Okay. So I needed a maaaaajor revamp from the post I published a month ago. I just realized the items I posted earlier was too shallow and kind of just repeating themselves. One lesson learned: it’s not that easy to build an article and it sometimes takes time – often days – to complete a full write-up. I wrote and published things here not just for self-reflection; I also wanted to connect with you, guys. So yep, here it is – again -, my list of 27 kinda-cliche life lessons.

One month ago, I turned 27. And this article was supposed to be published on that exact day. But I just finished drafting the day after my birthday, and finally finished the final write-up on the 6th, blah blah. What took me so long to complete a personal article? I honestly didn’t know what to share. Why the heck do I need to publish a birthday blog post, anyway?

First, I wanted to share something worth sharing. Second, I thought it’s nice to have something to read about my past self five or ten years from now. Ha!

1

Making mistakes is better than faking perfections.

What are we really afraid of? Making mistakes or look not-so-perfect? Well, that’s a question I haven’t answered even after I wrote this whole article. But I am sure of what is more important to me – honesty. I learned this the hard way, though. I felt betrayed by the person I trusted the most. His alibi? Apparently there is some “reasons” he cannot talk to me about. You know, he could have said “sorry, but I’m not perfect”. Because no matter how complicated his “reasons” are, betrayal is and never will be an answer to whatever problem there is. He could’ve just said “sorry, I cannot be with you anymore because reasons,” but no. He betrayed my trust.

What I love about the thought of having unintended mistakes is that there will always be lessons to learn, and those experiences make one to reflect on what had gone wrong or what we could have done better. It teaches us to grow and become better persons.

2

Never, EVER, say “huh that will never happen to me.”

We all had our part of “judging” people – the way they dress, they talk, they do things. We may not think it is “judging” and we may eb defensive about that but come on, people. We talk about other persons and we give opinions behind their backs (I still have second thoughts about that “behind your back” phrase, I mean, isn’t it redundant and somehow nonsense?) and we think we are just “voicing out opinions” or just simply “telling the truth”, as if we claim the same thing will never EVER happen to us.

Newsflash: things can happen to anyone.

Every highschool girl dreams of having the best future – graduate with honors, pass the CIA exams, get a high-paying job, fall in love, get married, have kids, invest, retire rich, etc. Yeah, I used to dream and plan about my future. But things happen not always the way we want or plan them to.

3

Speak your mind even if your voice shakes.

So remember when I published this silly post? While many people sent me sweet messages, I am aware others thought it was stupid and kind of unlooked-for. Believe it or not, some of my Facebook friends (until now) are posting memes about how “pitiful” and “miserable” and “not normal” single moms are. I mean, okay, ikaw na ang magaling magkontrol. I don’t know why, but I think these people are just sad, that they are more interested on making fun of other people than supporting them or even just minding their own jobs. But you know what? That was the biggest shift in my life. That’s when I realized I am capable of something more than I thought I could.

Some people will never hear you or cheer you no matter how loud you scream for help. Some people will judge you and call you an overreacting bitch, some will say “buti nga”, Some will see you as an attention seeker. Sad news is, there will always be these kinds of people. Good news is, there are kind people who listen and understand. So continue speaking up. Got bitchy haters? Great. It just means you finally stood up for something in your life.
Are you going through something? We are not in the same shoes, but I totally understand the confusion, the regrets, self-pity, insecurities,self-blame. Believe me, I’ve been there. I am not trying to say that I know the exact feeling you are feeling, but what I am sure of is that you need to speak up and you need someone to listen to you as well. Here are some reminders to give you some balance. Click to expand.

