At this tender age of 21, I find myself on the cusp of adulthood, but also close enough to my teenage years to realise that yes, I should have studied more in high school and yes, my mum is almost always right. There is a lot of knowledge to gain as we get older, but I just cannot believe how much experience matters.
In relation to learning, there are two primary distinctions: critical periods and sensitive periods. If you don’t acquire certain knowledge – language, for example – in the critical period, there is evidence that one may never achieve competency. For me, I think the last two or so years of my life have been a very sensitive learning period, in that there has been considerable change, loss, gain and countless lessons for me. Even within these years, it is incredible how much insight one can acquire in a much shorter period of time, be it a semester, a month or even a week. This is a short post and is lacking a central thread, but that is because I’m struggling to really comprehend the immensity of this influx of my new experiences and thoughts.
Perhaps these lessons you learn as time passes are indeed time sensitive. If you don’t learn about yourself before you set yourself up for life, when will you? How will one know the ‘right’ way to do this? Conversely, I truly believe that one never stops learning, changing and growing. I remember when I was about 17 and I thought I knew SO much about myself, the world and those around me. Now, in hindsight, I realise how blinkered I was. I believe that travelling has impacted me positively in that I have such an appreciation for others, their worldviews and personality differences. I also realise how sheltered and naive I was before I was exposed to people who weren’t almost exactly the same as me. On the other hand, these mind-opening experiences definitely had negative effects on me, given that I did lose a lot of who I thought I was and make a multitude of mistakes. Indeed, it’s only a mistake if you do it twice..
I don’t like it, but I still feel so naive and when I look back on my recent past, I wonder what I was thinking. That’s why I like writing in this secret blog of mine. Very few people I know are aware of it, but for those who do read it, maybe they’ll learn a lesson of their own from mine. I just re-read the last post I wrote, and my god a lot can change in a few weeks. A lot can change in a single week…. I titled that piece ‘Perspective’, and ironically, it is only now that I feel like I have it.