Confessions of a confused twenty-something

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By Karen Wendy Brett

University Belt

Sunday, July 6, 2014

RAISE your hand if you’re twenty-something and you still feel like you are yet to find your place in this world? Clueless while you whistle “que, sera, sera.” It would actually be comforting to see those hands as I have both mine up.

Six years ago, donning those togas and letting the graduation caps fly in the air saw me among a bunch of many idealistic fresh graduates that were ever so eager to conquer the world. Today, I am sitting behind a desk and lingering on these bittersweet thoughts of what-ifs and all those other paths I might have trudged but chose not to and all these other things that I want to do right here and now.

I see friends pursuing law school and other going into business. There are the batchmates sticking to careers that are related to those four years we’ve invested in the university. I also see young moms and dads doting on their little tots. With a tinge of envy, I see that people are happy and contented with their chosen paths and endeavors—personal or career-wise. Then there’s me, behind this desk, with an itchy butt, and still pondering what exactly do I want to do while I pop these imaginary zits that seem to cloud my thoughts and perspectives.


The obvious problem is not knowing what I want. Or possibly wanting a lot and not knowing how to pursue all these at the same time. There’s this want to settle down; to have a decent-paying job then start building a home with the possibility of changing nappies in the not-so-far future. Then there’s that yearning for spontaneity and action. To save enough for a fancy trip and taste the array of wines and cheeses or get lost somewhere in the Caribbean. Then come back sunburned and broke with my last penny spent on a piña colada.

I recall this professor back in the university who asked us where do we see ourselves a year after graduating and I remember being stumped because I honestly didn’t have an exact answer to that. I might have seen myself employed but as to where, I had no idea. A year after that, I did find myself working a 9-6 job but taking up graduate studies in another school that has no relation to the bachelor course that I took up. I had my share of jumping from one company to the next before that because I was constantly looking for that illusive thing that I cannot seem to identify. It’s been six years and I’m still scratching that itchy butt.

Way back, I attributed impulsive behavior to youth. That it was somehow a valid excuse to explore as much as possible and failing along the way was part of the process and nothing to be ashamed of. For the past couple of years, falling under the bracket of those prone to mid-life crisis was another sufficient reason to explain the capricious decisions made and done. But these cannot forever be reasons to cover up for instability during these years. Pretty soon I will reach that mark where I will be past the mid-life bracket and thus cannot hold the age factor as liable for my decisions, sound or otherwise.

I’m past my 500-word mark where I should be wrapping this piece up with my two cents that can hopefully strike a chord with a reader somewhere. But that’s probably the whole point. The acknowledgment that one is lost and confused is no mean feat. It is humbling and at the same time a blow to the gut. But it has to be done. Acknowledging the failure to make unwise decisions in the past and identifying these is step one to overcoming the confusion. Breathe, think for a long time, keep thinking.

If after a spell of thinking and things do not seem clearer, grab a bottle of beer, finish it then get back to thinking till meaning is found in the things we do and the decisions we made and will make.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 07, 2014.


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