“Don’t listen to him, he doesn’t know what he’s saying. He doesn’t even have a million naira to his name.” “Why should you listen to someone who doesn’t have a massive success [or failure] to his name?”

— The Twenty-Something Me

Those are some of the words that enter my head whenever I feel like I’m a fraud. And the worst part is that I feel so more often than I feel being confident about me. I feel shitty most of the time.

I am twenty-something, hoping to turn thirty in a jiffy. I have plans I have set for myself. I have visions I did drew in my head. I have dreams and I have passions. But I don’t have a concrete plan to achieve all these.

Each attempt to find a solution hits a blockade. And each blockade often leads to me complicating the already set plan — thereby screwing myself up.

It’s natural to reflect on your life as you get older, especially at milestone ages; twenty something to thirty. If I look over at the beginning of my twenties I can certainly say it has been a wild ride, full of more lows than highs.

I left my teenage years and entered my twenties while I was at university. At first, I wasn’t really enjoying my studies, not very motivated [until later, towards the end of my studies] and just uncomfortable in my own skin.

I never had any female friends except the few I met in associations and the single lady in my class. I was a typical clown — if that’s what such person is called. I felt everyone was better than I am. That everyone had their shit put together. That they’re all more intelligent than I am. That they were privileged while I came from a slum.

The problem when your own self worth is low, is that you have great difficulty digging yourself out. You generally attract experiences to enhance your low self esteem because you view the world in “sad” glasses.

If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on being what you’ve always being.

— The Good Samaritan

Until you can switch the conversation going on inside your head from negative to positive, your experiences in the outside world will reflect this, further enhancing your negative belief structure.

In order to truly become confident, you need to have experiences that have a positive impact on you. Reframing your interpretation of events and thinking positive can take you a bit far, but you have to actually have the positive experiences to build your confidence.

To find happiness I fell to my phone to make me busy and avoid conversations. I saw travelling as a hobby. I browsed the internet just to be there. I’d have to admit my time with an illness which proved difficult to be diagnosed during my late twenties [till date] is one of my least-favorite periods.

As always, thanks to the wonderful world of globalisation that we exist in, the shock from these experiences forced me to seek out answers to big questions. If I didn’t suffer the pain, I wouldn’t have gone looking for answers to certain questions either. Life needs to give you a blow sometimes for you to develop the spirit of empathy.

I spent my first few years as a university graduate in several places. I spent a lot of time trying different jobs and gained a lot of experience. Though I began my study of Internet marketing during my second year at the university (which I didn’t start till later), and delved into more philosophical and spiritual studies too, as a means to figure out why the world is the way it is and what I could do to be happier in it.

As a twenty-something who is afraid of the future, I am at my very best seeking an answer to the question: what do I do with my life?

I spent more time figuring out life than I spent living life it myself. Those were my bad days. And like Riddick would say:

There are bad days and there are legendary bad days.

I don’t look back on my first five years in my twenties as the most fun of times. Sure there were good times in there, but much of the experience was sabotaged by my attitude. I’m glad to have gone through that period for the growth it provided for me as a person, but I want to be better. And that’s why I’m here, writing this blog.

The answer to what to do with your life is simple – you need to experience. Your purpose is to gravitate towards activities that manifest joy for you, those around you and any person or living thing who is impacted by what you do. However, you won’t know what these things are by spending all your time wondering what to do or whiling most of your time behind the screen.

Surrendering to the process of living is the only answer. You have at least commit to participating in the process, else you don’t get anywhere.

This is why the first five years of my twenties were so important. I needed to be lost in order to be capable of understanding what it feels like to find a purpose. Yes, I have not truly found myself, but the mountain of details I have gotten proves that finding myself is more easier than it was at the beginning.

What I Discovered As A Lost Twenty-Something

  • It’s better to learn your lessons young than at old age.
  • It takes us several ‘go’s” to find our ‘place’
  • The things we learn as we are ‘growing up’ are to be celebrated as occurrences that teach us that we can survive anything.
  • Going through the hard times are opportunities to learn and grow.
  • We all go through highs and lows and our handling makes them better or worse.
  • As someone said – “the world remains the same, whether we see red or green depends on what color glasses we are wearing!”

Nothing changes unless you make a change.

Here’s to more adventures, success stories and finding your true self.

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