I once wrote about quitting my job to travel the world and how it changed my life for the better. I'll admit, this was certainly not the most humble piece I have written in my life.
Anyone miserable in their own desk job, dreaming of getting up and leaving for travel would have clear reason to be frustrated while reading it.
And many would argue Millennials shouldn't be labeled as people who quit their jobs to travel, as they are more than the stereotypes that define them as selfish, entitled people who get angry when asked to work hard. And this point is completely fair.
However, wouldn't it be great if being a “stereotypical Millennial” meant you lived in the moment, took risks and followed your dreams?
My friends and family showed their support and love for the article. However, a few days after it was published, an internet troll from my high school sent me scathing Facebook messages. He accused me of living off my parents' dime and claimed I give Millennials a bad name.
It should be noted that this person's most recent profession entails working for a marijuana-mapping failed startup in a state where weed has yet to be legalized. We graduated from high school six years ago, and this person is still a bully.
I'll admit, there weren't quite enough details to explain how I made the decision to travel and how I afford this lifestyle. While my high school bully was quick to judge and troll, he may not have had all the information.
So, here are the basics:
I received my master's degree at 22. As a result, I ended up with a great job straight out of college. I saved nearly every penny, which I now use to fund my travels.
At the time, saving was easy because I was severely depressed and hid in my apartment when I was not working. And therefore, I didn't do anything that required spending money. Saving money for travel wasn't on my radar at the time because I was so focused on making it through each day.
And to combat my bully's point, I am completely financially independent from my parents. If I don't work while traveling, I will run out of money in about nine months.
The one thing I have learned from my high school bully is they can still hurt you long after high school is over. Despite all I've been through since then, people from our past can still hurt our present.
For every other person who has to deal with bullies who never grew out of their high school ways, here is my advice:
1. Realize some people never change.
2. Block bullies on every form of social media.
3. Acknowledge that your feelings are hurt.
4. Do not engage in a one-sided fight
5. Defend yourself fairly, especially to yourself.
6. Be proud of what you have accomplished.
7. Embrace who you are and love yourself.
Bullies and trolls sometimes never grow up. Sometimes high school has an awful way of catching up to you in your adult life.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is to embrace and accept the person you are. As much as these bullies will end up hurting your feelings, a lot of times they are just very unhappy with their own lives.
As the famous quote says, "Misery loves company."
Don't let miserable trolls and bullies drag you down with them. Instead, continue to be the most incredible version of yourself you can be.
And to the bullies? Try to find joy from other sources in life, rather than hurting others.
Internet trolls and high school bullies will always exist, but at some point, they'll get tired of their own antics and will learn you will never find happiness by stealing it from others.