Last September 19 of this year, I bid farewell to 21 and greeted 22 with a hollaaaaa! LOL. Aaaand I have got to say that over these years, I learned quite a LOT of things in life, others, and myself; which I feel, is something worthy to share to my blog readers.
As my life story goes, I’ve done several big decisions over the past couple of years and some may even say that I am off the conventional path. (Which is freaking awesome, I tell you!) I am also very happy and contented with the way my life is going. It’s not entirely perfect (then again, who has a perfect life?) but I’ve got no complaints. I know I still got a long way to go, but still a bit ahead from some of those around my age.
So in one way or another, I’d like to give life tips/skills to people through this list. But of course, take this all with a grain of salt. No ‘list’ such as this or anyone else’s is absolute. This is merely a guide or aid because certainly, your life’s situation might be entirely different. Yet all in all, let me help you rock your 20s out! *wink* And in no particular order…
- You’re gonna lose some friends. And it’s fine. Don’t sweat about it. Continue living your life as it is.
Some will come back after a long while, some won’t. And like I said: it’s fine. With all the changes in your life and their lives as well (personal and/or professional) it’s bound to happen, especially since all of you are in your 20s anyways. But there really is no need to worry about loosing one or two (or even more of them) because I assure you, along the way, you’ll gain some more. And an even better ‘upside’ to it: you’ll get to screen it all down into those worth keeping.
Even if you’ve got those absentee friends, when you get in the dumps, they’ll surely come popping out again to support you. (Like you, they can also get caught up in their own lives so give them a break). But of course there are those temporary friendships too—like that one person you partied with all the time and suddenly have not heard from anymore—surely some of them have been good, some bad. But most of the time, you’ll learn from each and every one of them, so appreciate all these people that you’re meeting and just enjoy it as everything unfolds. Above all, accept that some move on, some you will never see again, and some will be in your life forever.
- And if you’ve got that toxic friend/s that you can’t shake off: get rid of them. Now.
There’s no use sticking around people that are negative, people that put you down, or people that take advantage of you. Constantly. They are of no good and will never be; so you’ve got to detach yourselves from them. Fast. I understand that a lot would find it hard to steer away from such ‘friends’ because sometimes, the feeling of being ‘needed’ by that person is there, or that simply, the sensation that you feel bad for them will linger.
But here’s something that you have to know: you’re not responsible for babysitting this person. You’re not responsible for cleaning out his/her every mess. You’re not responsible for his/her life or his/her mistakes and decisions. Nor are they responsible in highlighting and intensifying each of your downfalls.
If you’ve done your part once in helping this ‘friend’ in finding his/her way and then nothing happens time and time again, then it’s time to step out and let go. Especially if you don’t see things going anywhere and especially if they just make you feel bad about yourself. You don’t have to do it in one zap if you don’t want to; you can do it gradually by slowly withdrawing away from that person’s life. It sounds a bit hard or harsh even, but if you want to move forward, then you really have to make sacrifices. And when you do get rid of them, don’t fall into the same ‘friend trap’ again.
- You don’t need everyone to like you.
It’s a bit connected with #1 and #2. (If you think about it, the reason why you might have lost those friends in #1 is because you’re the #2 toxic friend. LOL. Okay, that probably isn’t the case but guess what?) YEP. You really don’t need everyone to like you. People are judging one another all the time, and if some realize that they don’t like you, then what’s the end result? Well, nothing really. You can’t do anything about it. Life goes on.
But don’t even try making them like you, thereby transforming yourself into someone that’s not ‘you’. Don’t try so hard. Don’t suck up. People will respect you more that way even if they don’t like you. Besides, these are people who don’t like the real you so why should you even try to please people who don’t even care for you in the first place? Right?(Of course, this differs from instances where you need to meet a business prospect because surely you have to make them like you at the first meeting.
But if you failed time and time again, it really is alright. You’re better off spending your time somewhere else wherein the people there care for what you say and for what you have to offer.)
- So who matters? Your people.
As subliminally pointed out in #3, the people that matter are only those that really care about you and your existence; (or okay, those that you really have to impress on first meetings for your career) and that my friends, is where you should really focus your energy on.
- Try to meet other people from outside your circle and outside your comfort zone. Talk with internationals too, and be friends with them!
It helps a lot. In my life, I think the turning point of everything was when I started meeting new people and making friends from outside my circle, especially with those who come from outside the Philippines and who are older than me. It was through them that I got to know and see other cultures, other practices, and other views on life. Every single one of them had a story to tell and they were all a breath of fresh air. Unlike us Filipinos, they’re very independent so that makes them strive to really go out and find their place in the world… and I tell you, that can be inspiring. You will really learn from them, especially if you’re not yet in the travelling stage of your 20s, their stories will be enough to make you all go ‘wanderlust-y’ or at least let you have a sneak peek into how it’s like out there.
