Things I Wish I Would be Better in My 23rd

muthiainas.com

New year, new age, new me. On one Sunday afternoon, I was listening to my friend telling me about her planning for her 24th. I responded a 'yes-yes' word to her until I realized that I was going to be 23rd in the next month. 

In the next second, I took a look at myself about what did I plan for my new age? About reaching dreams and goals maybe I could say I had set it far away before in the form of annual achievements. I needed something more than tangible things or something I'd written. 

So, I got the ideas to write down here about my self-reflection on my 23rd birthday.

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1. Listen before I speak

Luisa Rivera
Illustration by Luisa Rivera on Behance


Having the ability to speak what's in your mind is good. But, have you ever thought to balance it with your ability to listen? I have this story. I was a really shy girl. I wasn't the girl who started the conversation. Then, I decided that I couldn't be a shy person anymore. I joined communities to improve my public speaking and learn how to talk properly in front of the public. I'd written about this in my previous post.

Get to know my story
How do I Overcome My Awkwardness to be More Confident

As I was confident enough to speak in front of the public and being the spoke-woman, there was something lost in me. I felt that I didn't put attention to listen to someone. I didn't improve my ability to listen to others. I was the one who easily got bored if anyone talked too long so that I felt sleepy and likely to cut their talks.

I realized that this behaviour wasn't nice enough. I got that there was another way to face other people who likely talked too long. I thought that it was better to spoke to them that they could directly say straight the point.

Sometimes, unconsciously, I also spoke too much without listening to other's people stories. My view is that who would never be annoyed if they didn't be given any chance to speak? 

Leaders Eat Last - Simon Sinek
Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek


I salute all of you for being a good listener. According to Simon Sinek in his book "Leaders Eat Last", the one who wants to listen to others is one step closer to be a good leader. The reason is that a leader who firstly gives the time to listen to what inside their member's mind, he/she becomes able to respond to what good and bad for their next steps.


2. Love what I do, do what I love

Illustration by Milica Golubovic on Behance


It sounds cliché. Besides, it can make me think twice when I was faced with something I didn't like neither enjoy. 

Love what I do

I was the one who beyond dislike of something I disliked. But, as a grown-up girl, I'd not felt enough of my achievement because I wanted to achieve more. On another side, one of my friends said that she was really grateful to be in my position. She said like, "I'm grateful. I really am. If I wasn't accepted here, I didn't have any choices where to go." From what she had said, I realize that something I dislike might be something a person be grateful for. 

As I know, many influencers and motivators talk about this; love what you do, do what you love. One of them said, "If you can't love what you do, at least, just finish what you've started." Others said, "At least, love what you do can feed you for the next day." The point is, love what you do is introspection for ourselves to be grateful, be realistic, and responsible.

Do what I love

My view about 'do what I love' refers to actions of doing hobbies or something when I was faced with something I didn't like. For example, I don't enjoy learning Mathematics. But, I must learn about it because it will help me in the real-life and support my carrier if I became an engineer. So, I'll try to survive with Mathematics by doing something I enjoy as a stress relief (it can be strolling around, travelling, or as simple as playing video games).

In the end, no matter which side are you, or even both about love what you do, do what you love, make sure you always have the choice.


3. Don't be easy to fall in love


Illustration by Laura Lhuillier on Dribbble

Falling in love is a natural act of a human being. But, I don't have any idea for people who can fall in love easily after they have a breakup. For me, talk about love is kinda bullsht as we grow older. Everybody talks about it without meaning it well.
As the 23rd, I don't really put much attention to love. What I know that love is something we feel. And, it is actions, not only something you say to other people.
In my opinion, I see people easily fall in love. Some of my friends even get their new couples just a few weeks after breaking up with their exes. I just can't imagine how fast they could heal from a heartbreak. My mother said that if two people are in a relationship, there will be also hurting and loving. So, if we love and break up with someone easily (for a relationship), it will affect our response to be less sympathetic for the next person. 
So, yeah, not having a love relationship is still okay even you're at 23rd. I believe time will answer about who's the most suitable for us to hold the love and heal the pain. It's worth the wait rather than be with the wrong person.

