The 3rd of this month marked the completion my 24th year of existence, 24 revolutions around the sun, 24 years of the limited time that we are all handed when we board this earth train.
These were 24 years of great health, a relatively problem free life and great learnings. I’ve met and became friends with some amazing people who’ve made me question my priorities and values. Speaking of priorities, they’ve changed as well, although whether for the good or otherwise is something only time will tell. From someone who read and preached science (and be annoying sometimes), to becoming obsessed with my desktop PC and learning security (and be annoying most times), picking up social skills and learning how to talk to people (if you're surprised this is something people need to learn separately, you're probably not friends with many nerds), getting into web and open source, getting a full time job and so on. Life has had its share of twists and turns but it has been a joyride so far.
So how does it feel to be 24 years old? I think it is a superb feeling. Many things are changing, mostly for the good. People take you seriously, sort of. You feel the added responsibility when making decisions; decisions about your life and about those who surround you. People also seem to trust you with your decisions, which is nice. It feels like, finally, you're in the driver's seat. Eating what you like, taking care of your health and fitness and those kind of things have also picked up pace. On a health related note, I did a fair bit of outdoor sporting this year after around a decade long pause. With a sample size of one, I also think that the tendency to do things to please others, in general, goes on diminishing as we age.
At some point, I realized that some regrets are better than others. Regretting your decisions is better than other people's. Similarly, regretting doing something is often better than the regret of not doing it. You also realize that many problems that you face are actually your choices. You can't escape problems, but you can choose the ones you'd like to tackle by making conscious choices.
In the past couple of years, I’ve become a bit more independent; earn enough to support myself and my hobbies, and lived alone in my own flat. Moving to Berlin was by far the main highlight of this year. Like I keep mentioning, moving to a new city is like being handed a blank book. You can correct your past regrets, and try to be the person you always wanted to be, and not worry about your past self’s image in other people’s mind conflicting with the new one (for reasons which I’d not try to justify, I find it similar to starting a new code project versus fixing a legacy one).
And as always, with the added authority comes added responsibility. I noticed that I think longer before making decisions or even simply speaking, since those things now have consequences (and some people, my parents included, sometimes count on me to do the thinking). Overall, the theme of the last couple of paragraphs is that 24 is a good age to gain some autonomy, confidence in your self, control over your life and explore a bit. Not physically, necessarily, but philosophically, in the sense of what your values are, what do you expect from the people around you and what do you give them in return.
Thank you for reading!