Hey readers! If you’ve opened this article, thanks for your interest. If you read until the end, you are indeed a true follower or one of my true friends. This is my 50th blog post and I intended to write something personal. Also, in a few days, I’m turning 30! Yes, that big THREE ZERO. Di naman halata diba? 🙂 It’s a mix of emotions. Nostalgic, ecstatic, anxious, uncertain, excited- whatever you call it.
More than a hundred times perhaps I’ve heard these phrases as I come close to this age: “Ang tanda mo na, trenta ka na!” or, “trenta ka na, wala ka pa ring anak at asawa?” or, “malapit ka na mawala sa kalendaryo“. The lines have been overused. Kabisado ko na. I do not blame society for being molded into this thinking. After all at this age, marriage and career success are important milestones as defined in our Filipino culture. Yet sometimes, the words cut through. It makes me cringe. It makes me wonder, “I’m thirty – so what’s next for me?”
I’ve seen countless marriage proposals, weddings, anniversaries, babies born, new business ventures, travels, and all sorts of achievements plastered all over my social media feed from my fellow batchmates. We were subconsciously directed towards thinking that by this age, you should have a started a family already. You should have acquired properties or investments, a car of your own, or taken a leadership role in your company or organization. You should be engaged in learning how to become a good homemaker, a wife, a businesswoman. All of those sorts of measurements and expectations – I’ve heard them in lines directly or indirectly addressed to me. Yet, it was a different route for me. Wala pa, mga bes. Wala pa. Chill lang kayo.
When I ask my other seniors about how they felt when they reached this age, they would always say, “It’s still the same. No changes apparently”. But to me, it’s a combination of both.
Intellectually and emotionally, I guess I am the same person when I was 14 except for the fact that I’ve gained more knowledge and skills to combat life’s usual struggles. I’m less vulnerable and more discerning. I’m still emotional but now more controlled.
Socially, I was more open to meeting new people, but I don’t try extra hard to fit in and please others. If you don’t like me, so be it. I don’t go extra mile forcing friendships anymore. I’ve also grown to become more comfortable with myself.
Physically, I really felt the changes. It is true that when you reach this age, your metabolism will slow down – hence the apparent weight gain. My eating patterns did not change. I have the same vigor for food. But this time around, blogging has exposed me to more food- related events which made me prone to gaining more weight. Ang hirap magpapayat bes. My energy has depleted compared to that when I was in early twenties. Unless there is an event, a meet-up with friends, or an errand to finish at the mall, I’d rather stay at home to recover from stress at work. It dawned on me that my body is no longer the same as it was in my younger years. Sometimes I’d see a wrinkle or two under my eyes due to lack of sleep.
Although there’ve been minor setbacks, changes and things which remained constant at this chapter of my life, there is certainly one thing I am grateful about – I gained wisdom. I dwell lightly on awards and achievements, on money spent or investments made, but on cherished moments, new experiences and insights. Here’s what I have learned in the past three decades:
Quality over Quantity
In the world of blogging, numbers do matter a lot. The number of followers on social media accounts determine how large is the influence of the blogger, and is often the basis for invitation to big events. However, I realized that numbers don’t define everything. You could be good at numbers but poor in content. Same in life – character and values are more important than having too many friends, connections and possessions. I am also contented that at this age, I’ve determined a few yet true friends whom I can entrust my life with.
Passion over Perfection
Do your best in your niche, don’t strive to be too perfect at everything. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes but learn from it. Discover where you’re good at and do things wholeheartedly. Someday, it will be reciprocated. Someday, you will be remembered for what you do with utmost zest, passion and sincerity. I strive my best when doing anything because I know later on it well reflect on me.
Solitude vs Social Security
Although I still love going out with friends and meeting new folks, I value time spent alone. Sometimes I prefer eating by myself in the office so I can take my time enjoying my food without having to worry about my companion waiting for me to finish, or what conversation to start to keep us both engaged. I also prefer working alone so I can steer my strategies in accomplishing my deliverables at my own pace. From time to time, I go shopping alone to reward myself with a new dress, bag or shoes after a hectic peak season. I love going to the salon or spa to rejuvenate. Next on my bucket list: traveling alone!
