Just to give some context first, all three of us have now endured 21 years of youth and we’ve officially well and truly passed our teenage years. We, as three individuals vary in all aspects; personality, style, hobbies and especially humour (we all know who the funniest is; obviously me).
Reaching 21 is a quite a milestone. Many people deem it as the big step to adulthood and being responsible, indepen-blah blah…you get the drift! But others? Others may see the big 2-1 as just another reason to go out and get so drunk that they think ”9+10 = 21”.
Really hope people get the reference there. If you don’t then allow this to explain – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLBOn0Whhyc if you had to watch this then the reference is already ruined so you might as well just laugh out of pity.
21 is an iconic age for many different people in the way they feel they should make important life decisions and choices. Personally, I don’t believe that there’s a right or wrong way for people to move forward in their lives; to each to their own. If anything, following someone else’s perception of what you should or should not do is the only the way that is wrong. People are too worried with being trendy and ‘in’, that their best qualities can become diluted and washed out because it’s not within the expected norm. We need to realise that we now live in a society where it’s acceptable to be yourself and you shouldn’t have to worry about judgement. Obviously some people struggle with finding themselves and understanding what it is they want in life, so if you’re one of the lucky ones that have managed to sort yourself out – good job, but try not to rub your personal revelations in others’ faces, especially if they’re still working on it.
For me, turning 21 isn’t a drastic increase in maturity, responsibility etc., it is actually quite the opposite. I’ve been brought up having to accept responsibility and to grow up fast to cope with many ups and downs that life offers. I can honestly say it’s caused some problems here and there but there’s no point in moaning, whining and feeling sorry for myself; so I just have to keep going and learn from my experiences. All of these situations throughout my life have only gave me a better ability to cope with the challenges that life throws at me. I’m not saying it’s plain sailing because unfortunately it’s not, life really sucks does sometimes.. but as I said, self pity won’t resolve anything.
Reaching 21 has given me the peace of mind to accept that I am at an age that I should be making decisions for myself rather than purely in consideration for those I care for. You can only make so many decisions in the benefit for another before you eventually give up your own life, and I am not prepared to do that. Perhaps it may seem selfish but I’ve been brought up being told that my parent’s sacrifices were made so my siblings and I could have the freedom with our own futures, and I intend to make sure their sacrifice was worth it by making the right decisions with my personal growth as the priority.
Without making this too self-absorbed, I would like to reiterate that I don’t think the right way to live is to rely solely on other people’s opinion of what you should do and who you should be, but rather allow them to nurture and advise but always let yourself remain in control.
Whenever I doubt myself in my choices, I always remember a few simple things and judge whether I feel it’s right for me or not. Understandably these unwritten rules are not set in stone and even I have days where I slip and forget about them but I make the effort to engrain them in my day to day as much as possible.
1. Stick to my conscience; I try to make sure I can live with my decisions and be sure I know what I have to sacrifice with my choices.
2. Trying not to be so cynical; life is full of ups and downs but I try to look at positives more than negatives because I honestly feel life is too short to whirl into a pit of self pity and negativity. Do not waste opportunities and chances that could potentially make the most life changing experience.
3. I don’t forget my roots; I am completely honest with myself when acknowledging where and what I come from.
4. Family; I feel this point alone should have it’s own post but I’ll try not to get too in-depth about this. Family (in a Chinese household especially) is a huge part of life and the traditions and customs are always present, more potent in some generations than others. Filial piety is a term that my siblings and I have lived by for years even when it comes to the smallest things and the phrase has caused a lot of torture and frustration but the expression has trumped our perspectives and opinions with no end. Regardless of all these years of difficulty and differences, I remember those who made me into the person I am. To be the person I am today, I owe it all to my close family and friends. No matter what happens, they are my ‘drive’ to be better to be more successful in aspiration for us all to have a better future, together. Never take your family or friends for granted, be sure to always appreciate and give back.
I think this list will lengthen as I develop myself and perhaps it will be a positive thing that it does, but I can promise that these four things will always remain my pillars in life. If you ask me what I believe in twenty years when I’m successful I am sure it will still be these same four ideals.
In 21 years of my life, I have been fortunate with a lot of my opportunities and successes so far and I won’t forget them, nor will I forget those that have been there to support and encourage me. My choices have never been flawless or perfect but I’ve made sure I’ve learnt and adapted fast.
To everyone that is experiencing or going to experience their 21st, don’t put pressure on yourself to suit others. Enjoy and keep pursuing what you want to pursue, because there’s so many great opportunities out there to be taken advantage of. Hope you all a 21st that’s worth remembering!
x o x o, Fong.
Ps really hope people get that lovely ‘xoxo’ reference and don’t think I’m actually capable of such cringe.
Some ‘squad goal’ pics of just some of the people that I couldn’t have managed without for my first 21 years in life, sorry I don’t have pictures for more of you but thank you all so much.