Life Goals and Growing Old

Here we go, the obligatory birthday post. Time to unleash my time anxieties on the world in a timely manner and such.

I’m only 19 years old, which I think is way too young to already be dreading birthdays but…oops, look where we are. Yes, birthdays already give me anxiety. They have since my fifteenth. And it’s because the pressure I put on myself to be some sort of youth prodigy is kind of wild.

Sometimes, I think the worst thing I could have done to myself is put my aspirations and life goals on a time schedule. You know what I’m talking about. “By the time I’m [insert age here] I should have done [insert achievement here]” and so on. Those motivational speakers and stuff hired to come and talk to (pre)teen hopeful entrepreneurs stay telling us to make a 10-year plan and blah blah blah. So me and my foolish head, I actually did. (At least a vague one.) And it’s the perpetual tormenter of my life, because I feel like I fail every time-bound life goal I set for myself. Heck, even the ones that are set for me. I stay submitting college assignments two weeks late, but don’t tell my parents. In any case, if I eventually get kicked out, they’ll find out themselves. the point is, deadlines and I are not friends.

The future is one of my biggest fears. And imagine, it’s constantly approaching. And it’s easier to ignore it sometimes than other times. it’s hardest on milestones like anniversaries or birthdays. Because suddenly, your answers to lots of questions have to change. Like, “How old are you?” or “How long has it been since you graduated?” And if you’re an anxious little worrier like me, a lot of such questions are translated in your mind as, “So all this time has passed, and what have you done with your life?” This, my friends, is not the healthiest thing in the world.

At the same time, it makes me have to acknowledge my laziness, pay attention to all the time I spend doing literally nothing. You have no idea how much I wish I worked harder, did more, or at the very least, did the things I said I was going to do.

I wish a lot of things. Like I wish I didn’t feel like I’ve disappointed myself at every milestone. I wish I’d managed to remain mentally healthy since I declared I’d run in the opposite direction from depression on my birthday last year (I’ve discovered that it isn’t a thing that cares much about your running.) I wish my mind wasn’t prone to comparison, especially not to other youth prodigies. I wish people didn’t already consider me a youth prodigy sometimes, because pressure really dey on, LOL.

I am, however, grateful for life. And I’m not a fan of declaring resolutions, but what I hope for myself is to henceforth be less uptight, not as constantly worried as I am while I frequently check my physical and metaphorical watch, to be relaxed enough to stop and smell the roses (and the abɛnkwan, because I really love the scent of abɛnkwan), and the confidence to keep moving forward because I am on the right track. I’m not here to talk plenty, just to offload this stuff that’s been bugging me, and make myself re-read “Your Journey Is No One Else’s. Face Forward.” And with that said, happy nineteenth to me.

-Akotowaa

P.S. Welcome to my next crazy phase, since there seems to be a new one every birthday: Akotz the Spider Kid.

P.P.S. The whole “Life Goals and Growing Old” distin might turn into my next spoken word project, judging from the stuff I’ve been writing since last year. Don’t take my word for it. Just know that I’m spinning. 😉 In the meantime, keep listening to Solitaire!

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2 thoughts on “Life Goals and Growing Old

  1. Hey friend, just wanted to thank you for writing this and let you know that this was mad deep for me. Honestly, this whole business of setting a time limit to become the person you want to be is a double edged sword but people always talk about setting these goals like it’s the only logical option regardless of what it does to your mental health. Ever since I started uni I’ve made wild chasing this “future game-changing me” and this perfectly summed up what that does to you. Anyway, thanks again, there are lots of people who need to read this, hope you’re keeping your head above water.

    1. Yo I miss you! Thank you for your comment! And yes, I agree, it often seems like the only logical option, but I would love to hope that it isn’t, that we have time to live life, and even if we don’t have time, that we live it anyway. We have to learn how to make ourselves chill, LOL

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