I remember one day in my mid-20s, I spent some time on the beach and it was amazing. I had enough resources, friends, and small disposable money to enjoy the scenery. So much fun! I follow whatever advice of “I wish I knew this when I was in my 20s” articles religiously. One of the articles that I read mentioned that when you lost in a trip, you’d find yourself. I followed that, purposely getting the hardest way possible to the beach that I wanted to visit. My cousin, my brother, his girlfriend and I went to the beach after the dusk. We got lost along the way. We found a way afterwards in the darkness of the virgin beach. I didn’t find myself when I was losing my way. I was just simply lost.
I just read this blog post about traveling realistically in someone’s 20s and somehow it reminds a lot about how I spend time and travel my 20s. I was not crazy traveler back then. I traveled enough and I enjoyed the trips. I’m now in my 30s. If you’re reading this, you’re in your 20s and you need some healing moments but unable to afford a trip plus getting a lot of pressures, kindly read this. Or not. It’s your choice. Take your time.
When I was 23, I often said “Oh my gosh, I’m so old!”. My cousin scolded me, “No, you’re still young and you’re 23. Please act like it!” She just didn’t know that I felt so old and hopeless in my early 20s. Being young is not enough. A lot of pressures coming up, often unrealistically. Why are you 23 and wasting your time? Look around! There are some people in their 18 can do so much! What did you do? What is your job? Is your job secure enough? How do you portray yourself in public? Do you even try hard?
In my 20s, it’s natural for me that I spent some time travelling for Instagram posts but of course not crazy far. I spent my 20s quitting my jobs (as people easily said) and it was really hard. Understanding what’s my passion? I tried! Getting the realest job in Jakarta! I tried and failed miserably. Travelling around Asia? No, of course, I didn’t! I didn’t have that much resources and felt left out.
In my 30s, I often look back and give a pat to myself. I did my very best. I remember I pulled out every string in me just for working from the dawn until almost midnight every day just to keep my chin high because I didn’t want to beg for some money to my relatives. They helped me enough and because of their helps, they felt that they owned my already miserable life. They even mocked at my decision. They said I was stupid for working too hard. My mom’s illness seemed simple to them. They didn’t know that it almost costed a life to my mom. Only one cousin, mas Iok, defends me even until today. Other relatives spewed their anger on me constantly because I refused to take the government health care. I took the fastest and the best decision for my mom even though I needed to pay a hefty amount of money later. Years later, my mom said she is grateful because I took the decision. If people glance at my mom, they wouldn’t even know that my mom is a stroke survivor. The brain damage was minimal. Only she is a bit forgetful these days. She enjoys walking, dancing, and singing. As if those grey years weren’t even there, I know I was doing my best.
In the recent years, I took some vacation, it was fun. I could sleep a lot, took some yoga and rode on a bike. I did what I always want to do in my free time. Looking back, in my 20s, I kept on doing the things that I love. Some others were just doing the necessity because I needed money. It’s realistic. I allow myself to be a common person who is young and hopeful. I take responsibility seriously and I am grateful for myself. I don’t need to quit my job often now. What I need is to realize when are the quitting moments. Quitting the necessity to always listen to harsh critics. Quitting myself from undeserving relationships. Quitting myself from unrealistic expectations.
The moment I found myself was in my room. I didn’t even lost. I was in my own place. Weeping for my younger self who got hurt. Grieving for my abused self who didn’t know how to defend from the abusers. Releasing emotions that burdened me for years. Who knows that I have been lost all the time without purposely being lost? Now, I have found myself and I know, I am worthy.