I am now officially 26 years old. Yesterday was my birthday. But what does that even mean? The earth revolved around the sun 26 times since I was born? I guess as I grow older every year I also get less sentimental and more realistic. This year, celebrations don't really matter much. I prefer spending the day in peace rather than in big crowd of people with a lot of small talks. I am bad at small talks. I am awkward and timid and don't know what to say.

This year and last year has been the most challenging and fruitful at the same time for me. I embarked on a new journey, alone, tried to do things out of my comfort zone even though I'm not good at managing my own emotions. Well, everyday is a chance to discover myself more isn't it?

Living here in this side of the world has taught me a lot, and at 26, here are some of the things I learned, others the hard way. These are also notes to myself that I'd like to always be reminded of.

1. Never take your health for granted.

I have neglected my health for the longest time thinking that I am invincible because I am young. I was anorexic in my late teens. I had really bad posture and sleeping habits. I never really thought much about my food intake, my exercise, not even my mental well-being. It all caught up to me this year and that's when I realised, our body is really our temple, no matter how cliche that sounds. I have been hospitalised numerous times and spent more than a thousand dollars in hospital bills and medication. In order for us to function properly and live the best versions of ourselves, it starts with good physical and mental health. 

2. There are some things in life that, no matter how hard you try, is just not for you.

I used to always believe that as long as you have the passion and drive, you can do anything! Like how I did in college. I wasn't a bright student, but I studied twice as much and persevered. I am always proud to say that I have earned two bachelors in four years because I worked so hard to get it. But in reality, there are some things that no matter how hard you try just isn't for you. You must know to weigh the pros and cons, if it's still worth it or not, and if there are alternatives that will make you  even a better person. Does it still make you happy? Or does it burden you more than it inspires you? You must know when to hold on and when to let go; and if you can't let it go, then it must be teaching you to be more patient and resilient.

3. The only competition you have is yourself.

I used to always pressure myself to achieve unrealistic goals, but when I take a step back and look at it, I ask myself, what for? Is it because I compare myself to everybody else? It is because the society expects so much from me? Is it because I am ashamed to not have something to brag about? Why am I even putting so much pressure on myself when the only goal I should have at the end of the day is to have a peace of mind and sleep well at night. Am I happy and contented? If yes, then I must be exactly where I'm supposed to be.

4. Sometimes, being too nice doesn't work.

If you are too nice to everybody, there will come a point in your life that you will get taken for granted. You must know when to be nice, and when to stand up for yourself. You cannot just always try to understand how everybody acts. You must also have a voice, and for as long as you know you are in reason, then go stand up for it.

5. Different people think differently.

You can't force someone to see things from your perspective. Everyone has their own identity, and you can't always expect them to agree to your narrative. Disagreements are inevitable. Always try to be open minded, and learn to agree to disagree.

6. Acknowledge your weaknesses and work around them.

The more you try to deny your weaknesses, the more they will haunt you. You must know how to acknowledge it, and remind yourself that it is not all that you are. Learn to work around it, manage how you react at certain situations, and master your own emotions.

7. The beauty in life is found in the simplest things.

There are times we feel stuck, stressed, overworked, and overthinking things. If you are in a dark place and can't find a silver lining, go outside and rediscover the beauty of life in simple things. Look at how the wind blows over the trees. Hear the sound of coffee pouring down to your cup. Smell the scent of newly washed linens. Open your window and let the sun shine to your face. Look up in the blue sky, and know that the world will keep moving for as long as you live. The simple things.


These are my thoughts as I turn 26. I am a bit nostalgic, but I am moving forward with light. Cheers to better days ahead.

With love,

PS. Took a break on my blog series schedule this week in lieu of my week long birthday hiatus. Thanks for sticking around!