What I learned in 2020

It’s been a while since I’ve written something and I have come with new wisdom. 2020 has been a rollercoaster for all of us. I would like to share what I learned as a 16-year-old. On my birthday I was absolutely terrified of being 16. I was literally balling my eyes out. I was not looking forward to it. I felt like I grew up and this was it, and I was so afraid of the potential of making mistakes just because I had turned 16. Now looking back it seems so silly. Because the thing is whether we like it or not, the tiniest of actions will influence the course of the rest of our life and you cannot control it. So many factors play a role in where you are today: a delayed bus, an extra cup of coffee, the number of minutes you took to brush your teeth. This is chaos theory. Mathematics. Every choice you have made has led you to the most wonderful moments in your life but also the worst moments in your life. Butterflies will keep flapping their wings and causing hurricanes. While you exist, every moment and movement matters. Even if you are standing still. So all you can do is do your best and hope that things turn out well.

I also started feeling like the things that an average teenager enjoyed and their priorities were immature and cringe which to a certain extent is true but I realized that we have our whole lives to be mature and not do cringe things. And the time we have right now is so priceless. I really took advantage of my time last year. I realized that in a few years I’ll be off to college and I’ll be an adult. Even though I may not act anywhere near to an adult but that title is scary. I started to hold on to things a little longer, hugged a little tighter, smiled a little bigger, laughed a little louder, talked a little longer, forgave a little quicker, and held on to hands a little firmer not wanting to let go. You are only a teenager for around 6,570 days and most of that time is spent in school and homework and procrastination. If we put together all the time we spend in school it will add up to years. We also spend time sleeping and showering and eating and in the end, we end up with only 2,555 days to be a teenager. So do what you want to do. I’m not telling you to abandon everything else but just always keep in the back of your mind how short it’s going to be. But just because I said this does not mean that you’ll never have fun ever again or it won’t be your “peak”. For some people, the time as a teenager is the worst time in their lives. I feel like any age can be your “peak”. It all depends on your mindset and what you want and whether you are willing to work for it. Every chapter in life has something to offer and appreciate. Yes, there may be factors that you cannot control but all you can do is make the most out of it and believe that things happen for a reason.

Even the darkest days lead to something beautiful or so I’ve heard. I read this analogy for life in a book. It said that life is like a video game and it gets harder and harder but it’s okay because you get stronger and more skilled. So if you feel like you are failing it’s probably because you are leveling up.

I also learned to only hope and never expect. When you expect you are already assuming that things will play out a certain way and when it does not happen you are hurt. So it’s best to hope for the best but not expect the best.

A quote I saw last year, said: “I may have lost the battle but I won the war”. This reminds me to think of the bigger picture. Why are you doing the things that you do? Ask yourself whether what you are doing now helps what you want to do 10 years from now. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a solid tangible thing. Sometimes it may be a feeling. It may be I want to be happy and content or I want to travel, I want to get into this school, I want this certain job or I want to work on this new idea. It can be anything. This quote also reminds me of how in the grand scheme of things the small mistakes or “battles” will not make or break your life, it is the big wins or the big losses that make an impact. So if you make the big decisions right then these small ones will eventually fade away.

This is where it gets tricky. On one side you want to live in the moment and experience and enjoy life and on the other side, you want to plan ahead and do things for the future. What is the solution to this? I don’t know yet. I wish I did but I’m not that wise. But I think it’s a balance each of us has to find and there may be slip-ups but as long as you come back it’s going to be fine.

One thought on “What I learned in 2020”

  1. Beautifully written. As you rightly said “balancing” is the key. Indulge in the present while not losing focus on the future. Enjoying your teen years is equally important. Coz true achievement is equal to fond memories.

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