You are allowed to cry. It’s been long since I even convinced myself that it is okay not to be okay. I lived my young adult life hiding behind smiles and good laughs. “Stay positive”, as they always say. But what we don’t realized is nobody has it together all of the time. We can’t always help it if we’re feeling down and finding things difficult. As much as we can do our best to keep our struggles at bay; it’s impossible to have control of every aspect of our lives. We’re allowed to cry. And we are allowed to speak our feelings out.
You are more than your struggles. Another thing I’ve learned, is to let yourself feel what you have to feel, then let it go. We cry, we talk, to make ourselves feel a little better, while in fact, the struggles remain. Personally, I find it difficult to just “let it go”. I am that kind of person who maintains her grip even when its getting harder and harder for me to hold on. But getting older made me realize you shouldn’t be holding on to something for too long. If it didn’t stick with you, it’s not for you.
You matter. Have I mentioned I almost wanted to die? Ha! Thinking about it now makes me laugh. I mean, why would I want to die just because some guy left me and our child. Seeing Mnemo grow bigger makes me more inspired to do my best being a mom. I feel both the pressure and excitement for her soon-to-be student life, hobbies, even clothing, our travels. I matter. And Mnemo is just one reminder that I am important.
Depression sucks, but remind yourself that depression is also a liar. It tells us we’re not worth anything, we’re annoying, we’re useless, we make everyone else miserable, and that there is absolutely no hope of anything ever being different. You think people do that? They may be a trigger, honestly speaking. But that is what depression do – tolerating all the negative and unkind words to live inside your mind and corrupt it. Talk with a friend, or write them in a diary, or find a new hobby.
You are allowed to take a break. File a vacation leave and travel. Or just lie on your bed and watch Netflix. Everything feels worse when we’re feeling tired. My way of unwinding is going out and discover unfamiliar places. Life can feel so much more bearable when we’ve had some rest. We’re allowed to stop and take a break. There are very few things in life that can’t wait five or ten minutes. Sometimes, when life is giving us a really unkind day and things are coming at us from every angle, the best thing we can do is to stop. Rather than trying to play whack-a-mole with our problems, it’s sometimes better to stop, breathe, have something to eat and drink, and then look at our problems with fresh eyes and begin to think of a way to tackle them one by one.
This isn’t forever. a.k.a. walang forever!!! Some people think I am just bitter or sad or whatever they call it. But guys, these are my unhappy days and I don’t want to be forever unhappy! Our current situation can feel all-encompassing – happy or sad. It can drown us. Easier said than done, but hey, things will eventually get better.
Reward yourself. It’s not easy at all, no matter what we are going through. But waking up each day means we continue living and we are worthy of every breath we take. Everybody who has gone through something deserves some credit and to be rewarded. And the best gift to receive? Anything from yourself. ❤

Sharing you one of my bookmarked sites, for your daily reads. Because I believe we should not wait or a clinical/medical diagnosis before acting for our mental health. Read more inspiring articles from Blurt. >>

4

Anger and Love are twin sisters.

Anger comes from love. I’ve learned this before I even got myself a father to my child. You cannot get angry with anyone unless you don’t care about this person. Anger exists simply because you care, and you care because you love.

5

Not all pain are the same.

One simple yet deep realization I got from work. Yep, from my corporate job. I am part of the pharmaceutical industry, which makes me learn a lot about pain and illnesses, and yes, pain pain a.k.a. heartache.

The worst pain I’ve experienced so far? When I wanted to write down exactly what I was feeling, but I couldn’t even describe it. When I wanted to cry, but there were just no tears anymore. When I wanted to look pretty, but when I looked in the mirror, all I saw was the ugliest eyes I’ve ever seen my entire life. All because someone I loved left. It may be too shallow for some, but honestly, it destroyed me. But heck, it’s indeed “no pain, no gain”.

6

Be strong enough to forgive without hearing an apology.

Another important lesson I learned the hard way. I think I also once believed you don’t need to forgive people who have done you wrong, you just don’t mind them. But there things that are too difficult not to talk about or just get pass through. Forgiving is not a favor to the other person, but a big favor for yourself. Don’t just “don’t mind” or “forget”. It is always best to forgive and let go of all the anger, disappointment, frustration. This may sound stupid, but learn how to forgive even when you don’t hear any apologies at all.

