Life-Lessons at 22

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In the next week I will turn 23 years old. I will finally make my way to my mid-twenties. In making my way through life, I have made many mistakes, bad decisions and dumb choices. However, in understanding that twenty-year olds in America are constantly trying to define and redefine themselves. They are trying to learn themselves and about themselves, myself included. In learning about life, I have made some decisions that created regret within me at times. Regret is an emotion that can paralyze an individual. It definitely has paralyzed me. It paralyzed us because we are always trying  to remind ourselves that we could’ve and should’ve done something differently. We always love in the past. We live our present with the past in mind. I guess that can be good and bad. However, regrets can keep us mentally drained and stressed. I’m not going to allow that. Well, I can’t really say that with honesty. It’s just very tough to not think about the bad choices you’ve made. Nonetheless, you have to allow yourself to live and to learn. You have to give yourself that. We will not always make the best choices. We will slip up and make mistakes. We will slip up and do something just stupid without thinking about the consequences. However, how much of the choices that we make are we going to allow to rule and control our present and future?

In a few days, I will say goodbye to my days of being a 22 years old and welcome another year of life. There are many things that I hate to think about because they remind me of my personal shortcomings, but who doesn’t have shortcomings? We are all trying to fix ourselves in one way or another. We are all trying to figure life out. Yes, I do believe that there are consequences for every action or decision that we make. So, we should be mindful of what we do. However, life is life. Things will happen. Sometimes things have to happen and break us down in order to get us to a better place mentally, spiritually or physically. We can’t pretend to be perfect individuals because we aren’t. We  will fall into error. We will. It’s not something we can escape. So, in saying all of this, live life in a way that is fulfilling and brings you happiness. I do not believe in living a hedonistic lifestyle because it merely takes life as this place of pleasure. We should enjoy pleasure, but we shouldn’t allow our supreme ideal be pleasure. Americans live in a very pleasure-based and materialistic society. Yes, I’m guilty as charged. I have given into materialism and pleasures. Nonetheless., it’s empty. We can buy and pleasure ourselves all day and night but it doesn’t bring long lasting fulfillment. It’s short and temporary.

I have to admit that many of us are looking for pleasure. We can say that we don’t want or like pleasure, but we do. I love going dancing. I will sometimes go out dancing with friends and enjoy the night. There is this rush that comes over me when I can listen to music and dance to express myself. I love it. However, it’s temporary whenever I choose to go out to dance. It only lasts for a couple of hours and then it’s over. Not only that, but you’re tired. You want to rest. You need a break. This is the reality of pleasure, most of the time. It’s short-lived. I guess you can argue that art (dancers, musicians, writers, artists) can sustain their art with their passion for the craft. However, the pleasure I am talking about is when you want to just jump up and seek out instant gratification. Sex can be one of the best ways of seeking instant gratification. Sex is truly an act or art of pleasure. You want to stimulate yourself intimately. You want to reach within the core of this carnal desire and stroke it for short-term pleasure. I do not believe sex is nasty nor dirty. This is not the point or argument. Sex can be something very short-lived and finite. However, I will never detest short-lived pleasures. Sometimes having that sweet bread is great, but like most pleasurable things- short-lived.

In coming to an abrupt end, I can’t give you a definite guide on how to live your life. We all come from different circumstances and social-realities. We have to figure out what is best for us. However, we shouldn’t feel bad when we mess up in life. We will make mistakes and make bad decisions. Just take it as it is and learn from it. We have to sometimes define and redefine ourselves in order to come to a happy point of satisfaction. Life is a journey. We will come to meet some awesome and not-so-awesome folks. We will make great choices and some not-so-great choices. However, this is the journey of life. We just have to take it step-by-step.

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