Recently, I saw ‘23’ trending on Twitter with so much banter and tweets about how 23 year olds are clueless, ignorant people who do not have direction in life or plans and goals, but live in the now and this and that. On the threads, there were people who countered the allegations and false tales by showcasing their achievements at age 23. In this post, I intend to shed a little light on my life at 23; by going down memory lane. Yes, I intend to share my experiences with some salient points, hoping it will influence or impact someone else whether at 23, younger or older.
Plans and Goals:
I have always been a planner, so, my life at 23 was already mapped out with room for flexibility which was prone to changes. When rounding up 22, I had a sketch of the many things I wanted to achieve at 23. So, those were guidelines that helped me set goals and milestones which were divided into bi-annual, quarterly and monthly timelines. These goals gave me something to work on and something to work towards achieving. I made it easier by breaking the monthly goals down into weekly to-do lists and daily plans in order to reduce the ambiguity of all the things I needed to get done. Yes, I sometimes didn’t achieve everything I’d planned out, but having a guide was all I needed to stay organized and committed. I had my theme for the year set out- so, everything I did was centered on my objectives and takeaways for the year. So, at 23, I was organized, had my life mapped out –even if I was always confused on what life had planned out especially career wise, I still tried to focus on getting to the shore by sailing and navigating the best way I could.
I’ll honestly tell you that I was shadowing a lot of career paths I admired, was passionate about and was open-minded to learn and trust the process of uncertainty. At 23, I had just completed my youth service program and relocated to Abuja- another city where I wanted to try out, with the hope of getting a job, paying bills and fulfilling my purpose on Earth. I got a job as a call center agent, but on resuming, I realized it was a front desk and sales representative role for a fitness company. I was disappointed, but kept scouting and 2 weeks later, I got a volunteer opportunity at an International Non-Governmental Organization which I applied for, got selected, participated in the workshop session, was recognized as an exceptional volunteer and got an internship role as an Administrative Assistant. I saw it as an opportunity to try finding my footing in the corporate world and though I wasn’t 100% sure of what career path to take, I kept doing the things I had passion for -social work and creative projects. I was determined to learn on the job and trust my growth process –whether fast or slow. I took up capacity building and personal development courses, did researches on how to do my job better and eventually started working on my brand by blogging, podcasting and creating contents that gave me a platform to share inspiring lifestyle stories. My career growth may not have bloomed the way I had imagined it to, but it definitely showed significant signs of growth and progress because I was open to learning, never stopped trusting the process and constantly challenged myself to do better on work related tasks and personal projects.
My income at the time was enough for me to handle a couple of bills and expenses, until the economy fell into a recession and the prices of things inflated badly. I had to cut down on my costs and try to keep a low profile, managing what I could and looking out for extra sources of income. Then, there was a pandemic that led me further down the drain, but bills were paid and life moved on. The pandemic gave me an opportunity to retrace my steps financially and make plans to do better at it, but at 24, things simply got worse- wait till you read it.
No, I wasn’t in a relationship because I simply wanted to focus on building myself, navigating through my new environment and scanning through the many offers that kept coming, but never made it past the gate. At 23, I already knew the kind of relationship I wanted to have and well, that may be streamlined to an intimate relationship, but generally, I knew the kind of people I needed in my life, the relationships I needed to create, build, maintain or discard. So, no, I wasn’t clueless and insensible. I had core values I lived by and my standards only got higher from there because age comes with a lot of lessons and changes.
Now, at 23 and as a last born, I was already responsible for my life, decisions, and choices and took responsibility for my actions. I had core values that guided my every move and plans that kept adding up because well, there’s room for changes and growth. So, can you do a little throwback to your life at 23 and recap how you lived your life by sharing your story? The comment section will be open, but if you want to be anonymous, feel free to reach out to email@example.com.