Things were easier when I was younger. I felt more confident, like I could achieve everything that I want. When I was in high school, I wasn’t part of the ‘in-crowd’ but I know well enough that people knew me. I scored well in most of my exams; I was part of the Student Council, and the Senior Council, which made me feel important. During that time of my life, I had everything planned. I knew what I wanted, I had this idea in my head of what my life would be when I enter university and what would happen when I finish. Things are just not as simple anymore. My friends and I are all in different crossroads. I’m okay with my life, overall.
I know that I’m lucky to have my family and my friends. Compared to other people, I really have nothing to complain about. But in my mind, I want a different life. I want more than what I have. There’s got to be something better out there for me, something more that will make me more special and fulfilled instead of feeling like I’m stuck in limbo. Trying to be honest with myself is not an easy task, because it meant confronting my failures and I’m afraid that I won’t be able to conquer the obstacles ahead of me and I will live my life in the sidelines, watching as other people live their life and achieve things that I want to achieve.
I don’t want that to happen to me. I want to look back in my life and be happy of what I have and not regret that I didn’t have the courage to try different things, that I didn’t try and aim higher. So, I am taking this opportunity to learn and face my fears, or my obstacles one by one. Baby steps, as they say. If I want to live my life the way I want it to be, I have to start doing something. I just can’t sit and dream of things I want, I need to start making things happen, and I need to realise that I may not be able to have it all, but I can have more, if I start doing more.
Dreaming about the life I want can only come true if I start to do something about it. I want to read this in ten, twenty and thirty years and be proud of what I have accomplished, and not shake my head in shame that I never stepped up to make things better for me. If I want to be able to read this paper thirty years from now, the first thing I need to do is make sure I become healthy, and stay healthy. I know what to do, but I’ve never gotten around to doing anything. I know that I need to exercise, and I’ve done it before, I just never continued on doing the right thing.
My goal for my health then is to start exercising again, but this time, I will continue it. Part of my failure I think is that I expect too much, when I don’t lose one kilo in one week, I get discouraged. I need to understand that not everyone can lose one kilo a week. I need to accept that I may not lose weight as fast as the others. I need to set goals for myself and not compare myself to others. Above everything else, I need to be realistic that if I am going to achieve this, I need to have the patience and the discipline to carry things through.
There are many things I can try to start this goal. I don’t need to spend a lot of money to lose weight. There are many sources, especially on the internet that can help me do this. Looking around on line, I think I will do a mixture of things. I can start running. I’ll start small, like running or jogging for ten minutes, then after a week, maybe I can try for fifteen, and after another week I will try twenty. In between running, I will also try and lift weights. Like with my running, I will start small. Above all, I will try and not be unrealistic of what I can achieve.
Eating a healthy diet will now be a part of my new routine. I will eat more vegetables and fruits and less junk food. I will drink more water and less soft drink. I don’t know if it will ever be possible for me to completely cut out soft drinks, but I will try and cut it down. This maybe a harder goal to achieve, but as my plan with everything else, I will start small and not expect miracles. What I will do is eat three types of fruits a day at least. They can all be different, or the same, but I will aim to eat fruit every day. I will also make sure I have more vegetables.
It will not be easy, but if I want to be healthy, eating healthy would need to be part of my plan. The only thing that would make it easier is that I do not have to give up alcohol or cigarettes as I do not like them. Because I do not smoke or drink, I do not have to worry about giving up this addiction, especially smoking as I heard it is a difficult habit to break. The next thing I am reflecting on is my family. I am not as good of a child as I should be to my parents and to my sister. I need to contribute more around the house and not let them do everything for me.
This should be the most simple of all my goals, really. I can begin in my bedroom by making sure it is always clean and I put away my books, my clothes and everything else where they belong. I will sweep the floor and make sure the furniture in my room is not gathering dust. Outside of my room, I will sweep the floor and help with the laundry. My mother is getting old, and I know that it is not that easy for her to do the cooking and the cleaning so I will help her. This is probably be a good time to mention that I really can’t cook that well.
My mother can look at our refrigerator, take out a few vegetables and she will be able to feed us that tastes as if she followed a recipe. To this day, I don’t know how she does it, but I will start learning how. There are many things I can do around the house to make things better for my parents, and they are really simple. It will take effort on my part, but I know I can do them, I’ve done them before, and I just don’t like doing them. I’ve never asked, but I’m pretty sure my mother does not like doing everything on her own either, but she does them, and she may scold us a few times, but she still does them for us.
It’s about time I do the same for her. I don’t want to be a burden to my parents. I want them to see that I can take care of myself, and that I can take care of them. Thinking about it, this part of my goal is so easy to achieve. I can improve my life by simply staying inside the house. Maybe I just spent too much time dreaming of what could be that I can’t see that the life I want can start at home, in my very own room. I don’t have to go very far to reach my goals. It starts at home, if I fail this, then how can I move forward? The more I think about it, the more I know I can’t fail.
This is almost like a test to see if I can be fully independent and be able to take care of people that will be dependent to me. My family is important to me, and I want to be able to show them that, and be able to make them feel that. Helping around the house is such a simple concept, and when I think about it, it comes down to being responsible, and I need to take up some responsibility inside the house. Speaking of being responsible, another trait I need to develop is to be responsible when it comes to money. There are so many things that I want, but don’t really need.
