As I turn another year older, I cannot help but look back at everything that has happened in my life for the past couple of years. All the events that have happened, the changes that have taken place, the places I have visited, the people I have met, the opportunities that have knocked on my doors, the rejections that I have encountered, the challenges that have disheartened me, and all the experiences I have gained. The past years have been a never ending series of ups and downs.
Five years ago, I never would have imagined I will do the things I am doing right now. I am eternally grateful not only for the good parts, but also for the bad parts as well. If not for them, I would have been stuck in the same place. Because of the happiness, pain, loss, and recovery—I have grown into the person that I am today. Of course, this is just the
beginning. I am excited about what’s in store for me in the coming years. I am looking forward to discovering more about myself and the rest of the world that I have yet to explore. But for now, I am satisfied with the fact that I am doing well despite getting caught up with a lot of priorities. Although I am struggling at times, I am thriving to become the best version of myself, for myself. And that’s what matters.
I have rounded up a list of things that I have learned, the words that I live by, and the wisdom that I try to apply to my life.
- Let your loved ones know that you care for them. Do not take moments for granted. Say what you have to say when you feel like it. Be generous in giving hugs and saying “I love you.”
- You should not let your past define you. You are not the same person as before. Every day, you mature and become better. Remember that.
- Celebrate little victories. There is power in small wins. Your daily victories, no matter how small, should be recognized. Because progress is still progress, no matter how small.
- Take care of your body, mind, and spirit. Never lose track of your well-being. Always make sure that you are physically healthy and mentally okay. Finally, never lose sight of your faith.
- Don’t compare your journey with everyone else’s. Understand that we all have unique and different timelines. Focus on your own.
- If you hurt yourself, don’t be afraid to stand up and start over. One of the most fulfilling things about life is our ability to restart no matter how many times we fall and fail. Take advantage of this ability and do not hesitate to do it all over again, as many times as you need to.
- Even if you feel like you’re stuck in one place for too long, you are growing. You may think there’s no progress, but there is. And even if all you did was get through and survive, each day is remarkable.
- If something makes you excited to wake up in the morning, cling to that.
- If something makes you happy, do not hesitate to pursue it.
- If something makes you feel you’re unwanted, do not hesitate to let it go.
- Do not stop learning. Life is an endless journey of discovery and exploration. Keep creating and keep honing your interests. Your skills and knowledge are one of your most useful weapons.
- You are deserving of love, time, and attention. You may have experienced a lot of rejection and pain in the past, but that does not mean you are unworthy of love, time, and attention. The right people will treat you with so much love and respect. They are the ones that you should keep.
- It is okay to say no. You are not a bad person for not showing up. Sometimes, life happens and you have to be there for yourself, too. And that’s okay.
- Do not let other people invalidate what you feel. What you go through is real and other people cannot just wrongfully judge you for it. Keep your head up and feel what you have to feel.
- Allow yourself to heal from the things that caused you pain.
- It is not selfish to make yourself a priority. Sometimes, you have to put yourself first on top of anything else that may seem important, but that’s okay. You have to put into consideration that your wellness is just as important.
- Sometimes, you have to pause in order to keep moving forward. It is okay to rest. It is okay to slack off. Your worth is not defined by your productivity.
- Always be kind and compassionate. You never know how much impact you have on other people’s lives. Be considerate of other’s feelings who may be fighting internal battles and be generous towards those who are in need.
- Never lose your childlike wonder. A lot of the most memorable things in our lives are brought by laughs, old friendships, and nostalgia. All of which are deeply rooted in childhood. If we keep on looking at the world through the eyes of children, life can be so much vibrant and exciting.
- Always find your peace and when you finally do—may it be in a place or a person, find time to go back in that safe space every once in a while.
- Be brave enough to fight for your dreams. Do not settle for what’s laid out in front of you. Go farther, expand your horizons, and always put your best foot forward. Not for anyone else, but for yourself.
- Live with no regrets. Book that flight. Buy that bag. Message that person you have been thinking about. Do not hesitate to do the things that make you feel better. Life is too short for hesitating every time you want something for yourself.
- If you have not figured everything out yet, it’s okay. No one really has everything figured out. You are doing great. Just keep going.
- Your worth is not defined by likes or views. Just live your life truthfully, on your own terms. Be yourself and believe that you are capable of great things.
So here’s to turning 24 and to being more fearless in the pursuit of our dreams. Here’s to hustling harder for our goals, ticking more places off our bucket lists, and learning more about life in the process of it all.
To whoever is reading this, I would like to thank you for supporting me with everything that I put out—my photos, my memories, my thoughts, my words, my content. I am deeply honored every time I am reminded that there are people out there who believe in me and support me. You keep me going. A lot of people have told me I inspire them—and for that I am grateful—but the truth is, YOU INSPIRE ME.