Note: This is a personal blog entry. Please don’t read this if you feel really sad. I don’t want to add to other people’s (possible) heartaches. Just my POV but I’m okay. Just putting my thoughts out here in case someone can relate. 🙂
“People in their 20s should be hustling to save up for their future!”
I’ve heard this countless of times even when I was still in grade school. At that time, I used to long for a pretty home, lots of free time to do things that I love, and a job that can keep my family afloat even during the worst days. We were taught to aim high in school and to not put a limit to our dreams. As I hit my 20s, reality started to kick in. For someone like me who have no plans of raising a kid in a world which seemed to be on a downward spiral, saving up wouldn’t be for a family or a home. I’d probably save up for a retirement home and funeral plan first – not for my parents or elderly people within my family, but for myself.
It may seem like a pessimistic take for some, but in my point of view, it’s more of an assurance. Living in the Philippines isn’t easy, especially with the current pandemic. Although I’m aware that other countries had it worse, seeing leadership incompetency and a crashing economy added more fuel for myself to set this goal, but my reasons go beyond that (and I’m not blaming them for having this kind of POV). I’ve seen and answered way too many calls for donations for babies in need of milk and diapers, for people who are sick or with disability who need medical attention, for food to be sent to people who lost their jobs, and so on. While providing help as much as I can, I’d be a hypocrite if I say that it hasn’t affected me on a mental and emotional level. At the back of my mind, I thought about how helpless it would be for me if I were in their shoes. Me, a person with too much pride to ask for help. Me, who would rather starve than put my future in the hands of strangers. I have nothing against people who ask for help, in fact, I admire the lengths they go for the sake of their family and survival but this made me want to prepare for my future even more, seeing how immediate help cannot be provided from local institutions and not having enough connections to give me peace of mind.
As selfish as it may sound, I want to save enough for myself first as much as possible and while I still can. I’d save enough for funeral services if ever I leave this earth “earlier” than expected so my parents wouldn’t need to pay for expenses (and it’s quite expensive to get a casket and be cremated these days). I’d save enough for a retirement home so I wouldn’t be a burden to my younger sister who has dreams of her own. I’d save enough for possible medical bills, given my unusual condition that I’ve set aside for years, and save enough for emergency funds. After getting these, that’s the only time that I think I’d be able to consider the rest of my dreams – a nice home, starting a family of my own with pets instead of kids, raising enough capital for my own business, providing what my parents need, and even moving to a better place if given the chance, to name a few. That would be the only time that I can set my mind free.
This is also one of the reasons why questions about a concrete bucket list makes me uncomfortable. Of course, if a possible employer will be asking about such things, my answer wouldn’t sound promising so I’d probably just lie to seem “normal” in their eyes. Unlike others, I don’t have the luxury to put “go sky diving” or “see the pyramids” on top of my list – no matter how much I want to. Sure, I’d like to travel but I’d only do that from time to time when I foresee extra budget to spare.
Plans involving death and growing old alone would normally be frowned upon for being too negative when in reality (or at least in my POV), it seems to be more on the practical and reassuring side of things. Is it that bad if I don’t want to be a burden to other people when I grow old or when I die? No one knows what’s going to happen next. We cannot predict our future just like how Feng Shui masters and other fortune tellers weren’t able to predict this pandemic.
So why am I writing this? I know at least two friends who share a similar sentiment and I’d like to believe that there are other people my age who have doubts about their future, too. Not everyone was born in a place of wealth and power, so it’s understandable how some may feel the need to start creating a safety net now. Know that you’re not alone and it’s okay to be scared. I’d like to believe that it should be perfectly normal to put contingency plans in place – no matter how bleak they seem – before chasing after the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Such topics just aren’t that welcomed in some circles, so I’m dropping this here to help start the conversation.
Hope everyone’s doing well. Tight digital hugs to everyone who usually gets stuck in their 2 AM thoughts like this one. Not everyone has the luxury to think positively, especially during times like this. The world needs empathy and an open mind now, more than ever.
Good night! 🙂
P.S. Please don’t try to PM me and sell insurance, my recent application got denied due to medical conditions and I’m not interested to waste my time on other tests again. I just wanted to casually talk about future plans that don’t involve butterflies and rainbows, that’s all. Have a nice day.