Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Boiling Waters PH.

Turning 30 end of this year. Adulting is indeed hard. As I reminisce with the past 29 years, I can say that I have really lived well. I had a lot of good and bad experiences as well as mistakes, conscious mistakes. My life has been a mixture of fun and adventure, of challenges, of happiness, pain and sacrifices. The best teacher indeed are the experiences we made and the memories that came from it.

At 29, there’s still a lot that I don’t know about myself. I am slowly unlearning, learning and uncovering every bit of myself as I journey through this life. I am writing this as way to appreciate what I have gone through and all the lessons that I have accumulated in 29 years.

  1. Choices, Decisions and Priorities

I’ve learned that it’s the little choices and decisions that we make every day that defines the course of our day-to-day life. We may not see and feel it at that moment but it greatly affects our life in the long run. It’s also important that we have a certain goal in order for us to prioritize the things that really matter. For me, it started from giving my best in my studies and choosing the degree that will give me a job 5 years later. I also have this goal to retire from work at 30 and I can proudly say that I can do that. I worked really hard and sacrifice the time to be spent with my family in order to achieve that goal. With a positive mindset, strong gut and undying faith, I went overseas and was also able to work as an OFW at a young age. Things was not smooth sailing at first but risks and uncertainties are expected. Well, cheers to being an ambitious woman, I bought properties and invested my money (let’s just say that the pandemic is my blessing in disguise). I am not rich but I’m proud to say that I am debt-free and financially stable enough to take care of myself and support my family during hard times. I was able to do that because of the discipline and the mindset of delayed gratification.

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  1. Work and Improving Yourself

Everyone hates working but we need to because it’s the sure way of earning money and paying our expenses. I thought that I hate my work, the need to spend more than 8 hours a day and the need to report to a boss, that’s why the thought of retiring at 30 and being my own boss was promising to me. But after being financially stable, I realized that I do love my work. The difference now is that I have the freedom to not settle at any job and company just because I need to earn money. I also realized that in order for us to earn more, we have to keep on improving ourselves. We cannot stay stagnant and let the time passed us by. If we have the necessary resources, we must live and use our time wisely. I believe that if we continue to work on ourselves, career progression and having higher salary will follow.

  1. Preferences and Purpose

It is amazing how our preferences change over the years. I remember my cousin told me that as we grow older, the things that we love will change as well. She was two years older than me and we had this talk about her no longer fascinated of watching K-dramas as much as she likes watching it before. I was baffled when I heard her say that. How can you be disinterested into something that you’ve been liking for a long time? Now that I am the same age as her when we had that conversation, I somehow understand what she meant. Over time, we tend to change our preferences not because we don’t like doing it anymore but because we’ve been so used to it. I still love doing the things I’ve been doing (watching animes, K-dramas, movies, travelling, etc.) but most of the time, I find myself asking “What should I do next? Where is this life taking me?”. The material things that I wanted to do in my early 20’s changed to seeking my life’s purpose as I come closer to my 30’s. I am thankful for my colleague for telling me to read Ecclesiastes. I love the whole chapter of the book especially Chapter 3. 😊

  1. Living in the Present

Another lesson I learned so far is the ability to live your life in the moment. Yes, I may have worked my ass off but I always see to it that on weekends and holidays, I go around exploring places, trying new things and just have fun. As much as I believe about delayed gratification, I also believe that time is the most valuable gift that we can have. We cannot turn back the time but what we can do is to make sure that we live our everyday life without regrets. No matter how hard life is, we must let ourself loosen up a bit and recharge in order for us to take on another day’s challenge. For me, I find travelling, hiking, enjoying the beach and the sunsets and other exciting things as a way to recharge. I think that I was able to make it through because I found joy and adventure in between. The pandemic has greatly affected everyone. Life was really not fun during that 2 years but whenever I scroll my travel photos, in Instagram and in my hard drive, I was really happy that I made every second of my life enjoyable. Those photos and memories were my proof that I indeed lived my life well despite it all. It’s the memories and experience that no money can buy. Life is uncertain; who knows another pandemic or disaster will come and we will be left with regrets again for not living in the present.

  1. Relationships – Family, Friendships, Dating and Partnership

In a typical Filipino family, eldest children are expected to support the family especially in finances. All the things that I have written above are hard to do for children who are breadwinners. But in my case, even though I am the eldest, I had the privilege and the freedom to explore and try new things, unrestricted, without worry and pressure to support the family, if not for my parents. We are not rich but my parents, especially my dad, worked really hard to provide for us. Of all the blessings that I received; it was being born to my parents that I am most blessed.

I have the freedom to choose and lead my life as I wanted because my parents never obliged me to finance my siblings’ study and my family’s financial needs. I remember I asked my mom, when I had my first job and salary, how much I have to give to them. She just told me “Just save it for yourself and for emergency funds in case our family needs it”. Then I realized, our family mostly financially supports our relatives in times of need and by the time we are in need too, we will have to fend for ourselves. I carried this lesson with me as a reminder to always save and be thrifty for rainy days. This is one of the many values our parents instilled to us. We are who we are today because of our parent’s influence from childhood until the time that we can be responsible for our own.

I believe that how we grew up and lived inside our family are major influences on how we seek friendship and romantic relationships. How we deal with relationships also affects how we live our life.

Tune in for a separate blog about what I learned in seeking friendships, how I explored dating and what I learned about partnership and my views on marriage.

Thanks for reading!

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