I’m used to being young.
I grew up being the youngest of five siblings and was always one of the babies during family gatherings. I started working right after graduation, making me one of the youngest members of any team. Even today, I’m considered to be one of the few “millennials” at work.
I remember looking at female colleagues who were in their late twenties with so much admiration, thinking about how much they must have already known about life, how many times their hearts must have been broken, and how many times they emerged tougher. Heck, I even thought I’d be married by 25, because I thought I’d be mature enough when I reached a quarter of a century.
And then my very own mid-twenties arrived and I found myself still engaging in petty arguments, throwing tantrums when I’m hungry, and hiding chocolates behind my closet because I didn’t want to share them with my older brother.
Now, I’m turning the big three-oh in less than 12 hours and it’s hard to believe how the years easily went by. My lifestyle, my energy, priorities, and beliefs have changed a lot since I turned 18. It’s sad dwelling into the things that I should have done while I was younger, but it’s exciting to think about the bigger things that await me now that I am equipped with three decades worth of roller-coaster experience.
While I do not claim to be as wise as I should be at this point and while I still believe that youth is all in the mind, allow me to share my favorite life lessons learned in the past 29 years as I officially make my mark into adulthood. From beauty regimen rues to being betrayed by a best friend, I include here things that I sorely—but not regrettably—learned the hard way.
- Sleep as much as you can while you still can. I told my husband that my only birthday wish this year is to be able to sleep the entire day.
- Do not ever start shaving your legs or arms or underarm or any body part. If you really must get rid of unwanted hair, go for waxing. It can be painful but worth it.
- Give your hair and your nails a breather. Go for the natural look whenever you can.
- Arrange your clothes by color, it will make dressing up in the morning a little faster.
- Do not buy what you do not need. You’re only wasting money, closet space, and adding to the earth’s rubbish.
- Never socialize by talking about your political views.
- “Joking” about asking for a gift or pasalubong is never funny.
- It’s never too late to develop a new skill. Two years later you’ll look back at the moment when you would have wanted to learn something and realize that the two years would have been enough to make you good at that something.
- The most crucial decision you may have to make as a teenager is deciding what course to take and which school to go to. Not only because it will possibly shape your future career, but also because of the people you’ll meet along the way. About 80% of the people I know now I met as ripple effect when I enrolled at a certain university.
- Read as many books as you can while you still can. You won’t have that much leisurely time when you’ll have kids.
- Do not spoil your children but do not deprive them of the things you did not enjoy, especially freedom.
- Just because it’s not done the way you wanted it to be done, doesn’t make it wrong.
- You’re not as fat as you think you are. And who cares anyway?
- Don’t make decisions when you’re emotional. Whatever is bothering you, try sleeping on it for now.
- Meet people of other nationalities whenever you can and learn as many foreign words as you can.
- But whether you acknowledge it or not, travel is a luxury.
- When it comes to shoes, bags, and friends, always choose quality over quantity. The right ones can take you to incredible places and give you remarkable experiences.
- When you’re young, spend more time with your friends rather than with your boyfriend. You’ll know why, when, 5-7 years later, you have already broken up with him and your friends are already retired from the spontaneous, care-free life. Hanging out won’t be as much fun anymore.
- Friendship takes effort.
- Not all your friends will be around during your darkest hours, as you wouldn’t be in all of theirs.
- Stop standing up for friends who will not stand up for you.
- Sometimes you create your own drama. The less drama you entertain, the happier you will be.
- It’s good to have a few close male friends, it will teach you a lot about reading a man’s behavior.
- There’s no point letting a man choose between you and his hobby.
- After a longtime or/and serious relationship, the next guy you date will most likely father your first child. This is based on a loooot of true stories.
- It’s not wrong to be foolishly in love and be hurt. But it’s a huge mistake not to learn anything from it.
- You MUST experience at least one heartbreak. It will make you a whole lot stronger and smarter.
- Stop romanticizing everything. It will only make you discontented.
- Marriage is not for everyone. Respect those who choose not to settle down.
- Wisdom does not come with age, but with experience.And a bonus…stretch! ♥
This post first appeared in a personal blog.