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When I was in my early 20s, I wasn't too focused. The whole world was just opening up. I was completing university and didn't know what was ahead of me. New friends were popping up as I engaged in new activities and old ones were disappearing as my interests continued to change. Does this sound familiar at all? I'm sure this has happened with everyone but one thing remained the same, or so I thought.
My family was there. When I was in my early twenties, I didn't think much of this because I always thought this would be a constant. I am one of the fortunate ones with a healthy home, caring family and I lost sight of it. I was definitely spoiled by their love. As I think back to my early twenties I realize just how good it was.
Why didn't I take advantage of those times? I could have hung out with my nephews more when they were toddlers. My time with my parents could have been better spent. There are a lot of should have and could have thoughts in my head. I just remember that my priorities were very different when I was younger. I didn't realize that job that I had in my early twenties didn't pay me well enough to miss big events with my family. Back then earning money was new and didn't think that I would continue to earn more as I grew older. I was kind of weird, though, because I liked my low paid jobs.
I remember the big events that I enjoyed like concerts and parties. They would usually be on weekends because I'd be busy during the week for work and school. The majority of these events would happen in other cities so I would never be in town during the weekends. I could have used some of these weekends to spend quality time with the family.
There was a lot going on those days and sometimes I felt that it was a release to go out to these events in other cities. It took over as one of my priorities back in the day especially when I would constantly hear people give me the advice to travel more. I didn't realize what would happen with my family in the future.
Of course, there should always be balance. You can't be spending all of your time with your family and not make friends and relationships outside of the family. When I was in my early twenties I thought that my family was a constant thing and didn't realize these good times will only last for a little while.
No one could have told me when my family members would be getting terminally sick or that there would be a failed marriage in the family? I didn't even know that a failed marriage in the family affects not only their marriage but everyone in the family because we're all so interconnected. Who would be able to predict siblings with financial or mental challenges? No one can predict the future but statistics tell us otherwise.
The statistics are overwhelming. As we age we will become sick, marriages do fail, mental illness is prevalent throughout our population. We just have no indication when it'll impact our lives.
When we're young we have a naive view of the world. Everything is still bright and colorful because everyone in your life is still young enough to keep up with you. As we age this falls apart because of a variety of reasons dependent of each individual.
I know this opinion might fall on deaf ears but I hope people out there have less regrets than I do about their early years. I don't totally regret all of the time I spent away I just realize that I could have spent my time better. Had it all happened to me again I would probably fall into the same pitfalls that I did in the past but with some modifications.
Things are going to happen in your life that aren't so great. The best we can do is acknowledge and take care of each other the best that we possibly can. Although I didn't hang out with my nephews when they were toddlers I know that they don't even remember those years. It was just for me to remember them better when they were infants. Kids grow up really fast and so does life. The limited time we have we can only try to make the most of it.