After all the heartaches, the “cry myself to sleep”, and whatsoever, I finally learned to accept life as it is. People won’t always say sorry, and not all “sorry”s are genuine. I learned not to drown myself into something I cannot control and just take life easy, one day at a time.

7

Do not label them “worse” just to make yourself feel better.

I mean, seriously, some people are making fun of single moms like “you used to be this good girl before and I am the bad one but look who’s miserable now”. S.E.R.I.O.U.S.L.Y. That is just one thing I learned from Facebook (believe me, social media s*cks but sometimes they teach you something): people tend to talk trash about each other just to make their selves look and feel better.

Getting a compliment is always an ego boost, yet when someone casually say careless words, the effects aren’t taken into consideration. While we all are aware now that bullying is a thing, there are still people who think that ill-intentioned words aren’t a big deal. “Alam mo yung joke.” “‘Pre, sarcasm.” Words are powerful. These negative words can have lifetime results that stays with that person.

Yes, that simple meme affected me. I really hope at least one of those who posted or shared that meme reads this. And I hope you realize: “What you say, and how you say it, can change a life forever, and not for the good.”

8

Don’t mind about what other people think.

People often say, “don’t mind them” or “you should stop caring about what other people think”. I agree. It’s their life, this is mine. But I realized it is also important to measure and control yourself by the standards of other people.

Some people swear a lot. It’s okay, it’s their life. But when they started to swear at me just because I forgot to bring them coffee, well, that’s another story. Some people brag about their luxuries on let’s say Instagram. It’s okay, because it is their feed. But admit it, it sometimes make you jealous or even insecure. Some people say you should do this, you should do that. It’s not okay because, duh, this is my life. But I guess they have a point because living your own life doesn’t mean you’re not affecting others’ lives. We are a community here, we’re not living on a planet on our own. So start caring about what other people think. And maybe it will make us realize we also have to start caring about how other people feel.

9

Do not expect a sweet life if you still feel bitter.

Ah! It has been very hard at first, but this was my every day mantra and note to self. I’ve said a lot of things to intentionally hurt someone, I intentionally ignored someone, blah blah blah. Things that affected me – pain, jealousy, anger, etc – made me feel soooo bitter I forgot how to enjoy the sweetness of life anymore. I lost all my self-esteem, my self-respect. There are things that are hard to move on from. And it’s okay to cry for it sometimes. But to drown yourself into being bitter about it, that doesn’t help. Never let pain turn your heart into something ugly. It will just make the pain worse, and will make you look like a zombie. Literally.

P.S.: It’s better to move forward than get stuck in the past.

10

Hard truth: you cannot change things by loving them harder.

I’m sure you get where I am coming from. Everyone learns this the hard way. I learned it the hard way. One time in my life I thought I could change someone, or at least witness him changing while just being there at his side. I believed because I knew love changes people. But guess what – yes, I’m saying it again – I couldn’t change things by loving him harder. And I shouldn’t. There are things we can’t change and should not change.

Oh, I know we can try. We can certainly sacrifice and give up pieces of ourselves while you try and wait. And we know that will just take months and years and will just end up to nothing. Because there are things we can change, there are things that will change by itself, and there are things that simply won’t change.

Well, other that the person we love, there are few more things we have to accept we cannot change. Except from being a harmful human to our ecosystem – let’s agree we all can change that. Click to expand.

You’re accountable to someone.
You’re not going to live forever.
You can’t please everyone.
You’ll never catch up to the Joneses.
Holding that grudge is never going to have the effect you’re hoping for.
Similarly, you can’t control what someone else thinks.
Yesterday is over. You can’t get it back.

Read full article here. >>

11

Above all else, there is family.

There may be stories and secrets that are too awkward to share to our families like idk, your highschool crush, your first sex, your failing grades at school, your misunderstanding with your best friend. I think that’s normal. Because while these stuff are happening to us, the least we want to get affected in many ways are our families especially our parents.