I have a new phone that I use now. I have about five old phones that still work, but they’re not the latest, so I kept on replacing them. My old phone still works just fine, but I wanted one with the GPS, with the internet connection, I wanted a smart phone. Do I need it? No. But I brought it anyway because everyone I know has one. If I didn’t buy this new phone, I’d have more money in the bank. Although, I really don’t have much in the bank as I should have. Going on holidays, buying new things and going out with friends is just more enjoyable than putting money in the bank.
The latest GFC (Global Financial Crisis) however has gotten me thinking, including that Ponzi scheme. I need to make sure I’m smart about my own money. This will be my future when I am old and not working. I just can’t trust anyone with what I’ve earned. Reading about well educated people losing their savings because they handed it over to someone else is a lesson that people need to learn. If it sounds too good, it probably is, I don’t want to be sixty or seventy looking at an empty bank account because I handed my money over to someone who promised to make me more money.
To start, I really should stop spending on items that I don’t really need. This goal can tie up with my earlier goals. If I buy fruits and vegetables and not junk food, I am bound to save more money. If I stay at home and become responsible for the house chores, I will not be outside spending money on things I really don’t need. There are so many temptations to give up though. When I am surrounded by people with all the latest gadgets, from their newest phone to the iPad, I keep thinking that I want it too. I can afford it, so why not?
Instead of giving into temptation, this time, I will take a step back and think of the five phones, one iPod, and one camera. All in good condition but not being used because I wanted the latest model. If I want to have a good quality of life and not rely on government hand outs when I am old, I need to start making changes now. Like my health, it is an investment for my future, it is something that only I have control over, and not even my parents and my friends can help me if I don’t start saving now. My health, my family and my savings plan are things I have control over. This next goal is a bit trickier.
I’m hardly the next Donald Trump, and I don’t want to be. I need to start taking steps to make sure I’m in a career that I like, that I can learn from and develop further. There’s going to be a lot of bumps in the form of rejections headed my way, but I won’t let it stop me. There’s only so much control I have when it comes to my career. I can apply and apply and not get a job. I may not give up, but this road is going to be bumpy. Maybe that’s what I need to reach my overall destination of having a much more fulfilling life. It may be hard, but I’m actually looking forward to the challenge.
At this moment in my life, I need to get my foot in the door. I know that once I’m in, I’d be able to navigate myself better, make more informed decisions. It’s different once you are ready to work compared to when you were still a child thinking of what you want to do. The older you get, the more experience you get, you either become determined to pursue your goal, or to pursue another avenue. I had a friend who was determined to become a lawyer and revolved her life into making sure she becomes one. She now works as a journalist and is completely happy where she is.
It wasn’t because she failed at law, once she was there, she realised it’s different from what she envisioned when she was a child. I wanted to be many things when I was younger that I don’t even remember what I really want. I want to make sure I don’t get into a career that I will hate and spend the next half of my life miserable. Wherever I end up in, I will learn from the people I work with, my superiors and develop my skills. Sooner or later, I will make a move, and I need to be sure that I know what I’m doing and that I will be ready for any new challenges or any consequences of my actions.
This area of my life is such a blur at the moment, and I’d rather play it safe than take a risk. This area of my life has so many factors to consider, and the only other area of my life that is even more of a blur, is my love life, which is currently non-existent. There, I said it. I have no love life. Depending on my mood, I don’t care. There are times when I wish I was with someone, and there are times when I am glad that I’m not. I would never ever admit it out loud, but there’s a part of me that wants it more and more.
Among my friends, there are only three of us that are single, and I know that number will soon decrease, I don’t exactly know how love fits in the grand scheme of things when it comes to my life. I mean, I know I can’t live without the love of my family or my friends, but the love of a partner, is probably more negotiable. I can’t live without good health, I can’t live without my family, and I can’t survive without savings and a career, but a love life? I think I can live without it. The question then becomes, do I want to? Like I said, I have my moments.
Sometimes I want to be with someone, sometimes I don’t. I don’t even know why I think this is a subject worth mentioning in my quest to have the life I want to live if I’m so confused by it. When I was younger, I don’t even remember wanting a husband with two kids and a white picket fence. When I was younger, I wanted a fabulous apartment in the city on the upper floors so I can watch the city lights from my balcony. At this very moment however, thinking about this particular subject, what do I want from a partner? I want him to be smart; I want him to be funny, loyal and respectful.
I don’t even have a ‘type’. I don’t care what nationality he is, or what colour his hair or his eyes are. If I have to describe him in a physical sense, then I want him to be tall. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the girly-girl in me who wants someone she can lean on. I really don’t know. The whole concept confuses me. After reading through what I wrote, I’m actually quite excited and more optimistic, putting it on paper makes it more real, more possible to achieve my goals. I watched the movie “Invictus”, and reminded me of a quote in the movie that I believe fits this project.
The line came from a poem of the same title by William Ernest Henley: “I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul. ” I can’t think of anything else that fits this project perfectly. I know that I am the only one who can write this. I am also the only one that can make things happen in my life. I have a long road ahead of me, and I will be ready to make that journey. When I read this again in the future, no matter how long that is, I want this paper to be the testament of my beginning, and I can then write my own ending.