Disclaimer: This article originally came out in my column for The Manila Times. I've been writing a pre birthday article for years (even if I was the only one reading it, lol!) and I'm so thankful that this year, God gave me the chance to actually release it in my very own column (kilig to the max). Reposting it here because I'm a sentimental tool.
My love for newspapers rooted from my parents’ attached to the hip parenting. My parents strongly believed that the only way to raise my younger brother and I correctly was if we were constantly with them everywhere. This led my brother and I to learn to entertain ourselves at an early age. Being left in the car while my parents ran a quick errand to the ATM introduced me to the world of newspapers simply because my dad always had a bunch of them lying around in the car (up to this day, my dad insists of having one of every kind). I was seven when I first discovered the writers who wrote about life so vibrantly with a glamorous photo of them accompanying the article they just wrote (there was almost always a birthday article). I just knew in my heart that one day, I too would be sharing my birthday wisdom with the world, and nineteen years later, here I am, typing away in a coffee shop (how cliché) trying to sum up the wisdom I learned in my 26 years of existence.
It’s okay to be the dork. It’s safe to say that I wasn’t the coolest kid growing up. My high school days were spent watching romantic flicks, reading chick lit, rewriting them to fit my liking, watching basketball games, hanging out with my family, eating my heart out, and daydreaming about my very own Nathan Scott. I was a non-conformist from an early age and refused to go to prom because I didn’t believe in their standards of beauty. I sometimes felt guilty because my high school world wasn’t as intriguing as that in the movies I loved, but I don’t regret it one bit, it was those years that prepared me to be the semi-cool, semi-hipster writer chick that I am today.
Your parents know best, stop arguing. I grew up close to my parents but that didn’t mean that I never argued with them, in fact I did a lot of arguing. However, I have come to realize that your parents would never, ever want to do you harm. In a world where everyone wants to take advantage of you somehow, it’s your parents who can narrowly see through it from the get go, so just listen.
Perfect on paper isn’t perfect, period. I’ve always been attracted to ‘perfect’ everything. In my naïve mind, perfect would never hurt me. But as I’ve learned in love and life, there is no such thing as perfection, and at the end of the day, all that matters is the heart of a person. No amount of money, or good education can make up for a bad, surly, entitled attitude. One thing I’ve also learned, the best time to run is the moment you are treated unkindly. Kindness, I have learned is something that cannot be bought or taught in the best universities. If you've read my previous entry, it was this year that I truly learned to look beyond my list of set qualities and just love freely.
Be kind to yourself. The world is cruel enough, so might as well be kind to yourself. It’s also best to remember that everyone’s journey is different, and part of being kind to yourself is understanding that another person’s success doesn’t lessen yours. There’s a lot of promotions, love, friendships, and beauty to go around. Be kind to yourself enough to understand this, and soon you’ll find yourself kinder to the world as well.
Redefine satisfaction. The world offers us so many ways to be ‘satisfied’ in the meaning time. However, I’ve only found real peace when I found Jesus, and it’s something I constantly remind myself, especially when my competitive nature takes over. God has me covered, and no matter what I do, I’m loved. This has impacted the way I view myself, and inevitably, others as well.
It has been a great year 25 and I will forever be grateful to all the bittersweet memories you've poured upon me in the past year. God has truly blessed me in tremendous ways and as I enter into my 26th year, I can't wait to know Him more and be truly secured in the truth of who He is.