Also, it greatly helps as well to talk and befriend people who are out of your league (and yeah, like I said above, not in the same age as you). Older businessman/woman, celebrities, etc. as examples. Because in that way, not only will you get to ‘network’ but you’ll get more insight in life too. It sounds really hard because you’ll need ‘tough skin’ to take up such a brazen action, but think about it: they’re just people. Human. Just like you. “But they’re popular and powerful!” Well they were once just like you. There’s really nothing wrong in trying to strike a conversation with them.
But then surely… the problem of how to keep a conversation with them will arise. Well here are some tips I’ve learned over the years. Keep asking questions, and they will keep answering you. People LOVE talking about themselves. Next is just listen and pay attention. In between, try to put commentaries in, or share a bit of a story or two elaborately. You can do this by picking up context clues from their stories, and then you can retell a story that’s almost similar to it. And of course, don’t gawk or fangirl. Still not enough? Then here’s another thing that can help you…
- Be YOU and have that kick ass confidence.
Ha! How cliche! But it’s true. It helps to be you, because then you don’t need to pretend all the time to be someone you’re not. (Imagine how tiring can that be, and you’ll only have friends who love that ‘fake’ you. Now that would be sad.)
And of course, confidence. The people that really get ahead in life are those people that have the guts and the resolve to do so. It’s a strong trait in someone that when used well and right can be really amazing AND sexy. There’s nothing more eye-catching than someone who’s comfortable in his/her own skin and knows how to carry themselves well. It helps to have more confidence too when you realize that…
- Everyone is insecure. Not only you.
That sexy and smoking girl across the room? That hot guy too who seems to have everything under control? Guess what? They’re both insecure. Just. Like. You. Simply put: We all are, so comfort yourselves with that thought. But then here’s where everything gets drawn into a divide: some people are just so good in masking it, hiding it, or using their own insecurity as an armor to come off as the confident-looking person that they are. So you should do the same.
Remember that time when you mentioned to your friend how that small scar on your face bothers you? And then they will say that they only noticed it when you mentioned it? Well take that as an example. Other people will only notice your cracks, your faults, or your insecurity when you give them the opportunity to notice or point it out. So don’t give them that chance.
- Accept the fact that there’s always going to be someone better and better-looking than you.
Related to #6 and #7. So it’s better if you just embrace your quirks. Plus, if you accept this #8 fact, you’ll feel better: love-life-wise and life-wise. Besides, it applies even to that hot girl that you saw just recently, which traces us back to the fact as to why that hot girl would have insecurities too of her own.
I guess that all in all, what sets us all apart is on how we carry ourselves; you might not be the hottest girl in the group but you’ve got a killer personality to boot in which some people would like you even more; it’s also the reason why your partner is with you and not with that other girl. There will always be something unique/different about you and that people will love; you are fascinating and interesting in your own way, so be happy about that fact.
- But of course, don’t compare yourself to others too much. A little jealousy here and there is fine, but ultimately: be contented with yourself and with what you have.
This is tricky, given all the previous pointers I’ve already given, but generally, consider the fact that their ‘path’ is different than yours and there’s no use wallowing about what others have that you don’t. It’s not healthy, it’s a waste of time, it takes you nowhere, and yes, please… don’t insult yourself through this way. Find contentment in what you have, and if you can improve on some areas of your life, then do so, but do it in an aim of understanding yourself and not because you want to surpass somebody so bad. It’s more gratifying if you do it for yourself.
- One sure way to build confidence or to better develop your ‘thick-skin-not-giving-a-fuck-attitude’: do embarrassing things from time to time and to just act like you’re really confident. Fake it if you have to, and eventually it will just become a natural trait to you.
Just. Do. It. Other than having awesome embarrassing stories to tell afterwards, you’ll also get to have fun. People will point and laugh, sure, but does it matter? You don’t know those people anyway ...well okay fine, with the advent of social media, you’re bound to be posted online one of these days. But again, does it matter? NO. In weeks/months to come, it won’t matter at all. It’s all a part of developing your attitude, and believe me, if you really develop a personality as such, it will prove to be very useful. (Like for instance, embarrassing moments won’t be so embarrassing anymore since you’ll know how to have a good laugh about it and how to just shrug it off.)
