I’ve been alive for 24 years today! It feels not too long ago when I was still around 8 or 9 years old and I envied my cousins who were already on a double digit age. Now I’m almost in my mid 20′s! Saying, “Hey, where did my teenage years go, even my early 20′s?” can be a bit sad, but it’s inevitable. As I add another year to my age, it feels like time has robbed me in a blink of an eye when I look back and realized how much time has gone by. On the other hand, I would like to think of time not as a thief, but as a teacher of wisdom. I do feel a lot better that way getting older.
The past year, many things may have turned out differently from what I had planned and expected. I might have been really stressed on some days and I might just had sad nights where I was overwhelmed by how much I miss being with my parents and Flip. But still I can say with confidence that how I’m feeling as I turn 24 is a lot better than how I was when I turned 23 last year. I was also happy then but this time I’m a lot more at peace, because I guess I really just learned better on how to deal with life’s intricacies. I’m no expert at all, in fact I still have more days when I relapse to immaturity and idleness. But I do smile and laugh more now in spite of everything. Having a job that you like also helps a lot, especially having nice and fun workmates, and of course having your own car finally! The latter may sound materialistic but I gotta be honest, it makes me a lot happier knowing that I now got one of the things that I’ve always wanted (since high school! haha). Reconnecting with friends and their company, celebrating 5 years of being together with that one special person, and the kindness and unfailing love of my family are some of the most precious things I’m grateful to have and which propels me into a place where I can simply appreciate life.
As gratitude to my 24th year, for all the chances, experiences, opportunities and lessons gained, here are 24 profound and not so profound things I learned about life. Some of these may be as random and as mundane, even as cliche as they can get, but at one point they have been that profound to me. Well, what do you know, life is complicated.
- Underestimate no one, especially those whom you just met and don’t know anything about. This goes the same with the lines, “Don’t judge the book by its cover.” Chances are, you’ll be surprise (or even be blown away) by the abilities of others, especially those whom you didn’t think highly about.
- Fancy words when writing won’t make you better than others, nor will it justify your faults and mistakes or cover up a lie. The ability to write well is a gift, and knowing fancy words is just a plus. Honesty is still the best attribute of a writer, and being a wordsmith doesn’t compare to being honest.
- Love is not blind. It sees. It’s just that it tolerates and finally learns to accept.
- Time spent and experience are two things you can never have until you actually submit to something and do it. No matter how much you know or how much you have, you can never compare to those who have been there longer than you have. These two things are some of the things that make people earn the respect they deserve.
- There is always something worth learning from someone older, no matter the difference in economic and social status.
- As the saying goes, attitude is everything. There’s a big difference on how things will turn out based on how you approach them in the beginning. It pays being positive in tackling a task or in solving a situation.
- We are given indefinite chances, big or small and abstract or material, on kindness everyday and we should act on them as much as we can. There will come a time when it is ourselves who would need something from others. It may sound hypothetical and even impossible, but we are all here to help each other in more ways than one.
- Having a reminder that just occur in your thought out of the blue is a blessing, and may not happen twice. Never put off for later when you’ve been reminded to do something because otherwise you’ll be forgetting about it.
- No man is an island. We may want to be left alone at first to think and to deal with something when we’re upset. But talking about it with a friend or anyone else helps a lot, even if you think you are quite the loner.
- Three quotes that say it all: “The only constant thing in life is change.”; “If you’re in a bad situation, don’t worry it’ll change. If you’re in a good situation, don’t worry it’ll change.”; “This too shall pass.”
- Working does a lot more to a person than provide a source of living. It hones a person’s ability to get along with people of different personalities. It always pays to have humility and to give extra effort in getting along well with other people, especially to those who have personalities that render them hard and even impossible to get along with. Life is really like that. There will always be people who are just different. But in a work environment or any environment, the person who follows the saying, “If you can’t beat them, join them.” always wins in the end.
- It’s always a bit harder to go back to sleep when you wake up to find out that you still have an hour or two left before you have to wake up, but a lot harder to stay awake when you have to get up already. You always find yourself snoozing that alarm clock. Or maybe that’s just me and my “Life is ironic.” moments.
- Learn to watch your tongue. Better yet, we should learn how to control what we say. Thinking about what the impact of our words will be on others before we utter them is an essential tool in life and it is a skill that needs to be focused upon and practiced, especially for those less discreet people. People will either hate you or like you, depending on your ability in controlling your words.
- Most of the things in life are easier said than done. That’s why don’t be too hard on others. You may not know what they are actually feeling when you’re advising them. Knowing and understanding the situation are still different from actually being in the situation.
- Always use a coaster. You’ll regret seeing those ugly white circles that ruin wooden furniture surfaces.
- The beginnings of a romantic relationship are always the most pleasant times. Being in love at these moments feels like you can do anything, even Superman abilities like flying in outer space and bringing back the moon. Really, but not actually. ;-) As the relationship progresses, you’ll realize that the feeling of being in love has a lot of sides. Though you got happier and deeper in love, nothing will compare to the excitement and the giddiness that made your heart beat faster when you just started. And you always find yourself longing to feel that premature in love feeling all over again.
- Anything, or almost anything, no matter how hard, can be gotten used to as long as given the time, and patience most importantly.
- Waiting for love to happen is not enough when you haven’t decided to truly open up yourself to the possibility of being in love. It’s a personal decision that set things in motion.
- Keep a ballpen in your bag. You never know when it might come in handy. It especially will when you’re processing documents in government institutions, such as the LTO, PRC and SSS. Also, it’s worth keeping (it’s a rule actually) some tissue in your bag if you’re a girl, and most especially a handkerchief whether you’re a girl or a guy.
- Never apply USA driving rules in the Philippines, especially the right of way and the changing lane rules. You’ll just end up frustrated and very very angry, or even risking yourself to high blood pressure.
- No place is perfect. Everything is give and take. If one doesn’t have it, the other does, and vice versa. No need to be overly zealous.
- Some things are true whether you believe them or not. Being a bigot is a no no. Being one will make people hate you.
- Life definitely has its rough times. But what makes it a lot harder are not the circumstances, but the people involved. We are always worried about what other people will say. People put pressure on other people. It is the people who set standards that we feel we need to live up to. But it is also the people who can make life easier for us. People can comfort other people. So while it is the people who can make life miserable for others, it is also the people who can lend a hand and make things easier for others.
- God knows what he is doing with our lives. It may seem to us at times that we are just going around in circles or drifting nowhere, but He has a plan for each and everyone of us. We just have to be faithful enough to know what it is. You can see a glimpse of his work in your life if you’ll just think about the things you’ve been through and where you are now. For others it may still be hard to discern because the work is still pretty much in progress. But you’re getting there. God is getting there.
*Autumn image is from here.
You may ask, why the autumn scene? It’s not related to my post. Well I love the fall. I haven’t experienced it in actual but it’s one of those few things I’m sure I’ll love without a doubt without experiencing/seeing it yet. And it’s autumn season now in some parts of the world. The road in the picture also reminds me of life and it’s unknown path ahead.