28 Things I Learned At 28

I turned 28 last December 28.

When I was younger, I always thought that this age was such a huge number; that I'd be so mature when I finally celebrated my 28th on the 28th.

Well, younger self, here's something you should know:

I celebrated my birthday watching BTS music videos and drinking ombre cocktails on mason jars, so I really am not sure about the mature part. Not in a conventional way, at least.

But I'll be glad to inform you that I learned some things along the way, so your dreams of maturity are not for naught.

Here are 28 of them:

1. Things Take Time

This was a hard thing to learn. Maybe it's because we now live in a world where we can get virtually anything in a snap. If we want food, we can order through our phones or add hot water to some instant ramen.

Wanna talk to someone from halfway around the world? There's an app for that.

 Need to buy something? Do it on your computer.

Everything's faster and better. As a generation, we're used to having everything now now now.

But I've learned that a lot of important things take time.

There's no app to build your career overnight. You can't create long-lasting relationships with one click of a button. Building something that will last takes blood, sweat, tears and a lot of time.

You don't harvest on the same day you plant, ate girl. You gotta be patient and learn that things take time.

2. An ikigai is hard to come by and you need to pray for it.

I spent a good chunk of my time as a young adult in career limbo.

After quitting my BPO job back in 2017, I kind of fumbled in choosing my next move. I didn't have an anchor, not really. It was stressful. I often found myself in emotional despair and anxiety over where to go.

I wanted a career where I could be happy,  contribute to the community and still be able to put food on the table.

In short, I wanted an ikigai. Desperately.

So I asked God for one. And thankfully, He did. And I'll forever be grateful for that answered prayer.

Now I work in a job that I like, and a lot of opportunities have opened for me in this career path I've chosen.

It sounds simple but getting to where I am was in no way easy. That being said, if you're going through the same thing, ask God for an ikigai. Pray for it, and then work towards it.

3. Learning is a continuous process

I just finished another digital marketing course. I also just got a new Udemy class. I learned how to read Hangul (the Korean writing system) on my long bus rides home. Just because you're older doesn't mean you should stop learning.

4. Social media can mentally damage you if you let it

Social media is great for business. Personal relationships and mental health? Not so much. To be honest, social media is pretty toxic. It's like an unhealthy pair of rose-colored glasses...on steroids. Unfollow people who don't give value to your life. Take a break from social media regularly.

5. Creativity can die and be reborn from the ashes

This year was a year of recovering from slumps. I was, creatively, burnt to a frazzle. The good thing is, creativity can be reborn from the ashes like a motherloving phoenix. I wrote more about that here.

6. Money is real and you gotta get your financial shit together

See, the generations before us worked themselves to the bone without knowing that they can make their money work for them. It's my dream to break the cycle and work towards financial freedom.

Talking and learning about money shouldn't be tabboo. Take care of your finances, ate girl. Wa imong mommy diri.

7. Stay in touch with your friends

The older you are, the harder it is to stay in touch with your friends. But exert extra effort. Connect with your good old buddies. The time you spend together is always worth it.

8. Networking is difficult for introverts but you gotta put in the work anyway

Ah, networking face-to-face is every introvert's nightmare. But there's really no way around it. It might be unpleasant but you gotta do it anyway if you want to scale and grow.

9. Sticking to your chosen path is a difficult quest

Focus is not my strong suit, so this was a particularly hard lesson to learn. But I'm making headway.

10. You gotta constantly seek God out

Lots of things will take your time away from God. You're not in Catholic school anymore, girl. There's no required reading of Biblical texts now. You gotta constantly seek out God yourself.

11. Find a mentor

This is super important. You're not the smartest person in the room. You're not the biggest fish on the pond. Look for someone with wisdom and expertise. Every Luke needs a Yoda. Find a mentor.

12. Learn and develop and hone new skills

Constant improvement, girl. Keep swimming.

13. You may think you were good before but there's always room for improvement

This is what I always feel when I look back at my old works. At the time, I'd think they're cool, but when I look back, I realize that they actually kind of suck. Haha. Don't rest on your laurels. Excelsior the crap out of your life and career, girl.

14. Respond to emails and messages promptly

You could lose opportunities if you don't. Trust me, I learned this the hard way.

15. Don't give up on relationships just because you're not where you want to be yet

This was a huge realization for this year, too. See, everyone's a work in progress. Don't go throwing relationships down the drain just because you're not where you want to be yet. As long as you're working towards a solid goal, believe in each other. It will get worse before it will get better sometimes, but you're a grownup now. Stick it out. You can do it.

16. Be patient

Patience seems to be a huge theme for this year. I really don't need to go further.

17. Sometimes, you just gotta do the difficult things and get them over with

I read something about adults and cooking fried food. When you were little, you always thought that adults weren't scared of the spitting oil from frying pans, right? Wrong. Adults are also scared, but they do it anyway because they have to. Sometimes, you just gotta do the difficult things. That's the mark of a true adult.

18. It pays to reach out to others

Being a hermit may be your introvert dream, but don't lose touch with people. Reach out to others, whether it be for personal or professional growth. It's okay.

19. It's okay to take things slow

You don't have to be in a hurry all the time. Take the scenic route. It's okay to take things slow.

20. Rainy days ain't so scary

Rainy days used to scare the shit out of me. I hated puddles and soaked umbrellas. But overtime I've learned to like it.

21. Be prepared

Speaking of rainy days, you gotta save up and prepare for those. Have money in the bank. Always carry spare coins. Charge your emergency flashlights. Be prepared.

22. Be organized

Unless you want your life to fall into chaos. I won't tell you how to organize though. Do whatever works for you. Get your ducks in a row the way you know how.

23. Always choose each other

You can always choose to walk away. But if you're in a healthy relationship with someone you love who loves you back, choose each other. Always. :)

24. Discipline and motivation come in different forms

Lol this is what intermitent fasting taught me. Adulting is all about delayed gratification and disciple after all.

25. Surround yourself with people who inspire you

You ain't got time for toxic relationships and negativity. Surround yourself with people who inspire you to become better.

26. Travel ain't everything

Travel is great. It is. But it's not everything. Some may be able to travel the world and work at the same time, but truly, it's not for everyone. Being a nomad has a lot of benefits, but it's also great to dig deep and grow roots.

27. It's okay to read slow

I only read 37 books this year. Not a lot for a bookworm, I know. But I've learned to love reading slow. I like to take my time. It's not a race.

28. Treat your parents out to dinner often

Give back to mum and dad every now and then. Take them out to dinner. Pay for their groceries. It's always worth it.

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