Also, one trick to do to gain friends and appear confident and ‘up and about’ is to be busy. Or okay, act like it. But in moderation or else you might come off as a loser. You can, for example, create events or happenings. Go and invite people to them, and if they can’t make it or decline, or worse: doesn’t push through, it’s alright! They’ll still think of you as ‘someone who has things going on’ and might just invite you as well on their own events.
- If you got your heart broken, it’s NOT the end. It’s for the best. And don’t worry: you’ll live and you’ll love again. Guaranteed.
True story. I was previously in a serious relationship that ended quite badly, and it left me devastated. Right before we broke up, I could see the signs of it happening and it really freaked me out. Thoughts such as: “How can I live my life without him? What would I do? I don’t remember how I lived my life before him! I don’t think I can do this! I have got to do something to save this relationship!”Sounds really pathetic. But it happens, even to the best of us. (Anyways, I’m glad I didn’t try to do things to ‘save’ it.)
Anyways. So it did happen. The break-up that is; and it left me in pieces. But I’m not one to give up and I know that I had to pick myself up. Life won’t stop just for me. So, I continued to ‘live’. What did I realize? Shit happens, and be thankful that that shit happened. Be thankful for that (asshole of a) partner. Be thankful that you acted like an idiot in that relationship. Because NOW, you’ve learned. You’ve grown. And that you know better that you will never do the same mistakes ever again.
- Learn to forgive others and yourself, take action, and then learn from it. After that: let things go. Don’t welcome regrets.
Everybody says it, but it can be hard. But recognize the fact on how it can be really liberating to not give a fuck about things sometimes, and to just forgive. Holding grudges will only tie you down, and if you can find a way to analyze how it made you upset, learn from it, and accept that everyone is just human and can fuck up sometimes (or most of the time)… then do so. It will make everything easier.
As for YOU, life will always be a cycle of making one mistake after another, so learn to also forgive yourself and move on. Sometimes, we also get upset with other people’s actions because we believe that it is our fault… if this happens, acknowledge your feelings, analyze it again, and then learn to let it go. Obviously the idea is to just: Let. Things. Go.
- Kill everyone with kindness.
Aaah, how beautiful this is. A famous ‘quote’ and a really great ‘life skill’ if I say so. It’s sometimes reaaaallly fun whenever I do this because I make that person realize just how big of an asshole they are. It pisses them off too, and that’s great! LOL. It’s like a secret trick of taking away their ‘power’. Besides, this keeps your ‘class’ on at all times and will let everybody know that nobody can really get into you and mess you up.
Heck, why the hell would you let anyone’s negativity overcome you anyways? Sometimes though, people are just upset, which puts the ‘don’t give a fuck’ attitude that you’ve developed into ‘play’, and which also brings me to make you look at #12 again. But of course: just be kind. It will help you in going through each and every day, and you also indirectly help other people too.
- There’s no such thing as “we can be friends again instantly after this break up!”
It’s bullshit. If you break up with someone, try to really, reaaally, detach yourselves from them for a while. For a long while, actually. Yes, yes, I know, I know, you were ‘best friends’ before you got together (etc. etc.), and you don’t want to waste those years of friendship. Blah, blah, blah.But here’s what I have to say: accept that your relationship is OVER so give yourself a break and a bit of respect and really acknowledge its end.
Why? Because after a break-up there’s always those ‘leftover feelings’, ‘leftover hopes’, or ‘leftover reminders’ that you really can’t erase unless you really withdraw yourself from your ex’s life. If you stay ‘present’ in his/her life, there are chances that you’ll start having feelings of “Oh, we might get back together again!” or worse, you’ll slip into the friends-with-benefits role. And you don’t want that. Really. You don’t. So go away. Cut contact. Fast.
If your ex begs you to not do such shit and asked you to stay, then ask them to fuck off. LOL Just kidding… Ask them to give you the liberty to give yourself the time to get to know yourself as the single you again and to get over the two of you. And if time permits and the two of you are better off with your own lives and (new) relationships, then who knows? The two of you can be friends again. I say this because it’s really difficult to bring a relationship back to a ‘normal-no-romance-state’ after having been intimate with him/her. It will be like an ‘addiction’, so avoid it.
- You WILL find someone. You really will. (Date, date, date!)
I see people on my news feed everyday complaining that they will never find a boyfriend/girlfriend, blah blah blah because men are pigs and cheaters, or that women are vain and materialistic, or that simply, today’s times are hard. Boo-hoo. Wow, so much negativity. Haha! But really, with the number of people in the world, you’re bound to find someone because those other people are looking for someone too! So one way or another, some of you are going to meet half-way really …provided of course that you really put yourself out there to meet new people! It’s annoying sometimes though, because some complain, and what do they do? Stay at home, never go out to meet others, and never bother minding their selves. Come on people, it takes a bit of action and effort too. Life’s not easy. So pick yourself up! All it takes is for you to stop being lazy. Get out of your cave and really ‘live’.
