Surprise, surprise! I’m 26. I used to just day dream about how life would be and now that I’m here, I never thought it would come so soon. I remember 10 years ago, as I was just about to start college, I would always have all these expectations of what I would have accomplished at 26, I remember saying it was the year I’ll be spending most of my time reviewing for my law Bar exams and since I was in a long term relationship back then, I thought this would be the year we’d be engaged too! Fast forward to today, my life did not turn out even close to what I thought it would and I honestly would never trade what I have right now for anything. I would never wish for a time machine because every single thing brought me to where I am.
Last time I did this was when I turned 23 and I promised myself that the next time I would do it was when I feel like more things have changed and boy, ALOOOT did. Here are 26 Lessons I Learned in 26 years:
1. Stop expecting because your life will never go the way you expect it to be. I never thought I’d have a perfume business yet here I am four months into VV & Co. I never thought that I’d ever be with a Cebuano again yet here I am in a 5 year relationship with one. I never thought I’d ever make my African dreams come true yet I even went for work. I expected so much things and yet here I am living a better one. It’s better to just go with the flow, plan but don’t expect and remember to always be kind to anyone you meet along the way.
2. If it makes you happy, go for it but always think of it’s consequences in your life in the long run. If it will be something you know you’ll regret and it will still matter 5 years later, then maybe it’s not so worth. When I was 18 or 23, my advice was to just go for it, now that I’m 26, I realized that you really do have to think of the consequences!
3. Being young is never an excuse to setting your dreams aside. If you’ve been dreaming of owning your own business, do it NOW. If you’ve been dreaming of being a lawyer, pilot, painter, dancer, anything, do it NOW. Live as if you’re running out of time, you should never ever say, “Ahh I can just start later because I’m still so young.”
4. Your mom is probably always right. While I’m old enough to make my own decisions and sometimes still want to do the complete opposite of whatever my mom told, whatever she feels or thinks is probably always the right thing to do.
5. At the end of the day, the family you were born with or the family you’ve chosen is really the one who will be there.
6. However, I’ve realized that not all families are like mine so I’ve become more sensitive without how I judge how other people treat theirs. Sometimes, it’s not the family you were born with that will act like it.
7. Giving sincere compliments is free. Social media is a cruel world wherein suddenly, bashing is so much easier to do than giving compliments. When did it start being so hard to do this?
8. Breathe 10 seconds because you react to something. Saves my relationships daily.
9. You should always set as side time to take care of your outsides because when you feel good on the outside, it helps so much to feel good on the insides. Have a daily beauty routine. spoil yourself with cheap massages. get a monthly facial.
10. It’s okay to be late in the game. You’re just right on time. It doesn’t matter if you’re a late bloomer or even an early one. Whatever that’s happening right now is exactly what’s meant to happen at this moment.
11. Self love is an important and key ingredient to have a healthy relationship. When you’re not happy with yourself or what you’re doing in life, it would be so hard to be happy in a relationship with someone else. It should be about two people living separate lives and in the middle of that, you meet in the middle to have a life together.
12. Honesty is key with relationships whether it’s the one you have with someone else or the one with yourself. In a relationship, talk about where you want it to head and be honest about it. If you’re not on the same page right now, be honest with each other instead of leading the other person on. If you’re single, be honest with yourself and only love when you’re ready, not when you’re bored.
13. Giving space to grow separately is not bad when you’re in relationship. When I was younger, I thought that wanting time apart means you’re loved less, as I got older, I realized that it was normal and needed.
14. I have said it a couple of times before and I’ll say it again, trust your gut. It will never fail you.
15. Never underestimate the joy a pet will bring. I just got one from Ben now and she’s the cutest ever!!!! Follow her at @MilanaThePomsky <3
16. Never shave or pluck, go straight to lasers right away. Wish I knew this when I was younger, that way I wouldn’t have to spend more money trying to correct the consequences like chicken skin and dark spots.
17. It’s okay not to look like the models you see on magazines and on Instagram. You’re beautiful in your own way.
18. Find a diet that will help keep yourself healthy without having to try so hard. That way, you won’t do crazy crash diets or harm your body by starving yourself.
19. My lola was right, those yucky fruits and vegetables we used to hate eating as a kid are good for you and you actually need them. Find a way to drink them, may it be in juice form, solid form or even with a meal.
20. If you’ve got this bad feeling about a person the moment you meet them, then you’re probably right. Some people might argue that I should give people a chance but life is too short to surround yourself with the wrong people.
21. Surround yourself with people from different ages and different walks of life. Learn from them and embrace the change that they’ll bring to your life.
22. Never let material things take control of what you have with real and breathing people. I’ve seen so much people change because of money or they do everything even step on people just to get it. Seeing it first hand made me realize that it’s not worth it. I learned this from Ben’s lola! She always reminded everyone that you cannot bring these things to heaven.
23. The success that is meant to happen in your life will take a long time. That’s why there are only 1 or 2 lotto winners over the millions that made a bet. Be patient, your time will come. Personally, I’ve been working for 10 years and I’m not even halfway done with where I dream to be.
24. Be careful what you hate because you’ll think about avoiding it so much that you’ll exactly be it. Instead, spend your time thinking of things you would love to be. They don’t cause you wrinkles, too!
25. Hard work will really bring you far. Things that are given on a silver platter to you are really too good to be true. The ones that you’ve worked hard for are the ones that will stay because you’ve earned it.