Timing: What I Wish I Knew As A 23 Year Old

You know what they say about time?

Well, many things, actually.

Time flies, Time is of the essence & time waits for no man are all phrases that have been uttered in some blog post or deep meaningful conversation, once or twice. When do these words really resonate and how often do we say them so flippantly that it actually sinks in? On our birthdays? New year’s eve? Or, when we have some time during a Pandemic to over-think on it?

There were messages popping up in my college WhatsApp group this week highlighting that it’s been eleven years since we packed up our cars and headed to our family homes as we vacated our University accommodation for the very last time. That day marked the end of random Tuesday nights in the Lodge, ditching classes during Rag Weeks and cramming for exams over red bulls in the library . It meant that the times of actually having to figure out our next moves could no longer be put on the long finger. We needed to make decisions on the next phase of our lives that hadn’t been pre-planned for us.

With the end of a milestone come reflections and thoughts of whys, whens and what ifs? Certainly as I look back to who was a 23 year old June without a notion of her next move, I realise how clueless I really was and how I didn’t know what was ahead of me.

Firstly, the job I’m doing now has little to do with my studies. During the adventure of my twenties, I ventured into a few different career paths to eventually land on people management. Of course it’s super relevant and I wouldn’t change any of it for the world but certainly, that was a path that came through discovering what I enjoyed and being given opportunities to progress.

An added two continents later, I can safely say that the idea of traveling more has gone the way I’ve wanted and hasn’t stopped there (watch this space).

I have travelled quite a bit more & have grown in more than one way. I’m in a totally different relationship and indeed, have had to reinvent myself two or three times over. When I consider those in my life who were around then, some friendships have stayed strong while others have fizzled out. I’ve needed to say goodbye to one or two people for reasons out of my control and serendipity has re-introduced me to people from UL as we were meandering along random journeys.

There’s none of it that I’d change for the world.

The reasons for posting about this are many. When we look back on time, it can be easy to go into a rabbit hole of thoughts and reflections. That’s a good thing – we need to look at where we’ve come from to set intentions for where we’re headed.

My tips here are plenty.

Journal, journal and journal some more. This means deliberately writing about particular times in our lives, our respective days and what we are grateful for. As we look over our journals, this helps to guide us on how far we’ve come. This article by Jame Clear outlines the impact of journaling to the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Virginia Woolf to their success. Start with just a sentence a day and watch how that adds up to lots of content in the archives.

Make every day count with your most important relationships. It can be easy to take people for granted and not put in the little touches to their days in order to thrive. Remember, it’s better to stay consistent rather than attempt a big gesture once per year. Be present. This video by Simon Sinek is a wonderful reminder that it’s the little things that matter in every relationship.

Regularly check in with yourself on how you’re doing on your path. Life is short and actually asking ‘is this right for me now?‘ goes a long way in guiding you toward what’s meant for you. It won’t always be perfect but acknowledging what isn’t perfect will help you get or stay on the right path.

Here’s some reflections of mine from 2019. So much can change in even a few months – including this Pandemic. Keep moving forward but don’t forget to look back and see how far you’ve come :).