- Single or taken? Doesn’t matter. There’s no contest between the two.
I’m so tired of seeing articles/people downplaying single people and/or ‘taken’ people. As if it’s a way to make the other feel better about themselves, and the other to feel bad about how they are; when in reality, both are great. It’s not like you get ‘caged in’ when you’re taken, nor does it mean that you’re ‘alone and lonely’ when you’re single.
I really detest those articles/people because it harbors people into finding faults in their lives and making them feel like they’re missing out, when in fact, what you should realize is that both worlds are great. It just depends from person-to-person on how they handle those ‘worlds’. So please refrain from being one of those people who puts down the singles or the taken ones just because you had a nasty experience with either ‘world’ before; come on… you’ll just come off as bitter. All in all, just enjoy where you are in your life right now. Don’t bash other people just to make yourself feel better of your situation.
- If you’re not happy, then stop what you’re doing by all means. Learn when to say NO and when to say YES. And above all: Don’t. Settle.
This applies to your love life, your career, or even to simple acts. Learn this skill to really instill it in yourself; you can start small to practice yourself into getting in this attitude. For example, stop what you’re eating when you don’t like it at all. It saves you from a bloated stomach, and saves you from a day ahead that’s ruined. Fine, maybe you wasted money on that, but what? Can you turn back time? No. So just shrug it off and learn from it. Let it go (cue #12 life skill). So yeah: give yourself that liberty to be saved from such troubles: big or small.Now let’s move on to your love life and your career. These are two things that we fear of putting a halt into if needed, because they can be such big steps/decisions.
But if you think about it, if you’re not happy at all, if you’re just dragging yourself into it everyday, then there’s no use! Put that energy someplace else. Oh, what did you say? You’re afraid that there’s nothing else out there if you quit on this one? And that you’ve already put in so much effort on this one? Well big news: there are a LOT of other opportunities in the world that can far improve you and bring you more happiness which you deserve. All your hard work would even be rewarded better and greater. It’s always a possibility. Remember: what we fear the most in doing is sometimes what we must certainly do in life. Because…
- Time and life is limited, so invest in things that really matter and of course, SAVE UP.
Your time is valuable and it’s something that you can never take back. Believe me, I’m glad I didn’t stay further in my job at the bank, because now, I’m in a job that I really like. I also got more free time and I could work anywhere! (Soon, I am planning on moving to another country just to immerse myself in their culture, while all the while doing my job which is online). So simply put, save yourself the trouble and do what you really want to do even if you have to start from the ground up. You just have to do it if you really want to make your life fulfilling and especially if you don’t want to grow old bitter and full of regrets.
And of course, as early as now, SAVE UP. If you’re more knowledgeable in financial matters, put it to use. If an opportunity shows up, INVEST on something. This is common sense but still hard to do, so learn as early as now how to limit yourself and do so.
- Don’t mind what others say. Live your life like you want to. And if you’re up for it, it’s best that you leave your parents’ house and live independently. It will help you GROW.
This can be tough, given our Filipino culture. Some of us just can’t seem to shake off the thoughts of “But what will others think? What will my parents say? Will I even survive?” It’s best to remember that it’s your life, NOT someone else’s. And if your parents really love you, then they should care about what makes you happy. (I am thankful that my parents found it in their heart to let me go.) Most of the time, yes, you will fail or you will make mistakes, but that’s part of growing up and discovering yourself. Learn to instill this skill, and in no time, you’ll find yourself working your way into what you really wanted to do with life and you’ll also find your own liberty. It’s going to be hard when you start, but it all boils down to the gratification you’ll get to have once you accomplish what you want.
Always think about your life in the LONG RUN. And always think about the life you want to live and not the life that you feel you need to live because of your current situation or because of what others expect of you.
As for living independently, I swear, this has been the greatest decision of my life after I graduated college. It can be hard given how we are a 3rd-world country, but it helps you gear up in life. You’ll learn how to cook, you’ll learn how to look after yourself, and! It also helps you realize that life indeed is hard and everything is expensive, so it helps you to be frugal too with what you have… aaaah, there’s a lot more things that you can learn! So I say, it’s awesome to start this adventure. Why not try it out?
- Travel. Travel. Travel. And then do unconventional and wild things in between!
