Contrary to popular belief, I turn 21 years old today. Yup, it’s true. I stand at 5’1 and I look like a 12-year-old without makeup. This smol girl is now legal. There’s this big ray of energy inside me and I feel so alive! I mean, every day I do. I feel like I’m always a ball of energy, but this ball is over the top today. Alive because at this age I feel so liberated and excited for what’s more to come now that I am legal. I mean at this point, my age doesn’t limit me from doing anything anymore right? Except maybe to run for president. I’m officially an adult and it lowkey weirds me out because I really don’t know where time has gone. I still remember faint memories from elementary school where I was super scared of going into bathroom stalls because the sound of toilets reminded me of monsters. At 18, I remember feeling so excited, yet naive about growing up. Three years later and I feel like I’m a completely different person. Still hyped about life, but more mature and ready to face real adulthood.
I guess I have to act like a legitimate adult now? Here’s to more adventures and challenges as I move forward life as an adult. I know I’m still quite young and there’s so much more life for me to experience. In honor of turning the big twenty fun, here are some words of wisdom and lessons I have learned throughout the years!
1) Do what you love and love what you do
2) It’s ok to not be okay.
3) You won’t produce quality if you don’t have a good mentality.
4) You’ll need to learn how to cook.
Don’t keep relying on Postmates or take-out. Eating out all the time can be very pricey and there’s always something special about homecooked meals! Plus, cooking allows you to experiment and try many different flavors. Cooking is especially fun with friends!
5) Invest in experiences rather than material possessions.
6) Numbers do not define you.
Your GPA, your weight, your height, your salary… they’re all just numbers and that’s that.
7) Don’t waste your time overthinking. Let yourself breathe.
I struggle with this all the time. I tend to just think about a situation too much and it overwhelms me. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow and trust.
8) Your parents just want what’s best for you.
I can get very stubborn sometimes, but my mom has been nothing but loving and supportive. Your parents may lecture you and tell you what to do. Sometimes, they’re right. They just want to help and have the best intentions for you. They’ve experienced more life than you. Hear them out when they try to give you advice!
9) Brown is beautiful.
I’m Pinay and growing up, I’ve been exposed to the belief that lighter is better. That light skin is more beautiful than dark. However, I love the womxn that I am, I love my culture and I most definitely love the skin that I’m in. To my fellow womxn of color, you are all queens.
10) Live in the moment.
You don’t always have to record something. Don’t get me wrong– I fall victim to this all the time because I just love social media. Take a few pics and a short video– you don’t have to document everything. Completely immerse yourself in that concert. No recording can beat the real live memory.
11) Do you, boo boo.
Make you a priority. You are loved for who you are. At the end of the day, it’s all about you.
12) Don’t let FOMO take over your life.
You don’t have to go to everything! To be honest, my whole college career consists of FOMO. Sometimes FOMO is good, you get to experience super fun things! But remember, you’re not forced to do or go to anything.
13) Everyone is on their own journey, in their own paces. You’ll get there when you need to be.
Timing has its way of working out for everyone. Although it might not seem like it, all things happen at a certain time for a reason. I feel like this is super relevant being in college. We look at others and feel like we need to be on the same stage as them. We all have unique paths. Trust yours!
14) Home is not just a physical place. It’s a feeling.
I continue to feel this way here in San Diego. Although San Francisco will always have a place in my heart, San Diego has become my second favorite city. I have a found a home in my friends here. I’m so glad I did.
15) People come and go, but all of them held purpose in your life.
I’m having a hard time grasping this, but it’s true. You’ll meet so many different people in your life and befriend groups of them. All the people you meet hold meaning. Like what Dr. Seuss said, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” I try to embrace that as I get older while I make more mature relationships. Shout out to my dope friends. Whether we’ve known each other since we were little or we met in college, thanks for being there!
16) Be loud, fierce, and unapologetic.
Speak up and let that voice be heard. Don’t let anyone dull the way you shine. Honey, you are as bright as the sun.
17) Start and keep up a skin-care routine.
2018 is the year that we don’t sleep on skincare! Keep your skin healthy and you’ll glow. Witch Hazel is magical and treat yo self to a face mask.
18) Be your own hypewomxn. Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself you look bomb today.
You’re poppin’! Enough said.
19) Don’t be afraid to reach out for help.
It reveals strength not weakness and there will always be someone out there who wants to support you.
20) There’s always room for ice cream.
Life’s too short to not try yummy ice cream. I may be biased though. I love ice cream.
21) You’re 21. The world is yours.
Thanks for all the birthday love! I’m excited about the bottomless mimosas today, haha!