Review Summary: I'm not a promising future, I'm only a past.
As I head into the twilight years of my 20s, I find myself looking back on everything that's led me to this point in my life.
I look at the choices I've made. I look at the girls I've chased and hurt, and been hurt by. I look at my parents going from seemingly being superheroes, having all the answers - to fundamentally being part of the same aging, faceless population that is just trying to figure it out as they go along. I look at the friends I have made and lost, some to my own selfish decisions. I look at my financial mistakes, and what I could have done to set myself up for the rest of my life. I look at my years of alcohol abuse that was justified as being a "partier" but really just served to endanger my health and hide me from my problems. And finally, I look at the person I am now compared to the person I thought I would be at 28.
I can imagine that running away from your problems is a theme shared by many. People work themselves sick to build a life they think they need to live up to some greater glorified idea of what success means. I fell victim to the same trap. I bought a vehicle I couldn't afford at a time when I thought it would make me happy. I started working out to fit in with the ever-growing legion of social media influencers obsessed with fitness and the ideal male body. I read books I thought would teach me how to bend conversations to my will, negotiate whatever I wanted and make more friends than I knew what to do with. I changed my haircut and the way I dressed to blend in because I saw others with the same style that seemed like they had everything together. I wanted so desperately to belong that I failed to address the reason why
I felt like such a failure - I wasn't secure with who I was.
I see now that getting older means letting go of the person I thought I should have been, and embracing who I am today. Life offers no do-overs, gives no warning of things to come and has no sympathy for failures. Sometimes, in order to really become who we were meant to be, it means taking a hard look in the mirror and asking ourselves if we really gave it our best shot. It means addressing our character flaws head on instead of relying on a spouse or material goods to bring us fulfillment. And ultimately, it means looking past all of the flashiness, materialism, and portrayals of what society defines as true happiness. Chasing that dream will only leave us as empty and shallow as we fear we are without it.