I just turned 27. Here are my 10 life lessons I learnt #millennialstyle
For millennials, introverts, empaths and second generation young adults
I turned 27 recently #lockdowncelebrationathome
As I am moving towards the end of my second decade.... I would like to share some of my #lockdownlessons:
I am looking back on my last 9 years (18-27) and realised that with our phone, social media, life in the city - we can be easily influenced to attach what I call 'additions' to your original childhood identity... but I reckon we can re-frame this and start to re-learn what we can do with what we have around us based on our own unique personal life mission, values and relationships.
So, I am hoping that any humans who click and read this will gain reassurance that it's okay, keep going. #theuniversehasgotyourback
1. Accept and ask for help
I strongly believed and affirmed myself that it was better for me to be independent and make choices without letting my parents and close friends know. Why? I thought I could be super-woman and wanted to feel for once outside from my mother's protected wings that I could do something on my own.
And so... I wondered and rocked up at workplaces, events and places with tasks and beliefs that was outside of what I could understand or practice.
Your 20s is a life-learning school, second to our primary education. This one is about practice and we need teachers still, in our lives. We need a guide. Wondering is fun and thrilling but human-like compasses helps ground us. That's why we get so confused #backthentheyhadhandbooks
Arriving at 27 now, I realised that I still don't know about managing my personal finances, how to cook properly (ask your mum!) and freelancing. I have finally surrendered and opened my heart to the universe to ask for mentors in my life because I need help. It makes you feel weak and vulnerable but it's the first step to practicing doing life 'together.'
2. Happiness is real when shared.
One of my favourite movies is 'Into the Wild.' I met this one girl at a casual job I did in the community. We went around to share about our favourite movies and I had this self-absorbed and selfish idea that living and being away from people, media, society was the best way to stay sane. She gave me a different perspective to this. She told me that the ending was sad for the main character. The protagonist learnt that running away from our family and expectations can be freeing but if it is not shared with other humans, it's not deeply fulfilling...
I will never forgot that. She changed my direction and mentality in how I once perceived my 'introverted' life dreams and now I'm working towards building honest friendships and relationships.
For any introverts out there, I find that keeping 1 or 2 people in your friendship circle can do amazing things to your life. Keep them close.
I regret not being open and transparent with my old high school friends because they had different lives to me. I was trying to chase the career dream after graduating but realised life in your 20s is fun and funny when you eat, watch Friends and chat about how broke we are with your mates.
3. Return your respect to your parents in any way
Ah, this applies to every 20 something year old human. I come from ancestors in Vietnam. My father experienced physical and mental hardships travelling here by boat.
I realised my arguments with my mother and our differences does not make me any knowledgable or any better than her.
I now practice how I treat her, talk to her and serve her because she is my first nurturer, teacher, guide and mother-figure. I have all of these opportunities because of her and now my life is more deep and meaningful because I return her care.
Give in any way you can. Other than money, we can give massages, clothes, walk with our parents, give hugs - too much to put here. Up to you!
4. Break up with your phone every now and then
During lockdown in 2020, I tried using different settings to prevent me from compulsively checking my phone (fun fact: I still can't get rid of this habit). That's ok. I realised that doing this excessively makes us pick up other things like food to replace the emptiness.
It's a part of our life. But.... if you would like to try 'reducing' and having a 'detox' every now and then... then try this:
Take a day off without your phone eg. on Sunday
I even deleted my Facebook and Instagram because I was not getting 'joy' from it.... but I'm back on it to start fresh and to re-build myself.
Go walking, make something, bake... I dare you to try sitting still without looking at your phone while watching TV or looking outside the window!
5. Your dreams take hard work and sacrifices
Okay, I know we see on social media that some humans can get a lot of attraction early in their life. That's true.
But let's be realistic. Have you realised all kinds of work takes a lot of work?
Writing this takes a lot of work. Cleaning, cooking, babysitting etc.
So does our goals, wants and career passions.
-Plan, break up the plan into steps, give yourself grace for taking breaks #selfcare and tell yourself the process and journey of testing, trialling and prototyping takes months, years... #tortoisewinsattheend
6. Clean your room, phone and mind (Juju's favourite life hack)
How did I keep myself mentally sane in my toughest times?
I spent my nights, weekends and lockdown looking at my bookmarks, links, notes, random saved items on Facebook and asked myself whether I needed it. If I didn't, I moved it to clearly named folders in years or I trashed it.
For my bedroom and workspace, if I felt stuck, sluggish or stressed - I would move things around, vacuum the place and clean some more until I felt some good 'juju.' Seriously, the concept of Marie Kondo works.
I gained so much clarity and my mind space felt lighter and I felt good from cleaning. Now, I love cleaning!
7. Record and document everything you have done
We can get caught up with other humans' journey being cooler than ours.
But after cleaning... I realised that I have gifts that the universe and my parents taught me growing up that doesn't need qualifications or added advertisements needed.
My life experiences give me the skills and knowledge #adapting #resilience
My volunteering experience with my friends in the community taught me value of service #allaboutvalues
My education at school and university gave me the foundations #seriouslyreconnectwithyourteachers
8. Teach and serve
When you arrive at a place where you've gained so much, you gain fat. And when you feel fat, you feel heavy. And when you feel heavy, you need to re-lease it or it will cause you to feel constipated, self-absorbed and stuck.
I realised the gems of life is that we start as students... then practitioners... and then teachers. And the cycle repeats and we can become students once again for another purpose and activity.
Teaching adds value to life.
We all need teachers.
Got something to share. Teach it. The bliss of teaching and practice of teaching is an amazing skill to have as well.
9. Health is really wealth
In my darkest and lowest points in my life, my cousin told me that worrying about capitalism, news and the injustices of the world will not help with anything.
She said that if I don't look after my 'health,' then I can't move.
I can't move at work.. I can't move to help my community... I can't move to give to my family... I can't move out of bed.
That's why, I deliberately remind myself that for the rest of my 20s will be practicing on cleaning myself, eating as much veggies and fruit as I can and less worrying.
Picture this - you can have bags of money with a nice title and career. But when we get sick or need a surgery due to our health issues, we need to use the money we earned to help cure us (all that hard work...) But if we started nurturing our minds and bodies now, we can work and still rest and play #dontstressorworrytoomuch
Think about it.
10. Watch my short film I made in my journey growing up Vietnamese in Australia.
I reached a climax in my mid 20s and somehow made a short film to describe the tension and turbulence of life as a millennial growing up in Australia - raised by migrant parents.
Funny story - I can't rewatch it now because it brings back strong emotions. I have learnt the hard lessons of the journey with my relationships with my mum and so I plan to make another film (Part 2) sometime soon.
But this short film depicts all the raw emotions, thoughts, philosophies I went through. I made it to help others feel the reassurance that you are not alone.
There's certainly more but I think that's enough for this piece.
I hope that will give you some good juju as we navigate our lives during the pandemic.
Where-ever you are in your life, remember you are a fated star.
an old millennial soul here to awaken and teach —
western mind but with an eastern soul,
but i promise i will give you some #goodjuju
Watch my short film on growing up Vietnamese in Australia: