I’ve been planning to write this post for a long time and I dreaded writing it too. I can’t believe I’m writing this post now because it would mean I’m past the age of 30. For me being over 30 means – being an adult, I should have accomplishments and I should be equipped with experiences and hardships that will help me solve problems or get through challenges in the future.
Why did I fear writing this post?
Because I made a lot of plans that I told myself I want to accomplish before I turn 31. Those plans didn’t work out the way I planned them, but I’m okay, and at least I’m on the right track now. I’m only listening to my own drum. I’m doing what I should have done five years ago. All these years, I gathered experiences, and hardships that taught me a lot and made me grow to the person I am now.
So here are the things I learned for 30 years that I wish I’d known before I got into college.
1) Decide for yourself or they will. I learned this the hard way. I learned it when it’s already too late and I’ve wasted already more than ten years of my life. This is very heartbreaking for me and you have no idea how many times I’ve beat myself up for this. When I was younger I told myself, I will let my parents decide for me, but I will not let them interfere with myself. Eck! Wrong! Big mistake! I know myself better than my parents, I shouldn’t have let them decide my career for me. I should have listened to my heart desires than consider what they want for me. You need to decide for yourself, or you will have regrets, and you won’t be happy with your life.
2) Control your life. It won’t be easy I’m sure, but as you grow older you become equipped to handle more problems. De-clutter your life with things you don’t want and need, so you can focus on your goal such as becoming a doctor, or a screenwriter. Don’t do other things that won’t serve your goal and your purpose.
3) Build your dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs. I will apply this to my experience back in 2011. I should have focused on completing that story I entered in the Nanowrimo writing competition after assisting my cousin with her thesis. That heartbreak paralyze me and triggered the dark side of me. One thing I’ll always remember and look back on because on that day is I also found the people who sees my dream as important as oppose to people who don’t. My cousin, she deserves what she’s got in her life because she’s determined, hardworking, and she didn’t give up on her dreams. While I gave up on that writing competition when one of my Aunts told me that what my cousin is doing is important.
4) Surround yourself with positive kind people. It all goes without saying that negative people, attracts negative things, and everything they will tell you is that you can’t do this, you can’t do that, for a number of reasons. They may know the odds, and the statistics, but they don’t know you, they don’t know the core of your heart, the degree of your passion, the depths of your soul, and the extent of your will.
5) Be kind. You can never go wrong with kindness. We all have our own crosses to bear. We’re all going through something hard. Receiving some act of kindness can lessen that burden at some point, and at some point. Or it could mean the world to someone who is on a breaking point.
6) Families don’t hold you back, they lift you up. Family doesn’t always have to be blood. So keep those people around you who lifts you up and supports you and loves you at your ugliest and crappiest time. And ignore those who are just there for you when you’re in the highest and happiest point of your life.
7) Forgive seventy times seven. If you live your life being angry, you can never move forward. It’s like living everyday with a body full of poison. Your interaction with other people, with your job and how you see life is also affected by that poison. You will hurt other people, you might make mistakes on your job, and you will never get to enjoy life because of your views. However, if your body, mind, heart and soul is clear. You will have good relationships, you will perform well on your job, and you will get to enjoy life.
8) The most important relationship you have in life is the relationship you have with yourself. ~Diane von Furstenberg. The fact is I’ve wasted some years of my life being a victim of bullying and being a pushover. The bullying, I didn’t fought any of them because I thought those people are a waste of my time, but I should have defended myself at some point. As for being a pushover, I should have been more firm and assertive of what I wanted in life. I should have taken care of myself, my wants and needs. My professor once told us in our Ethics class, “You are your own best friend.” So listen to that inner voice or your inner goddess (haha..), and do what you need to do.
9) You can never figure out who you are, and you can never reach your potential, if you don’t leave your hometown. I’ve always wished, I worked harder to fly away and spread my wings, like that song Break Away by Kelly Clarkson. I know for sure now, that I’ll be more useful and productive, if I leave the current life I’m living for good. I’ve been here for the past 30 years and it ain’t productive and great at all. The people I’ve known had spread their wings and are having the time of their life.
