, so I am pretty sad to be turning 20 and leaving behind my teenage years. I feel like as I am entering a new decade, I am obliged to reflect on what have I learnt in my teenage years…
Lately I’ve been thinking about change. Birthdays and ages, (in particular going from 19 to 20) seem to be the mark of significant change. Every year, you are expected to grow older and wiser. For me, this marks the social change that I am no longer a child, and instead, I now have to enter this big wide world of becoming an adult. Which is very daunting.
However, there’s a bit contradiction, as there is so much debate over whether people can change or not. As the saying goes ‘A leopard never changes its spots’. So does a person really change? I know that change happens because I see myself change a little by little each day. The question is how much am I going to change? I mean, for me, I feel that I am constantly surrounded by change. I am sure we all can say that we are not the same person we were last year, or five years ago, or even ten years ago. In order to grow, we have to change. I feel that all I ever do is change because all I ever do (and want to do) is learn from my mistakes so that I won’t make the same mistake again.
Yes, in some ways I have changed and learnt from those mistakes. From my teenage years, I have learnt not to wear so much eyeliner. I remember that I thought I genuinely looked good colouring in my waterline as thick as I possibly could. To the point where I would come home from school and have the biggest panda eyes ever. Not my finest phase might I add… I learnt that popularity in high school means shit all after you leave. And once you leave school, you will soon realise how petty high school can be, and that having a few really close amazing friends triumphs having 50 odd flaky friends.
Ultimately, change is an enviable part of life. I am still young. I have a whole lifetime ahead of me, waiting for me to change, to make those mistakes, to pick myself up again and to grow. Some things I feel will never change. I believe that I am a kind, loving person who puts people’s needs above my own. I hope that never changes. I am someone who wears my heart on my sleeve. I am someone who is going to follow my heart over my head. I think no matter how many times someone will tell me I am making a mistake, I’m still going to do it. I don’t think that’s ever going to change.
In my twenties, I hope that the changes I make are only for the better. I think in this world we are living in, we are constantly trying to change ourselves, as a cause of opinions of others, magazines, media, and we tend to lose ourselves. We end up resenting the person staring back at us in the mirror. I don’t want to end up not liking what I see. I want to be proud of who I’ve become. I trust my ability to know what’s right for me without having to doubt who I am when I get things wrong. I realise that there is always room for improvement and I fully commit to consistently try to become a better person in all aspects of my life.
So here’s to another ten years of insane drunk nights, ice cream break up sessions with the girls, a pathway of dreams and a happy Jess.