One of my friends told me that you’re in your late 20s after your 26th. This is right after the quarter-life crisis so this is like taking some rest from life’s terrible ups and downs. This is also the period of my life where I could say that everything seems to be bland. No more roller coaster rides of emotions, no more super adventurous trips, no more drunken moments, no more going back home at dawn, no more rebellious acts, and I am just trying to go with the flow with life. Sounds boring?
Ahuh. Yeah. Kinda.
I am not sure if I have the same experience with others of my age but I think people have to go through certain stages in life as they grow and no stage can be equal to another. So there, I have listed below some of my realisations in life as of the moment. This may or may not be your experience. You might feel these all soon or you might not. You know, each phase is different and each of us has a unique experience. 🙂
1. Your friends when you were young may not be your friends now.
You’re lucky if you are still friends with your elementary or high school friends. Remember the time you said not to forget each other even if you went to different universities? or had different jobs? Cute, right? But people change and so do our wants and the way we see things and other people. We meet and lose people through out this process but since this is the most stable stage so far, this can have a good effect on your ability to know and keep people. As for me, I have a very few close friends, some of them have been there for many years but most of them are my previous colleagues (hi guys!). When I say friends here, what I mean is those you will really make time for, like you have regular meetings, you know a lot about them, you know and talk to their families, etc not just those who greet you on facebook on your birthday because facebook did remind them so (thanks to fb).
2. It is okay if you are not yet married before you reach 30 (or even after).
Please don’t rush. Don’t feel envious of your friends getting engaged and getting married. Don’t pressure your boyfriend to propose to you. You will both feel it when you’re ready for a bigger life together. Trust me when I say marriage is really a big thing that requires two individuals to be mentally, emotionally, financially, spiritually ready to be one. There’s no turning back here unless you have 150,000php to 300,000php to file for an annulment or divorce. (correct me if I’m wrong) Lol. Take your time. Take a lot of ‘me times’. Give your partner time and space for himself. Live independently for once. Now if you’re single (or still single after decades), I don’t see any reason why you need to speed up things. I liked the time when I was not in any relationship before. It gave me time to reflect and appreciate the people around me more. If you think it’s been a very long time already, maybe it’s time to bring out your red lipstick, go out and meet people but don’t fall in love just yet. This is just to test yourself how well you can be with people because this might have an effect on how other people see you as you. If you think you’re still likeable, you don’t need to worry, else you might try to consider experimenting. You might find out other side of you that you haven’t met yet. Focus on yourself. Don’t wait for someone. Just go with life until you meet someone that has also been enjoying the same flow.
3. It’s not late to learn new things.
If you want to study again, do it. Try to learn new things. This is for your own development as an individual. This also gives you a sense of fulfillment and of course satisfaction. Get a new hobby and try to challenge yourself to create new things. For me, this blog is something I have really been planning to do. I started thinking about it and planning it one year before really starting to write. I’m a busy human being with one full time and one part time job and another full time for being a mom to a 1 year old boy as of writing. Like what I said in the intro, this period of life is not so adventurous so spice it up by doing things you haven’t done before. It’s exciting and will keep you busy and motivated.
4. Some people will leave you and you should be fine with that.
This is something you can’t control. Even though you once felt like you and your partner were inseparable, bear in your mind that this person may soon leave. Regardless of how they will do it, intentionally or not, they will eventually do. Acceptance is something you will need in this period of life because you will encounter a lot of things you will realize you can’t do something about. Friends may leave you, your boyfriend or girlfriend may found a new love, your grandparents will start to get weak, your dog that has been living with you in ages, your old neighbor you’ve been receiving gifts from every Christmas may soon get sick, your favorite colleague may find a new job. You will also leave someone, eventually. You might fall for another person and not for the one who you are currently seeing and then marry another person soon who’s currently not in your life. People come, people go. People may leave you, expect that but one thing you need to bear in mind is to not ever leave yourself in this process. Be brave because this is life.
5. It’s okay not to have extravagant celebrations.
It’s okay not to spend too much in every occasion. Yeah, it’s totally fine. You know, simple dinner on a birthday, invite few people on a christening, movie marathon on an anniversary. Make it more intimate, more simple, more sincere. Sometimes, it feels like social media forces us to act more than we should, to spend more than we could just to look like we are better than before or better than others. We spend too much on a birthday, owe money from people for it, post pictures on social media, gather attention, praises, etc. And then we’re left with nothing after all the celebrations. People tend to forget their long term goals and just focus on what makes them happy as of the moment. I still believe there’s nothing really wrong with that but know your priorities.
6. It’s fine to lose an argument.
Whether it’s your fault or not, I realized that sometimes it’s fine not to prove who’s right or wrong in an argument. I know younger people tend to be argumentative. They always have to say something about a given situation. Of course it’s good to fight for what you believe and all. But as we grow old, sometimes you’ll have to think if it’s still worth it to get mad at someone and feel bad for some time, just because he/she has a different belief or understanding from you. I always think that conflicts can be resolved if we will just talk and learn to compromise. It also makes you feel good if you are in good terms with the people around you, doesn’t it? You’ll attract positive vibes that will make you think well in every situation. As a result, you’ll be able to spread good vibes to others and look positively towards life. Sounds great, right? Always try to keep a good heart.