10) Everyone makes mistakes, but learn from them, then let go. This is one of my weakest. It’s always hard for me to let go of my mistakes. I often punish myself for my mistakes like I don’t deserve to be happy or even celebrate my birthday because I’m such a loser, and I made so many mistakes. Well, I realized that my mistakes won’t define my whole life and I do remember and know for sure that I’ve done more good things in my life. It’s just that in our world, families and friends, even strangers remember and focus more on your mistakes more than the good things you’ve done.
11) We all don’t know everything. This is a very good advice for me because I tend to be a know-it-all most of the time. I’ve learned along the way that I should never share my opinion if nobody asked it and vice versa. If I don’t ask you, don’t tell me. Instead learn to listen. Listening will help you learn and understand more the situation and the people around you.
12) You cannot be right all the time. This is a very big part of my personality. I always want to be right, but I am just not right all the time. And it’s okay. Being wrong sometimes, it’s an opportunity to learn something new.
13) Being an adult means not having the last word. Remember all those petty debates and arguments you had with someone? Avoid them, and let them have the last word. A birthday is our physical age. There is a term called mental age. You can never win an argument with someone who’s got a different mental age as you. Why? Because that younger person is also not equipped yet with experiences, and understanding that will make them grow and mature. They are just not equipped yet to understand you. If they are older than you, you are just not equipped yet to understand them. So don’t do it, it’s a waste of time. Our physical age is different with our mental age.
14) Never change anyone to become like you. We are unique people. This came from Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP). Memories, words, and thoughts means differently to us. We have our own truth, upbringing, and world view. So never force your experience, your truth, your way, your belief on anyone. We can only inspire, and motivate, but don’t impose. Don’t be self-centered and say that your way is the best way and the mature way. It’s just not. It’s a fact of life that we have our own ways always, but of course, we do collaborate with other people from time to time.
15) Don’t be afraid to be yourself, to be different, and to be weird. I am such a late bloomer because I was so afraid to be myself. I mean there were times, I could be myself, but I have more experiences of hiding myself because I’m afraid my family won’t approve and I will get bullied in school. Being myself, being different and being weird is very hard for me. Expressing myself is very hard for me. Because I’ve been bullied most of my life and there were a lot of moments at home where I showed my true self, and it was frowned upon by my parents. One of the reasons why I prefer to be alone.
16) Be open minded. This is like a continuation of #14. Each of us have our own point of view or world view, and perspective. We should be respectful of other people’s perspective. Being able to understand and have more perspective than yours is a path to enlightenment and more ways to solve problems and go through challenges.
17) Family over money or your job always. I have a dream, but I’ve always promised myself that I will make time for family because I don’t want to miss the important moments. I love the idea of doing my dream for the rest of my life, but I can also be a full time mom. I heard from a close friend in college before that they hate the idea of giving up their work to become a mother. First and foremost, giving up work doesn’t always mean forever. Those children will grow, and you have to go back to work again or you can do both. I know a lot of people doing both and are great in it.
18) Focus your mind on what’s important and you will get your goal, your dream. Our brain has a delete button to clear our minds, clean it and make it easier for us to function or use our brain. It’s like gardening. If you think more of what’s important to you like your job or your dream, it will get enough water and oxygen, and the ones you don’t think about or use less, are the weeds that our brain will clean. So if you focus your mind on getting revenge on someone rather than your studies or your job, well, now you know why you failed or why you lost that job.
19) Have true friends rather than having a goal of 10,000 Twitter and Instagram followers. True friends are the ones who were there for you through thickness and thin. The ones who listen and give you advice, and vice versa. And most of all the ones who helps you become a better person, the best version of yourself, and the ones who helps and teaches you to grow. I will always choose to have one true friend rather than have a hundred fake friends.
20) Don’t be a victim of circumstances. Whatever bad happened to you, don’t play the victim for the rest of your life. Pick yourself up, dust yourself, take control of your life and move forward to the life that you want and the goal you want to attain. This is also one advice that I needed to be knock over my head a thousand times before I finally got it. Maybe I still need to knock myself with this sometime.