The first feeling I felt when we learned we were pregnant was, of course, excitement. “OMG, here’s my mini me!” Then second later, I felt nervous. “How could I say this to my parents, I mean we’re not married yet and here comes the mini me.” Then a minute later I was scared, because I realized why the hell am I worried about telling the news to everybody, was it because I knew I was telling it to people alone?

At first, I definitely felt their disappointment for 1) giving myself to a man who didn’t marry me; 2) not telling them the first time I knew I was having a child.I was disappointed at myself, too, that I blamed it all to the father of my child. Fast forward, my mini me finally came, and guess who is she closest to.

12

Sometimes, all that matters is that you are still trying.

I’m not sure if you all will understand this, but as a mom there are days that we say “I can’t do this anymore” or worse “I don’t want to do this anymore”. We get tired, we get frustrated, we miss the life we had while we were single. Raising a kid, and giving life to another human, being a parent, is the hardest task I have to do. But no matter how hard it is to be a mom – a single mom -, I am proud I am still trying. Yes, I sometimes say I want to quit. At the same time I would give everything for that little one. “Langya pagod na ko pede ba magresign bilang nanay. Oh gusto mong candy sige bili tayo sige sirain mo yang make up kit ko kung basta smile kang malaki. Hay ganda ng anak ko.”

13

True friendship is key

I have learned five core reasons why having a true friend (best if it is a small squad) is important:

1. They give you (dis- and) encouragement. Whenever I am in foubt, I ask my friends what should I do or which options I should focus on. They tell me the pros and cons of things, they tell me why I deserved this and that. All the good and bad things they could share. Because a true friend will make you realize the good and the bad and everything in between. If you are going through a tough time, true friends are there to help you go through it.
2. I get a boost on my self-esteem. I mean I don’t want to dance crazy alone.
3. They keep me active. There are things I’m not used to doing like playinh mobile games, but one of my friends is an expert so she made me try it and tada! I have a something to do while killing time. I get to do new fun and crazy things because of my friends, and fortunately I don’t have a bad influence friend. (Or should I say unfortunately?)
4. We share a common comfort zone. I feel100% comfortable with my friends I can share my deepest fantasies with them.
5. Unconditional love. Okay. We owe our friends so much. You buy me a drink and I’ll buy you one next time. But true friends are there and won’t ask you anything in return, pansin mo?

14

Take time to travel.

It’s no news that travel is good for your physical and mental wellbeing, there are too many articles and studies about that. But learning it first hand feels different. Whenever I go on a trip, mother always asks “why do you keep on spending so much for your travels? I think it’s better you stay at home and rest.” Travel is my way of unwinding, de-stressing, relaxing.

Read more of my food and travel adventures here! >>

15

Get yourself an insurance!

Hm. I travel a lot – for leisure and sometime for work. And while this excites me, people around me sometimes get scared and worried I’d be in danger, plus we cannot erase the fact that there really is danger everywhere. I didn’t realize that until I had Mnemo. I don’t want to leave her with nothing. So I started investing in life and personal insurances just to make sure. Oh, and yes, I am taking care of myself, too.

16

Find three hobbies you love: one to make you money, one to keep you in shape, one to make you creative.

I started marketing my blog, and people asked “are you planning to change career paths?” I became a part of the legal and compliance team and people asked “you have plans on becoming a lawyer?” I shared my artworks on social media and people asked “are you doing commissioned work?”

I feel blessed that I don’t have to do stuff I don’t like just to earn money or to get fit or to look creative. Fun fact: I love what I do in life right now. I love my job being an auditor: I get to learn things in different industries and master whatever I want to master and I get money from it. I love updating my blog though there’s no money here: I get to write everything I want and yep I love writing. I love getting my hands dirty with colorful paints: with that I get to express my feelings.

I am well aware these things are privileges. Not all people get the job they want. Not all people have the support they need to get creative. Not all people have the courage to speak. But am also aware “if there a will, there is a way”. I started with nothing as well, but here I am slowly making my way to #happiness.

