On Which I Talk About Honoring Your Pace

Today, I was able to finally meet up with two of my closest friends from work (and life, in general) and got the chance to catch up on what’s going on. I am nothing but happy for them — it seems to me like they were able to keep it together, with jobs and goals intact — but at some point, I just can’t help myself from thinking about how lost I feel, and how much of a mess I have become, compared to them. I’m not pitying myself, but there are just times when I would feel like I am not at par with everyone else, and that I’m a such a loser for not being able to progress as quickly as the others. And I know that I’m not alone in this situation.

I guess the problem here is this: we put so much pressure on ourselves to accomplish x things at this age, or to get to this status by the time that we turn x years old, that we forget the fact that to be able to actually get wherever we think we should be, we have to do so much, we have to understand and learn so many things, and that this process really takes so much time than what we’ve projected in our heads. We have become the type of people who feels like there is no time for us to ‘figure things out’ because we think that the time that we’re spending to feel “lost” is time wasted. Sure, every minute is precious, but it doesn’t mean that there is no time for us to experiment or make mistakes. Just because you haven’t understood where you wanted to be, or just because you did something wrong, doesn’t mean that you will be perpetually unhappy. It might actually just mean that there is still so much more opportunities for us to grow and learn, and that along the way, we will eventually understand things, bit by bit. Yes, we only live once, but we also have to understand that to live doesn’t only mean to have fun and be happy; to live is to create mistakes, to learn from our failures, and to grow through all adversities that life throws at us.

I guess social media is also another factor why we can’t seem to honor our pace. We go online and see all these young people, traveling around the world, being successful, and just having the time of their lives. We look at them and then we compare ourselves; we look at them and we think of how small we are and how little we’ve accomplished. But really, their perfectly curated accounts doesn’t reflect their life 100%. It may seem like it, but that’s not how it goes. There’s no point for us to look at them and feel bad that we’re not on the same level as they are. Who knows, maybe they are privileged enough to afford that trip to Paris at 24, or maybe they are just exceptionally talented that they were able to live off on their passion at 20, but that doesn’t mean that we are a failure. Maybe it just takes us more time than they do before we unravel that thing that makes our heart beat twice as fast, or maybe we’re just late bloomers and our talent will come out a couple of years from now, and we can’t do anything about that. We just have to accept that we haven’t figured out ourselves just yet. We have to honor our pace.

I’m not telling you that you should just wait for things to happen. No, that’s not my point. My point is, you should exert effort and work very hard for your dreams, but if you were unable to attain certain things on your projected timeline, or if you made mistakes along the way, then that’s okay. It’s okay for us to slow down for a while and try to make sense out of the hurdles. It’s okay to be 23 and lost and experimental. It’s okay for us to be 25 and single. It’s okay if you’re 30 and it’s your first time to go abroad. It’s okay because that is your pace.

So what if it took you three years to save up for that trip to Hong Kong? Some people would just take 6 months (or even less!) to save up for that, and you know what? That. Is. Okay. Just because they work quickly and you don’t doesn’t mean that you are losing. Besides, life is not a race! Maybe it took you that long because you’re feeding your family and you have bills to pay, and that, my friend, is as admirable as being able to getting rakets left and right to attain a P50,000 savings in 3 months.

Our problem is that we can’t seem to accept the fact that there are just people who gets to climb up the ladder twice as fast compared to us. We were programmed to think that “if they were able to do that, then I can too”, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But in case you fail and you realize that you’re not as quick as they are doesn’t mean that you are a failure. It may just mean that your pace is a little slower than that person.

I guess at the end of the day, we all have our own pace when it comes to attaining goals, unleashing our potentials, and reaching our dreams. There is no need to compare to others and feel sorry just because you’re being left out. I know that this is so much easier said than done, but with the right mindset, then we can refocus ourselves and take credit of the things that we’ve done, rather than dwelling so much on the things that we did wrong.

My point here is this: let’s not be too hard on ourselves. I have been too hard on myself for the longest time, and it didn’t do me any good. It just made me feel more depressed and just perpetually anxious, because I feel like I haven’t accomplished anything compared to others. I don’t have a stellar resume, a huge savings on my bank account, a job to brag about, or even an assurance of getting a paycheck every month, and not honoring my pace just made things much worse for me. I think my visit to my friends and that catch up session was, in a way, an eye opener. These people that I love are doing great, and I’m not, and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean that I’m stuck in this rut forever, even if it feels that way. I guess this is just my way to remind myself that I will eventually do well, and I hope that that message would also come across to you, whoever you are. We will eventually do well, trust me.

To honoring our pace and accepting that life is no rainbows and butterflies.



17 thoughts on “On Which I Talk About Honoring Your Pace

  1. I guess all of us have gone to this phase, where we feel so down and tend to compare our lives with everyone else, thinking “What have I been doing with my life?”. But recently I realized I don’t need to rush. I have my own timeline, goals and I’ll reach them in my own pace. People who knows I’ve been travelling kept on telling me I should go for international too. Yes, it is good to go travel abroad, but I don’t like it as much as others do so I’m not doing it. I can’t just travel abroad just because others do it. Other people have already reach hundred thousands in their savings account, or own a house at a very young age, but I don’t feel insecure anymore. Because it doesn’t mean I don’t save and just splurge. It’s because I’m a responsible eldest child who supports her family financially. And I think that’s something I could be more proud of than owning material things.
    It’s not about catching up with the others, because you’ll never be satisfied. It’s more fulfilling to achieve your own goals without having to rely on the others’ accomplishments.

