Adulting 101 · Tête-à-tête · Wri-therapy

Dear 22 year old applicant who thinks she’s getting old

We were interviewing a bunch of applicants the other day when a certain applicant told us she wanted to work for us because at the age of 22 she is getting old and her current job steers her away from what she is passionate about.

I wanted to tell her: “Seriously? You think you’re old at 22? If you only knew how young you are!”

But then, I think I also have the same mentality during my early 20s.

I was 21 and working the night shift when I was told by a mom colleague “you’re 21, you should not be working here and you should be out enjoying what life has to offer by going after what you are passionate about.”

I did not listen, worked until I was 26 and got burned out with the BPO industry, quit and went home.

I was 23 when I contributed an article in a magazine about being single. It was rejected with the editor’s note saying: “She [Me]’s good, but she’s still young.” I did not understand what that meant until I reached my 30s and finally got it: I just simply do not know yet what I am talking about.

I was 24 when I told myself that there’s just no turning back now. I don’t get how some people can just quit their job for a gap year and be bums at home. I seriously thought I’m old and pressured to find a guy and settle soon.

Before I reached 25, I got my self an apartment and lived independently. I bragged once to (now an ex) boyfriend how I love my life, the feeling of actually owning it, making all these decisions on my own. Independence is so addicting to me that I miss alone time moments in my apartment whether doing laundry or folding clothes. I miss my alone time on Sundays. In fact, if I’m completely being honest, I actually miss my independence more than I miss being in a relationship. I look back fondly of the time when I thought my life was mine.

Nobody warned me of quarter-life crisis, and life has it’s way of humbling us down.

And I was deeply humbled down.

But I’d like to give credit to myself because I did not actually, totally messed up. I had been responsibly irresponsible.

I look fondly at my 20s with stories to tell, but some times I wish I had known the wisdom of investing more time in the nitty gritty, for it’s the experience that will really make your spirit and self-esteem rich. A hard, ugly job doesn’t sound so bad. I wish I had taken the job of being a Starbucks barista. I wish I pursued the make up school I inquired about. I wish I had taken other odd jobs that I daydreamed about. But I don’t feel totally bad about it because my quarter-life crisis drove me to earning a Master’s degree.

From 26, it was a pretty fast ride to 30. And I love being in my 30s, the wisdom and character honing that I’m going through. I am grateful and frightened at the same time. Frightened because all the responsibilities that I thought I could run away from welcomed me with an overwhelming tight hug…and hugging me still. Im still treading waters, winging everything day by day and hoping for the best.

I wish and hope that I am applying the similar principles that I learned now, so that my future 40 year old self would be proud of me. But then again, 40s, as I have learned, will be a whole different ball game.

So dear 22 year old, enjoy your age. You will never be as young as you are at this moment anymore. You still wouldn’t figure out life at 32 and you would look back and see that 22 is so not old. Take your time dear, you’re still in your adulthood formative years.


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