Reality vs Technology
The digital age has made us slaves of social media. We’ve grown too much dependent on it. The mechanism has been dreadingly repetitive: post, wait for likes, get temporary affirmation. We spend 70 to 80 percent of our day in front of the computer, the cellphone or any communication gadget that we tend to overlook the more important things: personal communication and family relationships. One day, I got too tired of this cycle that I decided to deactivate my facebook for just a few days. I found peace. I slept early. I talked to my mom more often. If not for blogging purposes, I would have not revived it. It wouldn’t hurt to disconnect from the virtual world from time to time – if you will have the chance to reconnect with life.
Nature vs City
When I came back from Guiuan, Samar, I suddenly looked at the urban life here in Manila differently. I view it as a rather obscure and ugly developed place for machines and robots. Being bombarded with fast-paced nitty-gritty details of the corporate world, I sometimes crave for space. I long for the trees, the mountains, the wind, the sand, the waves, and sound of the rain. That is why I look forward to traveling from time to time, to cope with the humdrum of city life. I yearn for a moment to reflect on life and talk to God. To pause for a while and slow down on things.
Choices vs Compromises
I’ve also learned to think that whatever choice I will be making today will always have a long-term impact in my life in whatever aspect so I ought to think carefully before making a life-changing decision.
YOLO vs Thinking Ahead for the Future
It doesn’t hurt to eat out or to travel once in a while. After all, we all work hard to reap our efforts or reward ourselves. But don’t forget to save. Invest. Buy an insurance. Get extra income.
Health and Self-Appreciation
Take care of your health because it is your passport to bigger endeavours. Even if you have the money and means to achieve your dreams but you are ill, you won’t get it. Invest in propagating your skills. Build your self-image. Learn to do make-up and change your wardrobe. All of these are important elements to discovering a better YOU. From time to time, I find ways to improve myself by applying new make-up or trying a new outfit. I participate in activities which will further my knowledge and skills in my chosen field.
Of course, we cannot overlook this list. Despite everything, God has been faithful in fulfilling my heart’s desires.
- My dad got back to work this year and my brother is now in the process of applying for a new work
- No serious sickness in the family
- Received more invitations and incentives in blogging, and was able to meet new friends
- Basti and Rafa (my two dogs) recovered from their illnesses
- No troublesome findings in my annual medical check-up
- More steady passive income in my Sante Barley business
- Constant support of my family and friends
So What’s Next?
Only God knows what lies ahead of my future. It may be dark, uncertain, dreary, but surpassing life’s greatest challenges is enough to let me know I can withstand anything, by His grace.
Plans in the Future
I am not that type of person who has a perfect outline of goals and plans in the next five or ten years. I am more inclined into thinking that anything can change instantly depending on the circumstances. For now these are my plans:
- Improve my blog in terms of content, branding, ads and as an income generator
- Settle my debts in two years
- Be more financially educated
- Integrate a consistent physical fitness routine in my lifestyle and adapt a healthy diet
- Start my own business or sideline
- Be more active in my church ministries and be more consistent in church attendance, prayer, devotion and Christian life
- Learn more about photography, blogging, videography and other techie stuff (I’m really not a techie but I’d like to know the basics)
- Avoid tardiness at work (Ugh)
- Inspire more people in my workplace, home and church
- Help more people. Practice kindness, compassion over criticism
Please pray for my adenomyoma and ovarian cysts. This has been the cause of my intensely painful dysmenorrhea every month. I don’t want to resort to being dependent to synthetic drugs so I pray to be led to a doctor to provide me the right medications and advice. I pray this won’t affect my reproductive health/ fertility issues. (I still want to start my own family someday). I also pray that someday, we’d be able to move to our own house so we don’t to spend the rest of our lives paying for the house rent which is not ours. I pray for continuous good health for my family (specially my aging parents and grandmother). I don’t really long for material things that much, just peace of mind and well-being of my loved ones.
In God’s Perfect Time
I may have my own vision of the future, definite plans but it is the Lord who is more sovereign to fulfill all of these. Proverbs 19:21
“There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.”
Age is just a number. Yes, I already belong to the bracket of “adult people” in the society, but it is something to be grateful about. I am a new shining Diamond in the Rough, after all. Still young-at-heart, with the same optimism and cheerfulness!
2 Corinthians 4:16
“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.”
Thanks for reading til the end 🙂