  2. I feel you, J. I’ve been feeling like I was left behind. But let’s think there are reasons why we are at these positions right now. We just have to find our bliss. You know, whatever happens, happens.

  3. Oh, quarter life crisis woes! I feel you. We all go through the same thing. And I definitely agree that social media is a huge factor that comes into play for our generation – we’re constantly bombared with the idea of making the most out of our 20’s or “getting out there” or that a life not pursuing any kind of passion is a life not worth living. It’s not a bad idea, of course, but too much of it is rather toxic.

    I recently chatted up with a high school batchmate of mine too and he told me some worries about how he’s just going to graduate from his degree, quite a bit later than our other batch mates. And then he went on about how his life is ruined and all these timelines are off with his goals and all that. And I had to tell him that life is not a competition on how gets to graduate on time and gets their dream job by the time we’re 25, or who gets to visit over 50 countries before they’re 30. You do have your own personal goals, that’s fine, we all need those every once in a while to keep us going. But that doesn’t mean that we’re complete failures just because we don’t get to do certain things in a given time. He’s going to graduate – that is a huge success for him! It doesn’t even matter if it took him longer than everyone else, what mattered was he *did* it.

    Life, to put it simply, is not a race. It is not measured by the number of successes or goals that we have or whether or not we did a certain number of things more than others. Heck, who knows, maybe in five to ten years we’d have different dreams or goals by then. Would any of these even matter?

    Sometimes I think we’re wired to treat life so seriously that we forget about the important things, like simply living it and taking each day for what it is and making the most out of it. I take comfort in the fact that no one, even someone who is ten or twenty years older than I am, has life figured out either and that it’s okay if I don’t right now. Of course, I do get down moments here and then too, but this is something that I would also remind myself each day when I feel like I’m stuck in a rut: I am here, I am alive, I am in the moment, and I matter. It has helped me through so much life anxiety episodes.

    Thank you for writing this. And I would like to tell you that you are, definitely, not alone in feeling the same way. To quote Troy Bolton (haha), “We’re all in this together!” 🙂

    1. Aw, thank you Cara! It’s always nice to know that you are not going through certain things alone. I guess I find comfort in knowing that I’m not abnormal as much as I feel so. Haha. 🙂 And yes, we’re all in this together! Woot!

  4. Hey there Jhanz! been quite a while since I last read something from you~ haha! I haven’t been moving so much since Christmas! lol! I think I’m still not over the fact that it’s already 2016~

    Well, am I sensing some sort of quarter life crisis in here? That’s totally fine! hahaha~ I heard from someone that feelings like these (and other internal dramas) would keep on until early 30’s. She actually wrote a book (Floundering at 25) about her personal experiences about that phase of life wherein you just plain question your existence and rank in this so-called society. I read it when I was about your age! lol!

    Being happy for other people’s success is healthy, but, we have to make sure that we are not putting ourselves down and feeling like a total crap as we do this. It should serve as an inspiration, I guess. I totally agree with the ‘pacing’ thing. Just because things are not happening at this time and age doesn’t mean they wouldn’t happen, ever. True, life IS NOT a race. And I do believe that epic shits happen to us when we are (physically, mentally, emotionally and financially) ready for them! ^.^

    *cyber hug*


    1. Thank you Cyndrel! I totally agree, we should look to people who made it and be inspired from it, rather than feel shitty and all. Hehe 🙂

    1. Hehe I think we really can’t help ourselves but to compare ourselves, but I guess we need to stop torturing ourselves and instead, focus on what we do and what we can continue to do to be able to be the best version of ourselves. We can do this! 😀

  5. This hits right on the spot.

    I remember writing in one of my planners that I want to graduate before I turn 20, even with all the shifting and getting delayed because I did enter college only as a 15 year old. So when I saw it one time while cleaning up my things, I got pretty sad that those who originally are my batchmates will be graduating ahead of me. And even two batches have gone by and I’m still in school. I thought before that college was not going to be great. But it really was great. I jsut felt like I was stuck in there the whole time, making me more left out.

    That’s why when I think about how I’m *hopefully* graduating this year, it makes me tear up a little. I can’t believe I’m finally moving forward.

    Isang yakap pabalik, Jhanz! 🙂

    1. You’re moving forward!!! 🙂 Just because you’re not at the same pace as the others doesn’t mean that you’re not doing well. Good luck Jamie! I’m glad that you had fun in college. Know that it doesn’t really matter if you weren’t able to hit that certain goal, I still believe that you did great. <3

  6. I love this, Jhanz. You’ve said it better. I’ve been feeling more than down lately too, and reading this lifted my spirit on how we should honor our pace. To me it’s not the achievements and peers but more on just how I feel when no one cares or initiates to understand. Having depression isn’t easy, but it’s easily misunderstood. It derails those who are afflicted even though the way to recovery seems to be doing good. It doesn’t pick a time and it’s very easy to have two faces for even when I’m struggling. It just happens and next thing I know, I feel hopeless. On the bright side, I really learn who my real friends are. Hope you are feeling much better. If you ever need a shoulder, I’m here for you.

    Iris @ Earth Love Skin

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