If you can, then travel. If you can’t, then save up and travel. If you actually put it down into numbers, it doesn’t really take much money to travel to places especially if you take into account budget airlines, budget hostels, and more. AND especially if you compare it to how you actually spend your money, monthly.Now once you’re there in that vacation spree, try to stay away from the usual tourist-y stuff; try to really immerse yourself with the people and I swear, you’ll have a really, really, great time!
I believe that given our young age, this is the best time to travel and to be wild because once you’re old, the stuff that you can do will be very limited. (You really can’t go nature hiking if you’ve got recurring leg pains for example). So along with this, take my advice, GO OUT MORE. Party with friends, party with strangers! (Of course, do it with finesse and care, you can read my partying article here)
Also, do stuff that you think you’ll never do in this day and time! Go eat that exotic food, go bungee jumping, go paragliding, go date that guy, go make a fool of yourself, oh man, do whatever! It all pays into developing the person that you are and the personality that you will carry on from here on and out in your years. They also make up for good stories too! …This is definitely not the age for staying cooped up inside your home, scrolling through your Tumblr page endlessly. (But of course I’m not saying that you can’t rest, unwind, and have your ‘me time’.) But yeah. Get out more, sweetie!
- Eat healthy. Live healthy. Think healthy.
Start young on this and the benefits later on will be phenomenal. Learn to say no to crappy food; some cheat days are fine, give yourself that reward (you deserve it!), but it really pays to eat and live healthy. So stop being lazy and exercise. Throw away all those processed junk food! You’ll start feeling better. Believe me. Both mentally and physically.Currently, my boyfriend and I are on the Paleo diet and I tell you, it’s a great one! (It’s also called the ‘caveman diet’, which means that it’s patterned to how our ancestors ate in the earlier times, so there’s no processed food, grains, etc. etc.) I will write more about this in my coming posts, but for now you can read this.
As for thinking healthy: this is vital. Over the years, I’ve learned that if you can control and block your mind from certain stuff that are full of negativity, you’ll start feeling better. (For example: refraining from looking at emotional posts and stuff when you’re in need of controlling your feelings, or refraining from looking at your Facebook wall if you are in a very fragile state of insecurity, or simply not watching the news if you don’t want the worlds problems to drown you).
*Also an important thing, try to develop a low-information diet; there’s really no need for you to watch the (depressing) news all the time. You won’t get ‘left out’. Chances are, when something ‘big’ happens, you’ll hear it from your friends instantly anyways.
But basically, you should believe me on how you can really control how you feel. You just have to actively make yourself see the brighter side of things. (You got stuck in traffic? It’s alright, maybe it’s fate’s way of making you delay on something because that ‘something’ could bring you to an accident or whatever. Try fooling yourself from time to time.) And try, try to always have an open mind and to approach problems systematically without emotion or bias.
The world is vast and there will always be things that are new or that you won’t ever understand: don’t force it away from you. Soak it in. Understand it. Accept it. You don’t have to believe it (it’s always up to you on what you should do with the things that happen to or around you) but just accept that things happen to people and to the world, and most of the time, there’s nothing that you can do about other people’s evil or way of life. (Ha! Was that so cryptic? But meh, I guess you get the idea. -wink-)
To read more about this, you can check out my Fit List post here: [ click ]
- There’s still so much to learn but we will never know everything. Still, try to take in as much knowledge as you can.
This list is short, and there’s so many things that I still need to say, but overall, I may have learned so much over the past years but I’ve also come to know that there’s still so much more that I need to learn. Which I guess makes life interesting in its own way. There’s always that distinct joy in discovering new things; not because it’s a ‘requirement’ but because of our own love and desire for learning stuff. So take it all in like a sponge.
Whew… that was long! My apologies, but I haven’t written for a long time, and I guess this is a way for me to make up for all my ‘blog hiatus sprees’.
Again, like I said, these tips are not of absolute truth and there’s still so much for me to share, but for now, let me leave it at that. Feel free to throw in your opinion in the comment section below!
P.S. If you’re not in your 20s anymore, I think that all of this still applies. :)
*Images above are from weheartit.com
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Hey there! I am Aileen Adalid.
At 21, I quit my corporate job in the Philippines to pursue my dreams. Today, I am a successful digital nomad (entrepreneur, travel writer, & vlogger) living a sustainable travel lifestyle.
My mission? To show you how it is absolutely possible to create a life of travel too (no matter the odds), and I will help you achieve that through my detailed travel guides, adventures, resources, tips, and MORE!
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@Eco_Megan haha yeah! I can't stop laughing 😂
@FootlockerWPH Ah no, my family is all in Manila.