4. Buy less, invest more

Illustration by Andrea de Santis on Behance


About investment, I quite upset with myself because I just knew about what 'investment' literally after graduating from college. I know it was too late but still better than never. So, at this point, I'll talk to you about my regret for not having an investment early.
I had ever saved most of my money. I could say it was more than enough (not too many, but I just think it was more than enough). I looked for gold investment at Tokopedia (Indonesian e-commerce). But, I was too young and not brave enough to buy some golds whereas at that gold was IDR600k/gram.
Despite buying golds and afraid of fraud, my savings decreased slowly. I used it for travelling, bought some clothes and shoes. It was too tricky until, in the end, my savings lose most part of them.
What I want to tell you then let's invest start from now. No matter how broke are you, just spare a little as an investment. Also, investment is accessible nowadays. You can choose your own online investment and just try it for a while as a kick-start.

5. Start to read a motivational book, even it's boring

Illustration by Josefina Schargorodsky on Behance


I know that some of you may be facing the same problem with the old me. I had no willing to read any motivational book in the past because my sister used to buy it and it often in the thick form kind of book. As I saw the thickness, I thought motivational books were kinda like the books you read at school during the final test. 
Then, one day, I got a requirement from my college to collect a book as a qualification to graduate. I bought the wrong book. It was the Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell which was originally published around 2008 and it didn't pass the requirement. It was said I had to collect a book that published 1 year before graduation.

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell


So, I rebought another book and the Outliers became mine. I couldn't resist reading it yet it was one of the best seller self-improvement books in the store. After that, everything about motivational books on my mind started to change. Actually, Outliers wasn't the first motivational book that I read. I'd ever read Start With Why by Simon Sinek and more to biography (which commonly have motivational stories from the character).
The Outliers was the book that supported me to be an optimist about being successful. It also triggered me to had willing to read other motivational books. I don't deny that sometimes I got bored in some chapters. But, I just kept going just to get the 'motivational sparks' from the book.

Read my review about Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell [Indonesian]

Memahami Makna Kesuksesan Melalui Buku Outliers Karya Malcolm Gladwell

From reading motivational books, I feel like they enlightened me to do something better, powerful, and helpful for reaching my dreams and impact my environment. There was also some satisfaction for me when my friends like my review of the books. 
If you still thinking that reading motivational is boring, yes, you're right. It is, sometimes. But, your time will be fulfilled and it will invest something good in your way of thinking. Just try it, now.

6. Get a chit-chat with my parents

Jaehee Cho
Illustration by Jaehee Cho on Behance

We are busy growing as our parents are getting older

It is one quote that I read when I was in junior high school. I still remember it because one day accidentally my friends were joking and one of them said those words loudly. It remained me of being engaged with my parents when I was far away from them. I don't want to be busy and ignoring my parents because of my job or business. I still want to see them grow with me even when I was far away from them.


7. My circle may be smaller and that's really ok

Illustration by Josefina Schargorodsky on Behance

I have fewer friends than when I was in junior high school. I can't keep all of them to stay connected. We have our own life, our own goals to achieve, and we are in different cities, separated miles away to meet face-to-face. It is still okay. I can keep some of them that really fit me and we still can share our ups and downs even not on the daily or weekly like we were before. 
Our circle become mature as time goes by. It doesn't need oral recognition that 'you're my friend' and 'I'm yours'. It is more to the feeling that we always need each other to talk about what happened to us when we were not around and the one who stays, will stay no matter what.

