30 Things I Realized Learning Upon Turning 30

I’m used to being young.

I grew up being the youngest of five siblings and was always one of the babies during family gatherings. I started working right after graduation, making me one of the youngest members of any teams. Even today, I’m considered to be one of the few “millennials” at work.

I remember looking at female colleagues who were in their late twenties with so much admiration, thinking about how much they must have already known about life, how many times their hearts must have been broken, and how many times they emerged tougher. Heck, I even thought I’d be married by 25, because I thought I’d be mature enough when I reached a quarter of a century.

And then my very own mid-twenties arrived and I found myself still engaging in petty arguments, throwing tantrums when I’m hungry, and hiding chocolates behind my closet because I didn’t want to share them with my older brother.

Now, I’m turning the big three-oh in less than 12 hours and it’s hard to believe how the years easily went by. My lifestyle, my energy, priorities, and beliefs have changed a lot since I turned 18. It’s sad dwelling into the things that I should have done while I was younger, but it’s exciting to think about the bigger things that await me now that I am equipped with three decades worth of roller-coaster experience.

While I do not claim to be as wise as I should be at this point and while I still believe that youth is all in the mind, allow me to share my favorite life lessons learned in the past 29 years as I official make my mark into adulthood. From beauty regimen rues to being betrayed by a best friend, I include here things that I sorely—but not regrettably—learned the hard way.

  1. Sleep as much as you can while you still can. I told my husband that my only birthday wish this year is to be able to sleep the entire day.
  2. Do not ever start shaving your legs or arms or underarm or any body part. If you really must get rid of unwanted hair, go for waxing. It can be painful but worth it.
  3. Give your hair and your nails a breather. Go for the natural look whenever you can.
  4. Arrange your clothes by color, it will make dressing up in the morning a little faster.
  5. Do not buy what you do not need. You’re only wasting money, closet space, and adding to the earth’s rubbish.
  6. Never socialize by talking about your political views.
  7. “Joking” about asking for a gift or pasalubong is never funny.
  8. It’s never too late to develop a new skill. Two years later you’ll look back at the moment when you would have wanted to learn something and realize that the two years would have been enough to make you good at that something.
  9. The most crucial decision you may have to make as a teenager is  Continue reading

10 Things I’ve Learned On My 10th Month of Marriage

Few weeks ago marked our 10th wedding monthsary. We did not celebrate it as DM and I are never the monthly kind of celebrators. The last wedding-related celebration we had was for our .5 anniversary months ago, when we had a lovely intimate dinner. Now we are hoping to finally have some alone time for our first anniversary come July.

Unlike a monthly tally, we both believe that years are worth celebrating. And as we celebrate a milestone in our young marriage, I look back at the times I exuberantly told my friends how well things are going whenever they ask about life after the wedding. At the same time, I realize how I tell the same people how exhausted I am with having to deal with another human being for the rest of eternity!

All smiles, but what’s life after the wedding? Photo by Airballoon Project.

It’s true what our wise elders say, marriage really is not a walk in the park. While there are a lot more experienced people whom you should listen to when it comes to golden words on how to strengthen a union, allow me to share my two cents on what marriage means for someone who’s new at it.

1. Marriage means learning to cook or at least attempting to. As young girls, we are taught that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and thus we are encouraged to be handy around the kitchen. But modern society has also empowered us not to be stereotyped. True and true. I agree with both but here’s my honest opinion: At the beginning of the relationship, your man must know you enough to realize if you do not cook and he must accept it. That’s the type of relationship I have with my husband. I know he understands. But at the same time, if this is the case, this also makes your effort of trying to cook for your better half even more appreciated. You see, boys (and girls) are raised by mothers who always cooked for them. So home-cooked meals will always be synonymous to comfort and love. DM is a food enthusiast who loves to cook but he always expresses gratitude whenever I try to prepare something for him, even the most basic fried meal!


2. Marriage means learning to be a good listener. Among other things you need to learn in marriage is being a good listener. I often find myself going on and on on just about anything, from my friend’s engagement to my work complaints while my husband patiently listens. But when it’s his turn to talk about how he’s feeling so stressed and exhausted lately, I shake him off by saying he’s only overthinking. I realized one day (only because he told me straight up) that this can turn into bottled up emotions which will eventually be toxic in your relationship. Let him talk. If he wants to talk about the Cavs and Warriors, then so be it. You’ll have your turn to talk about Riverdale later.

3. Marriage means giving your partner time for his/her hobbies. While we’re in the topic of NBA, always be reminded that boys will always be boys. My husband likes cars, video games, sports, the whole big boy package. I’m actually grateful that he has his interests and hobbies because I understand how men need some release just like how some women resort to pampering and shopping. Plus, I’d really rather have him stay at home playing PS4 all day than having  to wonder what time he’d be home after a beer night with friends. A happy wife is a happy life. But you know what can make a happy wife? A happy husband that wants to reciprocate his wife’s tolerance!


4. Marriage means never losing the intimacy. We’ve heard about this and it’s very true. There will be days that, with all the things that go through your mind while you’re busy #adulting, you will forget about your spouse. Don’t. Don’t forget to Continue reading

Math: Remembering the Subject and the Mentor

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Last night I had another weird dream. “Another” because it’s almost recurring. “Weird” because it featured someone who already passed away months ago.

It was about my high school Math teacher. She had a funny surname so let’s just call her by her lovely first name, Dolores.

It wasn’t the first time I dreamed of her since her passing. In my dreams I was aware that she was gone but we had conversations like we had in high school, like she was still alive.

Dreaming about dead people is somewhat normal for me. I’m not being creepy here but I honestly often dream about my late uncles and grandmother. Their faces would be vivid, looking calm and at peace; our conversations, often vague.

But to have dreams about Mrs. Dolores was especially puzzling since we were never really that close. I had other teachers whom I considered buddies, but her, she was a mentor, someone I respected and not crack a joke on.

Upon waking up from my dream last night, I got to think of a couple of things as to why she could possibly be in my subconscious mind.

For one, she succumbed to Continue reading

Abandoned Post

Through life we tread unknowingly

Chasing earthly treasures relentlessly

Yet one day we shall leave our post

And it’s not riches that will matter most

– Q

This is an abandoned watch house in the neighborhood. I always admire how quaint and mysterious it looks amid the often neglected wild bushes. It’s especially quiet today as the city celebrates with the world the Day of the Dead on November 2. And thus the melodramatic simple poem. ♥

DIY Baby Shower For It’s a… Boy Oh Boy!

I’ve never attended a baby shower in my entire life, but even then I knew it’s something I wanted to throw myself. I’m one who can never resist an opportunity to go down and dirty with the DIY preparations. The baby themed invitations, giveaways, dessert table – they just keep my adrenaline going.

It was only after doing a little research that I learned that there is actually an ongoing discussion about who should be throwing the shower. Traditionally, they say, it’s the expectant mom’s friends and family who should be hosting it. But as mommy forums would prove it, 8 out of 10 moms wished they had plan the event themselves. Okay, I just made the figures up but that’s basically the popular sentiment.

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Luckily for me, I got to enjoy being part of the planning while having the necessary support, logistics and budget wise. I wanted it to be simple but with every detail well thought of. It was my dear friends
Continue reading