A blog about ideas, people, education, and personal development
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Wisdom from Adults on my 21st
Here is the e-mail I sent to some friends and family:
To those who I respect & admire over 21,
I'll be turning that age tomorrow. I ask you to give me the gift of answering the following question:
1) Do you regret anything you did or *didn't* do when you were 21? (Bonus points if your answer is in a haiku!)
I was inspired to do this from seeing it done here. Birthday time is prime time reflecting for me--especially 21--and I think this will be a neat way to enrich that process. I'll also really enjoy reading these.
If you're curious to see how this project turns out, let me know and I'll send you some answers I receive (sources will be kept anonymous unless they would like to be named). Here are a couple humorous samples if you need ideas. Of course, no regrets is an acceptable answer.
"Always working hard
Not enough travel world wide
Too few girls in bed"
"Eighteen meant some drinks
Being with friends for hijinx Not mature methinks"
And here are bits & pieces of the answers I received: (anonymous of course!) Feel free to add your own to the comments section. And thank you again to all who participated.
-- Looking back, I only wish I'd stayed in touch with all those people who were my friends then.
-- I was “communist” at that time. It is easy to be communist when you live in a wonderful house, have a car and your parents help you with everything.
-- I should have played more basketball. should have seen how good of physical shape i could get into. should have thought more about what i wanted to do post-college and studied something relevant to that.
-- Date lots. Obviously, don't be a jerk or an asshole, but one learns a lot about oneself through being involved with others. So, yes, the writer of that haiku earlier was on to something. Put yourself in spots to genuinely meet people who are different than you. Life gets more stratified as you get older.
-- I think that's my best advise at 21. Choose where your passion lies (at least for now) and indulge yourself in good books, travel, meeting different people (and not hanging with the same people all the time) and a spiritual practice. If you can find yourself a mentor - that's the best. I wish I found one when I was 21 but wasn't aware of needing to be more active about it.
-- I should have spent more time with people that mattered to me. I was somewhat of an isolationist. Maybe in coming to terms with my political identity I did not spend enough time with family and friends. I think in retrospect I could have given expression to my political identity without compromising my commitment to those who mattered.
-- Erik: Forget the regrets. Life is too short to waste it thinking about dids and didnots. Good luck trying to rap these words.
-- I regret not listening many times to my gut feelings.
-- Find a way to spend a year abroad after graduating from college.
-- Worked abroad. I think travel is great, but the idea of immersing myself in another culture and really learning a language appeals to me more now than ever. That's a big thing for me. I didn't get into languages with sufficient focus till after it became harder to learn them.
-- Thought too much of girls
Choosing will be easier Find own spirit first
-- Looking back, those were some intense years; full of ups and downs.. I stuck to my goals, and somehow knew that things were going to work out. In fact, throughout my life, I always had the conviction that if I made the right decision -- did the right thing (no matter how hard) -- good things will follow!
-- But what I regret is to not have done more things... To not have talked to more people, but most of all, I regret the time I wasted being afraid to do things I wanted, to try and accomplish my objectives, to dream and believe
-- Go have fun and do crazy things! Just don't do them carelessly and stupidly.