21) Have boundaries. This is something I should have learned ever since I was a little girl. If you don’t have boundaries, people will take advantage of you. If you don’t have boundaries, you’ll end up focusing on others’ need other than yourself.
22) Learn to say “No”. You need to say no, and understand that you don’t have any obligation or responsibility to say yes to them. Saying no, means you have something on your plate, and other people should respect and understand that. In real life, no means no. Besides the last thing you want is blaming someone else for what you did because you said yes to them even if you don’t mean it. Saying no is not an offense to them as well. You won’t lose friends by saying no. If you lose them, they’re not real friends in the first place.
23) Admit you’re wrong and live the consequences. If you’re the kind of kid who was raised to blame other people or their situation, stop it right now and understand this. You make your own decisions, so be responsible enough to live the consequences and don’t blame others. This is unproductive. It will destroy your sensibility, credibility and your relationship with other people.
24) No matter how much you love your job, have time for family and friends. These last few days, I just told myself that I want to give all my time to writing. Then I flashback to the 2012 movie. The author in the movie lost his wife and his children because he’s too busy with his writing. So I changed my belief to that first sentence. Never lose those relationships and if you don’t have one, make some friends. Your job is important, but your family is more important.
25) Have your time alone. A lot of people don’t understand this and mistook it for being snobbish, being selfish, being choosy with friends and more. I have a friend who used to think that being alone makes you look pathetic. I told her being alone, allows me to do what I want to do, have great ideas, and to recharge myself. Having a time alone is an opportunity for a reality check, meditation, spiritual enlightenment, and a chance to listen to our inner voice. It is a chance to grow. Check out this TED talk. I’m an introvert. I think a lot. I contemplate. Most important of all, I meditate. I listen and observe people. I can enjoy quality time with friends and family, but my time alone is very important to me. In our time now, especially with the social media and the millenials, being alone equates to being an out cast and not part of a cool group. So what?
26) Live with the best version of yourself. I’ve met a lot of fangirls and boys who worships those actors like their Gods. I’m a fangirl too but I never said I want to be Scully, Tauriel, Tracy Strauss, Gretchen Lowell,or Zelena (Women I’ve like from books, shows and movies). Instead, I said I want to be like them. They are strong, beautiful, smart, powerful, influential, sweet, and caring and yet badass at the same time (except Gretchen Lowell). My life doesn’t depend on them and it shouldn’t. They are my inspiration and motivation to become the best version of myself and to pursue my calling. Live for you and not for those actors. That’s how life is meant to be.
27) Love is a choice. Growing up, I’ve romanticize love so much. If you read my blog it’s quite obvious how I’m such a hopeless romantic. I believe in chemistry, compatibility, lovemap, and more but yes love is a choice. Our relationship starts, ends, and lasts as a choice. We don’t just choose someone because of chemistry, it’s a matter of life and death, compatibility, and because of our lovemap. We choose the person we think and believe is the right one for us. A relationship will end or will last if we choose to stay.
28) Don’t wait for the perfect moment, take the moment and make it perfect. I was always the opposite of this quote and I’ve realized that my belief is wrong. If I keep waiting for the perfect moment, life, chances, opportunities and people will pass me by.
29) Approach everything with childish enthusiasm. We live in such a fast-paced life that we don’t have time to enjoy the little things like a sunrise, a sunset, or a blooming flower. We need to enjoy each day and live in the moment. You don’t know when you’re going to have that moment again. This is one of my favorite moments from Under the Tuscan Sun. “Never lose your childish enthusiasm and things will come your way.”
30) Give yourself a break. As a child, I always believed that being an adult is being serious all the time. All work and no play. Now as an adult, I realized that we need our childishness to last being an adult. According to a research, a person who doesn’t take a vacation gets burn out and becomes less productive to the company. While a person who goes on a vacation, will come back to the company fresh, full of ideas and more productive to the company. If we take our lives so seriously all the time, we might get committed. Trust me, I’ve had my moments..