8. It's different between independent, alone, and lonely

Illustration by Josefina Schargorodsky on Behance

Being alone sometimes can be addictive

Doing everything alone can make someone be the independent one. But, be careful about being alone for a long time. It can be addictive so that we started to ignore other people. 
I'd ever tried to be the independent one by doing everything on my own. But, I thought it went a little bit too far. It wasn't 'independent' anymore. It is an addiction. It created more egos and carelessness. I kept myself not asking for help from other people when I needed to. I didn't open myself to talk about something I couldn't resolve personally to my closest one.
The severe moment was when I lived alone and had less contact with my friends or relations because of Coronavirus. My and my friends' schedule didn't fit each other. So, I realized that I was being lonely and need to socialize more. That was the moment I rethought that I often to did or keep anything by myself in the past years until 'alone' made me 'lonely'.

9. Don't be stuck at one skill, keep learning another

helenaperezgarcia.co.uk


We are always good at one skill. It is good. But, I always remember that I need to adapt to the revolution. I can say that my main skill is writing. I know it is good to have one main skill, yet, I know that many people out there also enjoying writing. Some of them also work their passion out in writing. 
What I can do to distinguish my skill from others is to add value to it. So, I always try to add another skill. As my father said, sometimes passion does not always work for some people. So, just be the unique one. From what I've learned, having another skill instead of your main skill will help you a lot in the future and absolutely improve your main skill. Don't worry that you'll ignore your main skill because of your new skills. It will never but just support you to find better opportunities.

10. Go somewhere far away from my place

Illustration by Miranda Sofroniou

I was the person who easily got frightened. I thought too much, worried about my future, and would be complex on something. It became severe when I moved into a new place. Because it was a new place, my parents didn't permit me to go away from my house even for strolling around or go hang out with friends. 
I used to stay at home and played with my siblings. I didn't have enough experiences as a high school students at that time. All I did was only went online and watched YouTube to socialize more. 
Later on, I joined the college. I lived far away from my place. I went from a city to another city to travel after having a final test. I would say that travelling helped me to recover. It was kinda like a restart moment so I could rethink or planned something for the next day, next month, even next year.
I became the one who didn't easily frighten anymore. It was because I used to travel alone. I depended on myself to face something that unfortunately happened in the journey. I learned how to blend with the locals and being humble. 
Moreover, going somewhere far away also taught me that there's always hope through bad and good things that came to my life.


11. Meet people around the world

Illustration by Marrion Barraud on Pinterest
I don't have many foreign friends. But, there was one that I met from Omegle when I was in junior high school and I still keep in touch with her until now. I can say that we sometimes share new insights about our country and cultures.

I like seeing other people do streaming on Discord

It is fun to have friends from abroad. Sometimes I can get some new insights that I didn't get from my Indonesian friends. Recently, I joined some Discord groups or free online chat to get a new friend. I wish I will have more foreign friends from another country to share something about. 

12. Being a minimalist is a good start to a better life

Illustration by Leanne Van on Behance



If I can define what is it called by being a minimalist, I will say, it is about living our life with the exact portion as needed. I'd those impulsive buying habits so that I kept filling my space until my room was full of unimportant stuff. So, I tried to solve it by buying what matters and lasted for a long.

Get along with my story
Having Not Enough Space in Your Room and How to Deal with It


CEO's outfit




As I read from the internet, instead of managing our space, being a minimalist can be seen by how do we cloth, and how do we own things (still relate to managing space). Once, I saw Desi Anwar's video on an event, she asked, "Why does CEO like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, most likely wear the same simple outfit?". She then said that "By wearing the white-black outfit, they don't waste more time to only choose a different outfit every day." 



I also watched a YouTube video. This person shared about things she owned one. She had one lipstick, she had one of each skincare (one moisturizer, one toner, etc.), and wallet, and everything she kept to own one. From these perceptions, I can say that being a minimalist is also about time management. How we can effectively use our time for other beneficial actions.

13. Keep doing my hobbies

Illustration by Ginnie Hsu


As I grow up, I mostly face something unpredictable. I think that by keep doing hobbies, I can release stress and take a break for a while. I can also share and discuss with other people about hobbies so I have what becomes hits now and what left behind.


