I had some sort of epiphany a couple of weeks back. I was at a doctor’s clinic with my mom, filling out a patient form when the “age” section stopped me in my tracks.
Wait—how old was I again? I was about to write 23, but my mom interrupted and said that I was already 25. I thought that couldn’t be right! The last time I checked I was 22, singing and dancing to Taylor Swift’s 22. So being the math-loving person that I am, I decided to double check with my handy-dandy calculator.
And guess what,
A few months from now I’ll be turning a quarter of a century old!
I did not see that coming.
Turning 25—I think it’s an important milestone in anyone’s life. You’re still young but not too young to be too careless; you’re not too old, either, yet still old enough to welcome and reflect on the existential tribulations that come with being a quarter of a century old.
It’s tough and weird at the same time. But before I slip into the inescapable abyss of the constant, self-torturous need to justify my life choices and question my life’s purpose (because I am probably a word or two away from that), I think there’s no better way to savor the last few months of my “early” twenties than by making a list of 25 things I know to be true.
There’s no great purpose, really. I just wanted to see how my 50-year-old self (assuming I am still alive by then) would react to these “truths.”
So here it goes…
1.What you eat or don’t eat will kill you.
Or to quote Nanay Ading, “Mukaon, mamatay. Di mukaon, mamatay. Maayo pa ug mukaon nalang!” Right? Right!
2. The best way to get rid of LSS (Last Song Syndrome) is to keep the song on repeat until your ears bleed.
Yup. Works for both Adele or Aegis songs.
3. Everything tastes better when it’s your mom that cooks it.
Pork steak, caldereta, utan–wala kayo sa mama ko! (But larang is another story. Papa slays it!)
4. You may not always agree with what your parents say or do, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to disrespect them.
You can avoid the awkward conversations by simply nodding and smiling. Should you feel the need to explain your side, however, make sure to choose your words and consider your tone always. Parents can be…sensitive.
5. Social media isn’t real life.
6. People are like onions.
They’re layered and complex…sometimes they also smell bad and make you cry.
7. Those who don’t like you will always find fault in everything you do.
8. Parents are actually cool.
My teenage self would probably not believe me, but yes–underneath the dad jokes and insufferable mom moments are real people whom you can have funny, weird, or serious conversations with.
9. Nothing beats Magnolia’s mango ice cream.
Rain or shine, it’s mango all the way!
10. “Worrying means you suffer twice.”
The best piece of advice I got from J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay.
11. Two-year-old tots are the most vicious (and smartest) creatures on the planet.
Which reminds me I still have a “Survival Tips for the Terrible Twos” post sitting in my drafts…
12. Love isn’t always fireworks.
Sometimes it’s calm. Undocumented. Like a whispered conversation in the dark. An off-key serenade. Listening to Nickelback because your partner enjoys it. It just is.
13. There are so many ways to fight a battle.
This is perhaps the (only) precious lesson my previous manager taught me. Having the sharpest weapon or the loudest voice doesn’t necessarily guarantee victory.
14. Friendships change. And that’s okay.
Michelle Horton of Early Mama couldn’t have said it better:
Life changes happen, across the board. And no matter how your life changes — whether it’s moving across the country, getting an illness, losing a parent, shifting jobs, or having a baby — some people won’t come with you to the next phase.
Some people won’t come with you.
And that’s okay.
15. Taylor Swift over Kim Kardashian any time, every time.
Taytay gave me tons of karaoke material. Kim? Uhmm…a twisted sense of feminism?
16. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is the thief of joy.
Refer to #5.
17. You shouldn’t be sorry for things you can’t control.
18. Being kind is mandatory.
Yup, even on days when you feel like unleashing your inner Regina George.
19. Success is relative.
People measure success differently. Just because you don’t fit neatly into other people’s version of success (i.e. fancy clothes, a well-off spouse, a good career, a big house, or a nice car) doesn’t mean you’re a failure. You do you.
20. The writing life is tough.
It is especially tough when you discover that those who can barely write a decent, comprehensible sentence have a much wider readership (and even a brand sponsorship to boot) than you and your writer friends combined. But hey, you can’t let bad grammar win, can you?
21. There’s nothing that a good cry can’t fix.
22. John Lloyd will always have a place in my heart.
Even if he gets bald or gets married, si Papa Lloydie pa rin. Call me baduy. I don’t care.
23. Things don’t get easier if you dwell on things you suck at.
Bad at math? Stop whining! Get a calculator and work the digits, girl!
24. You don’t need to know everything. Learn as you go.
25. I’m not sure if I’m ready to be 25.