17

Document everything!

From daily to do lists, weekly plans, monthly appointments meeting minutes, every day expenses, daily reads, lessons learned, fun stuff, and pictures! Not because we’re getting older and we usually forget things, but also for emergency purposes. I learned that what I love doing not just gives me something to read about when I turn 70, but it also helps me – especially at work and for this blog + itineraries, daily expenses, etc. -, it also helps other people because those lists and pictures are very, very useful references. I mean, do you have any idea how fun and light it is to feel like you are so organized?

Why document? A completely written document clarifies and organizes your thoughts and better explains which increases efficiency. Plus, you never know when someone will need it.
By the way, I re-activated my VSCO Dailies again. Maybe visit my page and let me know what you think? Btw, I missed this, actually – taking pictures, editing, writing, and sharing stuff I’m not sure you’re interested about. Lol. But here are more tips and links to more reads in case you’re into planning and taking notes. Click to expand.

For memories in photos: VSCO. I kick-started my photo dump project last year, 2018, because I didn’t want to flood my IG and FB followers with my nonsense daily snaps. Then I started listing thoughts and ideas there, too. Familiar with IG stories? Instead of instantly sharing those online, I keep them in VSCO and upload all the stuff weekly. Makes me remember when I did things, what were my thoughts about some stuff, what did I do on that day, etc. Here’s a post where I discussed how I take my photos and what I use to get those pretty shots.
Diaries and journals are so very much important. Not just for your mental health, but for reference as well. Here are 5 more reasons why I journal.
Take notes! Learning is one important thing for our growth, but I feel you when you say you cannot remember every single thing your hear. So start taking notes. I have one notebook for all to dos and important notes and ideas for work and my blog. I have another one, small one, to help me track my expenses and when are they due. And I also use mobile apps for when I am on the go.
Stick to one calendar. Being an auditor and a blogger makes keeping a neat calendar necessary. My schedule is often so tight and I need to loosen it up to make more time with my kid. Having a calendar is a big help – lets me know what to do when.

18

It’s okay to take a break sometimes.

When it comes to “breaks”, we usually think about two things: break from work, and break from a relationship. And yes, it’s okay to take a break from both. I have mentioned this a lot, that I love my job – being an auditor. However, sometimes, it gets very stressful (I guess everybody knows that already), that I don’t feel so productive anymore. Same with relationships. But hey, one thing to keep in mind: if you are in need of a break, tell your colleagues or your partner that you need space and time. Be honest of what you feel. You don’t want to mask one lie by just ghosting everybody. Okay, let’s just cut it here.

19

Life may not turn out as you expect, so don’t plan too much.

I was a typical highscholl girl back then. I had soooo many plans in my career and family life. I wanted to pursue my Accounting degree after graduating Internal Audit, I wanted to take pre-law programs then take the bar, I wanted to take the CIA exam, and finally get paid with just my pretty signature. I also dreamed to be a happy wife by a contented and honest husband, a mom of two kids – boy and girl. And guess what I have become.

I am currently (as of writing, bec heck I want to go more miles further!) a local associate of a multinational company working as a compliance person and admin to a couple of online tools (bec apparently they see my technical “skills” in systems and whatever) and leading few groups and projects as ad hoc. I am a single mom of one very naughty baby sometime I think she was a dinosaur in her past life.

20

I don’t know why, but people really lie on social media.

I do this as well. Except not a 100%. Social media has been an outlet for people who are hurt, angry, jealous, frustrated and all the negative moods any one could have. Studies say someone who posts more frequently and actively in socmed are unhappy people. Maybe not all, but okay I can agree. Why and how could I say that? I am a living and true proof of it. I noticed whenever I am happy – like eating or traveling or spending time with Mnemo – I rarely grab my phone to scroll or even post statuses. Whenever I am bored or masama and loob, or whatever, I read and post. Maybe it’s just because social media is not just an outlet, but a tool as well to somehow forget to release negative vibes. Idk.