14. Make more money



When you're 23, you will have more needs. I know it isn't easy to get money but you can start to make one even it's a little. There's a lot of opportunities to make money. It's just how we get the way. For now, I wish that I could find something that really fits my passion for writing and technology.
Meanwhile, from what I'd experienced, I can share with you some opportunities to get money.
  • Internship
    If you're still in studies may be as a student college, you can apply as an intern. Apply in the industry that you like or passionate about. 
  • Private teacher
    Instead of being an intern, you can also apply as a private teacher. You can use your knowledge or what you've got during schools to teach others. And, usually, in the college, there are some organizations such as laboratory member that you can register you'll get paid for being a teaching assistant.
  • Freelance
    This is the most flexible option if you're passionate about something such as design, writing, singing, and etc. You can make your own rate and time to negotiate with your client. 
Maybe you didn't get that much money, but at least you'll get the early experience to work in a place and help you to know the real working environment. My view is that when you started making your own money, you will be wiser about how to manage it.
I had taken all of the three lists I mentioned above. I can say it helped me to save money and got other opportunities.

15. Take care of my body

Illustration by Big Cartel on Pinterest


As you're older, your body will tell you if there's a problem or any changes. It happens to me. I can feel that my body is getting heavier and I need to do more sports. My eczema symptoms will appear if I didn't notice what I eat.
Once, I was in my peak quarter of study. I didn't aware of what I ate and the hygiene. I didn't do any workout nor went to the gym. It was the rainy season. I used to go home at night because of college projects and activities.
Later on, I woke up and used to get a fever every evening for one week strike. I went to the doctor and he said that I got a chronic stomach ulcer. I consumed foods that were unhygienic. Started at that time, I've always been aware of what I consume. I become healthier and my skin gets better over time.
For now, I wish that I could do more sports. No need for the hard one like going to the fitness centre but I think small steps like consistent walking 30 minutes every day and watch my foods are enough.

16. Where does my money go?

Illustration by Andrea de Santis


It is something when we can make our own money. But, have you ever gotten your money slowly fading away? Maybe you'd checked out on the e-commerce one day after you got your salary. Maybe you'd bought delivery foods for about more than 15 times a month. Maybe you'd subscribed for Netflix while you'd subscribed for Disney Hotstar+ before. It always would be another maybe...
I was once not really aware of my outcome as I used to think that, "I'm going to buy this and this. I think that will not affect my savings because there's still a backup." It was not. It was my biggest fault that I used to think I'd saved enough money so I could buy this and that
Until the moment I lose my savings, the question appeared. "Where does my money go?" Oh, dear, on the 23rd, please be aware of what you get and what you pay. I'd posted about it before on 6 Life Lessons from My College Life about how did I manage my time and money. In the end, if you can't stop impulsive buying, just tell yourself that "I don't really have much money" (quoted from Melvin Tenggara, a Crazy Rich Surabayan).

17. Play with children so my life will be a little bit happier today

Illustration by Jez Tuya on Behance


Some people don't really like kids. But, this is what I want to tell you. When I was a kid, I heard my mother said that my grandmas liked to be around me and my siblings because it would cheer up her days. One of my friends also said that she'd ever been annoyed by the kids that playing around her house. But, her grandma didn't feel disturbed by the kids. She enjoyed it and asked my friend if the kids didn't play around the house.
It was kinda weird when I heard that kind of things. Later on, I was so confused waiting for my job application announcement. I got the time playing with a kid and I felt that my day became brighter. As I saw that the kid was cheerful and innocent. I thought that when I was the same age as her, I was also innocent and didn't know that life will be tougher as we grew up. 
I don't know how to tell you exactly about the feeling, but all I can say that they can cheer our days up even when we were at the worst time. The kid's innocent and their intuition of playing around left little sparks to brighten my day. Maybe it was the same as what my and my friend's grandmas felt at that time.

