Life Inspiration: 28 Lessons from 28 Years

Today, I am 29. Twenty. Nine. When you've had several death scares in life, another year in your life is a miracle. Heck, just one day more everyday is a miracle. When I look back at those days that I've gone scared {and somehow, accepted} that I might die soon, I see these days I live and those ahead of me as miracles.

So yeah. I'm old-er. I read from Amy Poehler that it's best to be older than die young. Oo nga naman. I'm leaving behind a ton of issues today --- there's a perk to growing older. And as a tradition, here's a list of lessons I've learned in the past twenty eight years -- in the hope that I get to learn even more.

  1. Money, in hindsight, is a much smaller problem to have compared to so many issues in life. Not that I don't want to have a lot, and it may be true it can augment a lot of the big problems in life, sure, like the need for the basics, and lots of travel. No amount of money can save someone's lost spirit, withering health or falling out of love.
  2. You can't wait for the right moment forever. When you want to go, you have to go. For so long, I waited to have company to have to go to a restaurant I wanted to eat at, a country I wanted to visit and experiences I wanted to jump into. I shouldn't have, most cases. But I'm glad I learned this early on.
  3. How you judge another is how you judge yourself. This is a powerful thought that guided me out of my incredibly bitchy phase in life though I still let out that innocent bitchy comment once in a while =P
  4. You are what you eat. So don't be anything fast, instant and processed.
  5. Always choose who you spend your time with. It's never worth it to be with people who suck the happiness out of you. When you're older, the amount of crap you put up with significantly decreases.
  6. Better to be overdressed than underdressed. Every single time. But there's a difference with overdressed and overboard.
  7. When you are on the verge of throwing a tantrum, about to hit "Publish" for a rant blog, or simply about to humiliate someone you think is not doing their job, hold it. The world is round, and the universe will always find a way to humble us, in one way or another, and bitter words are hard to swallow. This is something I need to reign myself in, and it's not always easy. But as I learned from numerous humiliating experiences, it's always best to approach things with respect and kindness, no matter how hard it is.
  8. That opportunities are all over the grounds you walk on, you just need to recognize them.
  9. Every once in a while, take off your shoes and dance. Just dance.
  10. If you can't manage yourself, you can't manage anyone else. - Peter Drucker
  11. Guard your heart. Take care of the little jealousies, the petty desperations, the things you give time to everyday. It will make up for the big picture of your life. Also, do cardio.
  12. You never lose anything. Everything is where it should be. I tell this to myself when I lose something like a favorite pen. Or a friendship.
  13. How you do anything is how you do everything. There's never room for sloppy work. 
  14. What you indulge in, or tolerate, you cannot change
  15. You get the love you think you deserve.  In life, in love and in career. Stephen Chbosky was on to something in here.
  16. Know what you'll stand for and your non-negotiables. In life, in career, in love, know what you want. Stand up for something because no one else will fight for it.
  17. Know what you do and kick ass doing it.
  18. Travel. Every chance you get to travel, get it. I was late into the traveling game but I'm grateful I started nonetheless. Travel enriched my whole being in a way I never expected, especially since I've traveled alone in multiple cases. The education it brought to me is nonpareil, and I'd gladly do it all over again. Again and again. I don't think it'll ever be satiable.
  19. She who gets offended first loses. In local parlance, ang pikon, talo. 
  20. No matter how much you plan though, the world has a way of letting things turn out.  When I was seven, I planned that by age 28, I'd be married with kids. Hehe. Well. Look at how that turned out.
  21. Learn your currency early on and let go of the others. It's a lesson I read from Amy Poehler's book, Yes Please, but have learned way back. My currency have always been being smart -- and as I discovered, desire for knowledge. I let go of striving to be the prettiest, the hottest, the most traveled and my life has been easier since.
  22. Let go of what you can't control. 
  23. Trust His timing. It won't always be in sync with your own but the wisdom is always visible from hindsight.
  24. Guard your heart. Don't let the petty issues get to it, all the despair and the hurts. Keep it joyful and spare your heart only to those who deserve it.
  25. Choose your battles.
  26. Keep in mind the regrets you have if only to remind you not to keep making them. No regrets mean having room for the first one.
  27. Until you learn the lesson you're supposed to, you will keep making the same mistake. So -- learn the damn thing fast. 
  28. The candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long. In matters of love and craft, it's important to keep things paced well.

Happy birthday, little twenty nine me!
xx