Originally published on 2018/12/31

It’s around 9 p.m., so it’s only a few hours till midnight. It’ll be 2019, a new year. Another year, another chance. To get my shit straight and accomplish the things I need to do.

When I was in my mid-20s, I still suffered from a sort of Peter Pan syndrome. I didn’t want to imagine myself as “old,” “mature,” “a full-fledged adult.” I wanted to dress young, act young, and I liked it when people thought I was still a student. Sounds pathetic when I think about it now.

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Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

But that was me then. I felt like I had to accomplish all these grand ideas in my head. I set milestones I needed to reach before I became “old.” Before I reached 30. I was so self-conscious about the things I hadn’t achieved and the things I still want to achieve.

I’m now in my late 20s, and I still have this fear of what’s considered “old.” Now I’m not scared of 30. But I am quite terrified of 40.

Not as much as when I was in my 20s, though. Back then, I put so much pressure on myself to get the life I wanted exactly how I wanted it.

Now I realize how crazy that was.

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

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Photo by Max Kukurudziak on Unsplash

I was so set on following just one path that I ignored other opportunities and roads I could have explored. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret working as a freelance writer. I discovered and learned so many things when I took the road less traveled by.

But my mindset when I was still starting left a lot to be desired. Only recently did I start realizing that I was no longer as desperate to be seen as “young” or as a “student.”

Sure, when someone says I look young, I take the compliment gratefully. But I’m no longer desperate to detach myself from “full-fledged adult.” I am an adult. No, I’m not as wise as those that came before me, and I acknowledge that.

But I’m also not a wide-eyed child anymore. I need to take control of my life and my situation. Sure, I have jeans and shirts and hoodies and sneakers. But I realized I also liked dressing up really fancy when I go to work. I like blazers, pants, skirts, and blouses. I like looking like a grown-up and taking responsibility.

Caveat: This is only what I feel, not what everyone else should be feeling. A full-fledged adult can still wear hoodies and sneakers if they so desired. That’s your call, my friend.

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Photo by Martin Reisch on Unsplash

Because here’s the thing: If you want to act like a child, the world will treat you like a child — someone who can’t make decisions on their own, someone who needs to be told how to live their life, someone who doesn’t know what’s good for them, someone who needs to be micromanaged.

I sometimes feel so pathetic that it took me this long to realize such things about my life. I felt like it was only in 2018 when I really started to get my shit straight, when I told myself that I needed to get better credentials and more experience to go after my career path.

To be fair, it was only in 2018 when I realized there was several career paths I could take that didn’t require sacrificing my writing life.

And that is what I’m going to continue in 2019. I don’t want my new year to be a clean slate.

I want to hold on to what I discovered and realized in 2018 and mobilize myself to achieve more in 2019.

And I wish the same to you, dear reader! May your new year give you another shot at getting your shit straight and mapping the life you want to live.

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Jam Guibone

Hello! I am Jam. Welcome to my blog! I initially started this to document my adventures while working in Japan as an ALT under the JET Programme. I hope all the information here will be useful to you, whether or not you're also a JET, ALT, or just someone traveling abroad.

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