Written by Jacob Ibrag
All that had to go right for you
to be here. The things that had to go wrong.
Love gained and love lost. An unfortunate series of
events today. Fortunate string of tomorrows. Two sides
of a coin take turns falling. The darkness of a sky
pierced by a bleeding light. A light which
leaves with every passing night.
Photo by Dmitry Schemelev
Hello friends. Today I turned 30. As I reflect on my 20’s, I can’t help but separate that decade into 3 parts.
The first part consists of the first 4 years into my 20’s. I classify that time as the “forgotten” phase. It’s exactly what it sounds like. During that time, I had forgotten who I was, which is what can happen when you don’t have a strong sense of self in a relationship. I had become an unwilling passenger. The worst part of it all was my complacency and lack of awareness of it.
The second part consists of the next 3 years of my 20’s. I classify that time as the “reconstruction” phase. And that phase is exactly what it sounds like. After the first 4 years into my 20’s, I had basically no sense of self. I felt like a vampire who saw nothing when he looked into the mirror. With a little help from my friends who I am still close with today, I had launched eyes plus words. I figured, what better way to learn about myself than to dive straight into my psyche? I began to write and publish a poem once a day even if it wasn’t perfect by my own standards. The thinking here is that life is and will never be perfect, and so why should my writing reflect an unreachable expectation? This allowed me to loosen up and start accepting myself for who I am and who I am not. And you guys listened. You read and appreciated the part of me I never knew existed. You helped cultivate my growth mindset. You gave me a chance to make mistakes and get better. You helped me see myself in the mirror.
The last part consists of the last 3 years of my 20’s. I classify this time as the “renaissance” phase. And yes, this phase is exactly what it sounds like. During the “reconstruction” phase, I had realized that I was getting better with time management and project execution. Writing a poem a day and coupling them with photos for 3 years straight was absolutely a challenge. There was also the matter of choosing different peoples submissions to publish onto eyes plus words. I enjoyed every part of it. And so I decided to apply these skills towards my second college degree. I wanted to better understand myself and the people around me, so I studied psychology. It had been a while since I finished my first degree in media studies and advertising, so I knew this was going to be interesting. Now, I was never a student who excelled academically. Simply put, I lacked direction. This was different though. Eyes plus words had gifted me the power of being hyper focused and aware. This psychology program had no shot. And in 2019, I graduated with the highest honors the psychology department and the school had to offer. I wasn’t done though, I wanted to keep going. With that hunger, I applied myself to a graduate program which focused on industrial and organizational psychology. And so here I am today, standing in the 2nd year of my program and loving it.
This decade has not been a straight line. Without really thinking about, it’s been all over the place. Some may look back at their past and wish to change something. I’m not going to lie and say I wouldn’t too. That said, hindsight is 20/20. What feels perfect today could bite us tomorrow, and the reverse is true as well. I don’t know what this next decade of life looks like. I do however know that whatever happens next, I’ll be at least a little prepared for it, and it’s because of all of you. Thank you for listening, even when I haven’t said much these past few years.