Can you believe that it’s already the month of August? Four more months to go and we are closing again another year. But before that, I would like to celebrate the fact that this year and on this month of August, I will be turning 3-0! Cheers! Well, I’m having mixed feelings about it. I’m not really excited about leaving my 20’s (there are plenty of things that will make me miss being young and carefree!), but I’m also looking forward to the next chapter of my life.
Each year, I’ve made it my personal tradition to ponder about life few days before my birthday. I think about the goals that I’ve achieved, the events that taught me life lessons, the blessings that I should always be thankful for and the people who help me create positive ripples in life. Every year, I review the past year, tick off some completed goals, if I’m lucky, and create an updated list for the next year. Exactly like a birthday resolution.
…I feel distressed by the thought that I need to grow up for real and start taking responsible adult decisions.
I want to believe that my twenties had played a vital role in what I’ve become now and I would always look back to those mostly happy, occasionally lonesome, challenging but inspiring moments of my life. They always say that turning 30 is just the beginning of life and though it frightened me a little to face my 30’s and beyond, perhaps because I feel distressed by the thought that I need to grow up for real and start taking responsible adult decisions, I would like to think that I’m ready to face real adulthood, because my 20’s have prepared me to do so.
So here you go… My 20’s have taught me to…
1. Focus on the positive events in life
When I was younger it was so easy to get disappointed, lonely and depressed in life whenever I don’t get what I’ve expected or wanted. But throughout the years, I’ve learned that it is normal to face life circumstances that will disappoint you because it is with those situations that you will learn and strive higher the most. I always tell my friends that after reading The Secret, my perspective in life has entirely changed. I’ve learned that whatever you think more of are the same type of things that you attract in life. Since then, I’ve been living in a principle that if you think more of your misfortunes, the more misfortunes will follow and the more you think and feel grateful about your little blessings, the more blessings will come. I’ve always chosen to focus on my blessings no matter how small they are and true enough I can only see my blessings multiplying along the way.
…if you think more of your misfortunes, the more misfortunes will follow and the more you think and feel grateful about your little blessings, the more blessings will come.
2. Know your worth and don’t settle for anything less than you deserve
In life, we face different kinds of people. Some people are inspired by you, some will admire you and there are some who will demean you. But it is not what people think of you that really matters. It is what you think about yourself and in what you believe you can do to make things better, not only for yourself but for all the people around you. If some people can’t see your true potential, don’t waste your time on them. Invest your time and efforts instead in people who will.
3. Travel because it lets you see the world in another perspective
I always believed that there’s so much more to life than what we’re seeing from our comfort zones. Some things are meant to be experienced first-hand, for people to truly understand them. For me, travelling is not merely a luxury or simply taking nice photos along the way, it is more about seeing the world in another perspective. My travels had made me appreciate the beauty of the world and its people. It made me understand why certain things had happened in our history and why people of various cultures and races act a certain way. Seeing new places made me appreciate my life even more and allowed me to discover a few things that I didn’t realize I’ve wanted all along.
…travelling is not merely a luxury or simply taking nice photos along the way, it is more about seeing the world in another perspective.
4. Recognize that the best travel companion is yourself
To travel to a foreign city by myself is by far one of the best gifts I’ve ever given myself. Though that was brought about by unforeseen circumstances beyond my control, I’m glad that I’ve ticked that off my list while I’m still young. Those three weeks alone in foreign cities had made me realized so much about life. It had allowed me to reach a deeper understanding of myself, of what I want and do not want in life. I had learned to set my own boundaries and to make people respect them, to let go of people and dreams that weren’t for me at the moment, to cultivate my talents and skills I never knew existed, to be independent, and most importantly I had the chance to see my own strengths and weaknesses that I’ve never seen before. At the end of the trip, I realized being alone is not bad after all. It made me stronger to say the least.
I realized being alone is not bad after all. It made me stronger to say the least.
5. Save and secure your future. It is as important as enjoying the present moment
When I started working and the pay checks had started coming in, I always feel excited about treating myself for all my little hard works. I spend on some indulgences here and there which are rewarding at the moment. But as I grow older, I realize that nothing is permanent in this world, even the material things that I’m investing in. I thought if I would want to retire at a young age, I need to start planting my seeds where it will grow exponentially. Since then, I’ve made it my goal to put a portion of my salary on investments that will help me secure my future.
6. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet
I used to be the person who doesn’t care about what she eats, as long as it tastes good. I was guilty of judging people for being so picky when it comes to food and who scrutinizes the label for ingredients. I didn’t understand it back then. Until one day, the surgeon had told me he had to conduct a surgery to remove a big stone from my gallbladder. It turned out I was eating a little too many bad foods. I can’t believe what he’s saying, but I can’t argue with him because he knows better. The post op recovery was so terrible, I didn’t wish to go back to the hospital ever again. Since then, I’m always mindful of what I eat and try my best to maintain a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. I learned this the painful way.
Some of our biggest learnings come from failures and we need failures to succeed.
7. Be brave to take the risk and learn from your failures
Have you heard of the saying, ‘You’ll never know unless you try’? Well, I guess that’s true. You can only know what lies beyond once you start taking the road yourself. So, I guess we shouldn’t be afraid to take calculated risks every now and then. By ‘calculated risks’, I mean you should be ready about the consequences of what could happen if you take the risk. If you fail, then learn from it. Some of our biggest learnings come from failures and we need failures to succeed. But let’s not be imprudent to repeat the same failures over and over again.
It’s better to be on your own than to be with someone who will drag you to the pit of negativity or bring out the worst in you.
8. Not to stay in wrong relationships because you are afraid to be alone
For me relationships are supposed to be happy, stress-free, uplifting, constructive and mutually rewarding. Of course, relationships are not all roses and rainbows and butterflies. There will be some conflicts along the way and it’s totally normal for the relationship to grow and develop. However, when the relationship is generally filled with negative and damaging emotions, and you are hurting not only yourself but also the other person in the process, then it is the wrong kind of relationship and I don’t personally see the point in sticking with it. It’s better to be on your own than to be with someone who will drag you to the pit of negativity or bring out the worst in you.
9. Commit to finding your purpose in life
My aspirations in life keep on changing every now and then. My focus shifts from one thing to another and if there’s one thing that remains constant, that is my enthusiasm to explore my skills and hobbies while discovering my highest potential. These are one of the things that are giving me the sense of fulfillment. I’m hoping that one day, I will have the chance to finally put everything I learned and enjoy doing to better use. Life, being complicated and overwhelming as it is, still gives us a leeway to explore and discover things on our own way and maybe one day we can put all the puzzle pieces together and have it all sorted out.
10. Be always grateful
Everyday I make it a practice to think of at least ten things I’m grateful for in my life. Be it big or small. Be it just the wonderful weather or the hassle-free commute to the office, I always whisper gratitude. It’s because our sincere feeling of gratitude gives us more reasons to be grateful for. Who doesn’t want more things to be grateful for?
…because our sincere feeling of gratitude gives us more reasons to be grateful for.
I think realizing our learnings no matter where we are in life will give us a step ahead of whatever there is to come. My 20’s have given me just about enough vibrant experiences to carry through. Though I feel emotional to say goodbye to those good old years, now the time has come to move on to a new phase and prepare myself for tons more of brand new experiences. Besides age is just a number and 30 is just the beginning!
PS: Before I end this post, I would also like to share my complete pre-birthday #ootd look. 🙂