7. It’s okay to sleep during an argument.
Okay please don’t judge me here. A lot of people (especially girls) would disagree, I know, because no one wants to sleep feeling bad because of a person or a situation. But I also realized that sometimes all you need is to sleep to get a fresh start and a fresh mind. There are times that you tend to argue a lot because you can’t think well, you can’t empathize, you can’t feel or understand the other party’s feeling towards a certain situation and you just can’t accept what he or she is trying to defend. When you have a good sleep, there’s a big possibility you can think better. You’re not that tired and burned out from other things that cause you stress. Sometimes, you’ll wake up you’re not mad anymore. You talk good, accept things well and forgive. Again, it depends on the degree of the conflict so don’t just sleep and expect everything is okay when you wake up. You might get an uppercut from your partner as soon as you open your eyes so be careful. Lol.
8. Your salary does not define you.
Have you ever felt like you’re being left behind?Left behind by your current or previous colleagues, batch mates in school, childhood friends, the son or daughter of your parents’ friends? (You’ll usually hear the latter from your parents lol) Let me tell you, the only one you’ll ever have to compete with is yourself, your previous self, because you’ll always want to aim to get better and better. Don’t lose hope when you think your friends are getting paid higher than you, have better jobs than you. You may not know they have their own battles. I know people who have high salaries but have to work far from their families, get bigger bonuses because they face so much stress at work, get a higher raise but being bullied and have a crazy boss. Or maybe some of them have really good pay but they help their siblings to go to school or pay for their parents hospital bills. Your salary is counted differently from who you really are, different from your value as a person. I have seen people with low earning jobs but with good hearts and less stress in life. Think of the greater things you have, the skills and abilities you posses and the people around you that believe in you and love you. Remember your value is always far higher than what you get on the 15th and 30th.
9. You get more years and more fears.
I don’t know if this will continue until I am 90 years old. I hope not. But now that I am in my late 20’s I’ve had a number of fears. ‘Fears’ is vague, I know. But remember the time when you were 17, 18, 19 years old? When you were so brave to go home at night, so brave to ignore the coughs and colds you’d been having for 1 month, so brave to try out those rides in EK, so brave to ignore the fact that the person you like is in love with someone else (but if you are still this fool, you can skip this last one lol). I’m still not sure if I have the same fears as others of my age but I have friends who tell me the same things. I think as a person gets old, he tends to know life more than before. He has to learn that this life is both sweet and bitter and we all have to experience both. Life is cruel and some people are evil. Yes, it’s sad and this fact may add up to ones’ fear list as he adds years to his life. One day you’ll realize this place is no longer safe for you and your family and sometimes the person you once thought could help you is the same person who’d put you in danger. This is a tricky life. It’s okay to be scared sometimes but never ever let this feeling eat you up. Remember, you just passed a quarter of your life. There’s more to come.
10. Your family will accept you no matter what.
Okay. This is cliche but I want to say it over and over again because I still see people who turn their backs to their families. They have their reasons, of course but most of the time, remember that your family especially your parents will accept you no matter what happens, no matter who you become and no matter what you do. Sometimes it takes time, it takes months and years but you’ll get there. Even a small cut in your skin needs time to heal. If you chose to live far from your family, or felt bad about them, hated them for some reasons, I think this is just the right time to go back home. Misunderstandings and petty fights are all part of being in a family, you’ll have a lot of those. Fights over money, over inheritance, over custody, over food, house, etc. We all have those. We all have different stories but I think we have one thing in common, we all have a family. By blood or not, they have your back.
11. Age is not just a number, it’s also an experience
Now that we’re about to complete the days in the calendar, remember that we are counting not only the years that passed but also the experience and learning that we gained all the way up to where we are right now. I don’t know if I’ve made a very big progress from my previous self but one thing I am always proud of is my desire of always living the life I dream of regardless how hard and challenging it is, regardless how boring it is, regardless how toxic some people around me are, regardless how dangerous this place on earth is, regardless how traffic it is everyday to work and regardless how crazy this life is. I am living and will continue to live not only for myself but for others, for the people around me, for my family and friends.
Okay enough for my speech haha lol.
I want to point out that upon reaching this stage of my life, you might feel that you have to be someone you are not. People will expect a lot from you and you will also expect big from yourself but it’s okay not to be that person you expect yourself to be. It’s okay to take time. You can be anyone you like to be and you have a lot of years ahead of you. Start knowing yourself more without forgetting where you came from and the people around you. And then build a dream. This is your life and your battle. Don’t let anyone get in your way in being who you are and doing what you do. No matter what, you go for it.