21

You can never win an argument with a negative person.

I should know. I am one. Well, sometimes. This one’s a lesson I’m still trying to learn (all of these 27, honestly). What I love about myself is I tend to seek other ways of thinking. Not sure if I’ve said that correctly, but yeah. Different people has their own perspective, and we have to respect that. I could think I am positive, while the others see me as a negative. That’s why speaking up is a big and great help. You will know a person is a negative thinker if their minds are closed, meaning they’re not considering or even listening about what you are saying. If you encounter one (or whenever you become one), pause, breathe, and try to put on the shoes the other person is wearing.

22

Save money, but take it easy.

I may sound “privileged” here, but seriously, take “saving” easy. What does it mean? I know there are hundreds of bills we receive every month, and it’s overwhelming that you have to ignore the cravings for milkteas, samgyupsal, or a cute dress you saw in the department store. I mean, “instead of buying unimportant things, just put the money in the bank”. I feel you.

I used to have a fixed amount to deposit to my account every month. Part of my salary goes to Mnemo’s accounts and I’m not complaining. But here’s what I recently realized: whenever I have extra money for a fancy dinner or a fancy dress, I tend to buy more. Why? “Minsan lang naman eh.” And that, my friend, is a stupid reason for overspending. The trick I learned? Go add small amounts to your stash of cash every pay day, and reward yourself with little things for doing a great job. I mean, savings has no use if you’re almost killing yourself with stress or boredom just to get there. Another way to say “c’est la vie”, my love.

23

Self-honesty is freedom.

Not my experience, though. Ehem, I am honest person (which puts me in danger sometimes), and I learned this lesson of honesty from someone I loved. NOt my story to share, but yeah. You get what I mean.

24

Never forget how wildly capable you are.

Sometimes, because of the hardships, the challenges, or the things we hear from other people, we get the most discouraging thoughts from the most important person in our life – ourselves. Sometimes, people don’t see it, but you should know by yourself that you have this glowing potential of becoming better. Remember that life is not a race against other people. Life is a race against your past self.

25

Hydrate yourself!!!

Okay, not so deep advice, but seriously, hydrate yourself! Drink lots and lots of water, moisturize your skin, and live happy.

26

Be kind.

There are too many different ways to show kindness. Did you notice that old lady asking for food for her baby? Did you give up your spot in the line for a pregnant woman?Did you listen to your friend’s story? Did you smile today? Be kind with your words, be kind with your actions. Be human. And believe me, great blessings will follow.

27

Sometimes, it takes balls to be a woman.

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: IT TAKES BALLS TO BE A WOMAN. In our age I see women as two things: 1) super intimidated and 2) very intimidating. I mean I don’t think I know a woman perfectly balancing being a “woman”. And I honestly think it’s okay, and not okay at the same time. I mean, “such is life”. But hey, girl, you are not the only woman here. *waves”

I think most women are still doubting themselves for becoming a “wonder woman”. They don’t believe at it at all. They still rely on men doing the job, making decisions, etc. And at the same time there are women who think they’re the biggest boss in town. I mean, “huh?”

It takes balls to be a woman because being one is not easy – one move you gain respect, one little step you’ll lose something. Balls. Women. I can’t even explain it. WTH.

━━━━━━
WRAPPING IT ALL UP
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themhayonnaise at 27

You’re probably thinking “so what if you have these realization in life, blah blah”. This is actually my way to self-reflect and see (or check) if I still appreciate life the way I think I am. Because sometime people say they are grateful but deep down they’re just “eh, that’s life ganon talaga” without even realizing how much they are actually changing. Bleh.

2 thoughts on “A Birthday Blog Post: 27 things I learned before turning 27

  1. I totally loved the post. Most of the things are true and are learned while getting through life. I still hope the point about physical health will reach me someday 😀

    Like

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