18. Keep being mindful

Irene Renaldi
Illustration by Irene Rinaldi on Behance

Actually, I just knew about what is it called by being mindful. I joined @beclosa Book Club, and Fitri was giving a review of a book called "The Art of Loving". From what I heard, simply I can say that being mindful is the way you live your life and understand your feeling at the moment. If you were sad, you can just feel it or even cry. No need to ignore and pretend to be strong. We're human and we do have feelings yet emotion.
The Art of Loving - Eric Fromm
The Art of Loving by Eric Fromm

By keep being mindful, we can be calmer, more sympathetic to others, we will not be easily triggered by something that opposes us, and the important thing is that our emotional management will be better so that we can live our life to the fullest.


19. Just keep going

Illustration by Design Your Trust


I know that some people have their own mental blocks on something. These mental blocks can avoid us to do either continue what we want to do and what we've been doing. I also have this kind of problems when suddenly I wanted to stop creating something just because the result didn't meet my expectation.

Meanwhile, if I could see from another view, difficulties and those mental blocks were just challenges that need to be done. Such as, I tried to cook a new recipe. I failed in the first attempts because I got the wrong technique. I decided not to retry the recipe. I didn't think it was a good decision. I could stay retry the failed recipe to find a new technique that could be implemented in another recipe.



Besides mental blocks, negative comments could also impact our willingness to do something. The key is just don't listen to them. We will never know what's in the future so does other people. Just keep going. 

20. Know me better

Andrea de Santis
Illustration by Andre de Santis


On the 23rd, life may be complex. 23rd is the way of growing mature. It's better to know more about ourselves. By knowing ourselves better, we can plan our future by what we can do, what we want to do, and it can avoid us to what we don't want to become. 

Ikigai on singularityhub.com



You can start knowing yourself by creating a list of your strengths and weaknesses, how're your past goals become, how did you manage your finance, and what you like and dislike. In the advance, you can try to understand the Ikigai.
As I'm a visioner, I can simply this point is for the future. If we have plans, we will have backups when one of the plans doesn't work out. So, start to dive deeper about yourself. It will help you a lot to make a decision for your better life in the future. 


21. Try cooking by myself

Illustration by Barbara Dziadosz on Tumblr


I didn't really enjoy cooking from back then.  But, because of Corona, I tried to do. All I could cook before were only fried egg, instant noodle, crepe pancake, and Capcay. Due to Corona, I was anxious to buy meals outside. 
Then, I started to make one by following through online recipes and YouTube videos. At first, I failed. But, I recooked again and again. I started to succeed in some recipes such as my favourite foods like Tom Yam (Thai traditional food), Red Velvet, and Seaweed Soup. Until when I came back home, I cooked Tom Yam and Dim Sum. It was approved by my family.
The point is, when you try cooking by yourself, you can cook your favourite foods and enjoy them without paying attention to the bills. Also, there's a pleasure when other people tasted your cooks and they like it too. So, let's try making one :)

22. Remind me that it's okay not to be okay

Illustration by Shihori Obata on Pinterest
Maybe it's the right quote every time I didn't get something that I wanted. God's plan is better so I don't need to worry that much. What I got also always better than what I'd failed. It only wants me to be more patient and give me more time to learn.
By thinking that everything's gonna be okay also helps me enjoy doing something. So, it's normal when bad days were coming. Always remember that there's always a rainbow after the rain.

23. Be grateful every day



I think it's very important that we need to be grateful every day. It can be we don't have any problems breathing, we still have a house to live in, we still eat and drink without worrying about our food stock for the next day. If we look back, many small things that we can be grateful for.
I can't deny that sometimes I still forget to thank for it. I just realized when something bad coming and alert me that actually, I got better things than this before. 

***

I think this is my longest post I've ever written. It is all based on my self-reflection and my experiences that I can share with you. You can write and share yours too as a self-reflection and quite a self-reminder in the future.
By posting this, I ensure myself and you that everything will come out better in the end. I'm still and always in my progress. So do you. Just keep going and good luck!

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