Another One in the Books

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Jesse Jia
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I’ve never been too fond of books at a young age; funny how things change over time. While the years pass by, time becomes a declining metric as one year has less and less significance in the overall picture, but it’s the years that add up which end up shaping the entire story at the end. This whole journey is truly about taking things one step at a time, one accomplishment after another, and one progression to another. It’s 2021 now and I think it’s truly remarkable how it feels like everything around us is slowing down but both the world and changes in society have been accelerated faster than ever. Our way of living has changed so drastically if you compare the lifestyle from 20, 10, and even 5 years ago. It just goes to show that it’s difficult to spot the changes when you're living in the present but becomes a completely different story when you compare to the days of dial up internet and watching cable tv. 

Now from a personal perspective, it feels as if I’m still at the same place I was last time this year, yet at the same time, I know how far I’ve come from years ago. It’s an odd feeling to describe as no metric can truly quantify the progression of one's life. On the books, I’m a year older today, but it doesn’t ever feel that way. Until you compare yourself to the person you were a few years ago. It’s true. When people age, time feels shorter and shorter, then yet somehow with the blink of an eye, you’re longer the worry-less child you once were. It’s bittersweet, to say the least. For the most part, I can say that I am happy with where I am currently. Whatever that may mean. That also doesn’t mean I’m satisfied and settled, but rather the fact that I can see all the years of growing up finally falling into place and leading me to where I am today. 

If you asked me what I’ve accomplished in the past year, I would tell you that I’ve done so much yet so little at the same time. In this day and age when there’s a constant comparison to others achieving amazing heights, it’s extremely hard to be satisfied with being any less than extraordinary. With endless reports of new records being shattered and amazing accomplishments being achieved by folks years younger than you are. You can’t help but feel happy for them and sorry for yourself at the same time. Why couldn’t I have found the next unicorn? Or why could I have won the US Open? Or maybe even why couldn’t I have my blog blow up on some popular media site? Those are all questions that linger naturally in one's mind just based on all the amazing events happening around us. Despite all the uncontrollable thoughts, I am at peace with myself and feel proud of how far I’ve come. I believe it’s only a matter of perspective and a positive outlook can go so far in the world today. I feel as if all my years of growing up are slowly falling into place and I’m one year closer to where I want to be rather than I’m delayed by a year or that I've wasted a year. I might be delusional, but I’ve always been told to trust your gut and follow your heart. So for anybody else that’s feeling the same way, as if your life hasn’t hit its peak yet and that you can slowly see your life turning into something greater, I’m sure the best is yet to come. You’re on the right track and just keep on following the path. You’ll come across countless twists and turns but if you keep facing forward you’re bound to reach your destination. I think that’s one beautiful way to describe the progression of life. You take baby steps along the way and before you know it, you’ve gone too far to even backtrack so there’s only the perpetual path of moving forward from there. 

I wrote this post out of a sudden urge to jot down some notes and now an hour later have turned this into a birthday post. Naturally, I’m in a fairly positive state at the moment, but it hasn’t always been like that. I’d say this past year has been one of the most turbulent and unexpected years of my life. First and foremost with all the uncontrollable aside, never did I expect to spend the majority of my time in a place where I didn’t call home. Home is truly where the heart is and I realized there’s no issue in having multiple homes. It’s the people around you that gives the warmth you need to call home. Second, relationships are 100x more important than anything you can quantify. Friends you’ve grown up with are irreplaceable and friendships you make along your way are invaluable. Doors are meant to be opened so don’t keep them closed. Finally, whatever happens along your journey, stay true to yourself. Happiness is meant to be shared.

– Jesse

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