Things I’ve Realized Now That I Am Twenty-Two

They say the real world is a harsh one. Indeed, it is true. Now that I am twenty-two, it’s been almost a year ever since I began to venture the reality of living in this world. Yet, I am both grateful for the positive and negative experiences I have encountered. Truly, a lot has changed even just by one year.

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Celebrating my 22nd Birthday with my college friends at Melquiades

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Simple lunch with my family during my 22nd birthday

1. Entering the labor force

I still remember my first day of my work which was last June 16, 2016. Gratefully, I would celebrate my work anniversary next month (Buti pa kami ng work ko, nag 1 year na, HAHA). My first job is really a long and winding journey.  At first, I was excited since eventually, I will be earning and at the same time, I will employed in one of the top banks in the country. However, as time passed by, I was eventually tested by the waters. My character was actually challenged because of the new working environment and the diverse personalities of my co-workers. I was confused either if I would go with what they say but my values are compromised or if I would stand to my principles but be considered as an outcast within the group. It was risky. The corporate jungle is scary because of the people. Likewise, the most challenging one was rendering overtime as a result of the backlog work from my predecessor which I have to update. I remembered going home at almost 11 in the evening because we need to meet a certain deadline. Also, I don’t want to go back to that feeling where I cannot find the things that my co-workers or clients demand just because the documents I handle are not organized. It was a huge headache. Yet, as a document custodian and a documentation specialist, it became an eye-opener for me to be organized and in everything I do at work,  I have already embedded in my mind the saying, “Do what you can do for today and do not wait for tomorrow to come.”

The beginning is always the hardest. Fortunately, as time goes by, I was able to keep up with the fast-paced environment. Also, I have learned that I cannot please everyone. It’s okay not to be close friends with your co-workers as long as you respect each other’s differences and avoid being involved in backbiting and dramas. As long as I am still in this job, I promised to myself to always have integrity amidst this unscrupulous world.

2. Valuing your hard-earned money

As a millennial, my Facebook feed is always flooded by various posts on social media on how we are greatly immersed by consumerism. Because of that, some of us fail to set aside and to save money in the future. Most of us tend to value our worth through the material things we acquire. Several Filipinos also lack financial literacy or the proper knowledge on managing their personal finances. I am actually guilty for this one, at first. However, little by little, I am now able to go out through that struggle and eventually, be able to save money in order to attain financial freedom because at the end of the day, we have no one to depend on but only on ourselves.

3. Standing up to your convictions and being true to yourself

When I was still newbie at my work, I failed in this area because I tend to please other people by compromising my values and principles. Yet, I realized that it’s tiring to live in this unending cycle. Because of that, I am still learning how to be true to myself while being able to hold my tongue and to stand up to my convictions. I am actually vulnerable when I already expose my true self because I am afraid that people would eventually turn me down. Yet, I believe that those people who accept you for who you are won’t leave you no matter what happens.

4. Knowing your true friends and those people who actually listen

When I was already working, it’s just a rare time to meet with my closest friends in college. However, I was able to determine those people who actually listen especially in this world today where most of us talk but don’t have an ear to lend on whenever we are going through something in our lives. Likewise, I have learned to be careful to whom you share your thoughts and ideas because not everyone will believe in your dreams, not everyone has an open mind, and not everyone will be that person whom you can trust to.

5. Being independent

Even though I am still living with my parents since it’s economical, I have learned to be on my own without depending on other people. I am slowly practicing the habit of deciding on my own.  Yet, whenever I am confused, I still seek advice from my parents and from my friends. Moreover, most of the time, I usually do things on my own such as jogging, going to the gym, strolling at the mall, buying groceries, eating at fastfood chains or restaurants, or just plainly walking on the street. I wanted to value my single status since I don’t want to depend myself to my other half whenever I am already in a relationship.

6.  To set your eyes on greater heights and not to settle

Just this night during dinner, I actually talked to my mother on my plans in pursuing a Masters Degree in Business Administration this upcoming school year. I wanted to pursue MBA since I need to step up in this very competitive world today. I admit that I am actually a competitive person. I actually wanted to go the higher ladder in a company and not to settle as a rank and file employee foreve. However, right now, I still value my position as a rank and file employee because it is considered as a stepping stone for me to know the basics. Be contented but never settle.

7. Take risks

I believe that this year, I have been a risk-taker. I was aggressive in pursuing my goals when I began 2017. The first thing I did was taking a public speaking class from Speechmasters. I did not mind the expenses I would incur since I consider it as an investment for my personality development. I actually envision myself as a person who is not afraid to speak in front of a crowd.

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My classmates at Speechmasters. With the Director, Mr. Bienvenido D. Macaraeg, Jr.

Yet, there was one area which I actually failed to pursue and that is joining this year’s Miss Cagayan de Oro. Being a beauty queen is truly my dream since I look up to women who join pageants. I also felt that they have that power to command respect from the people. Also, it’s a way for me to improve myself and at the same time, be a role model and advocate for a certain cause. I was already secretly training with the good hands of the reigning Miss CDO’s handler and mentor. Sadly, during my birthday, I backed out in joining the screening last May 14. It was a tough decision to make since the opportunity was already within my reach, but I realized that I am still not yet ready to face Cagayan de Oro City. During the training, I realized that I am not yet prepared physically, mentally, and emotionally. I was able to confront myself. However, I promise that I will join one pageant this year as a stepping stone for self-improvement. It’s comforting that the person who encouraged me to join such prestigious competition was Miss Cagayan de Oro 2016 (who is also a contender for Miss Philippines Earth 2017) herself. With that, I promised that I will become the best version of myself as I come back for next year’s edition. Cagayan de Oro City, watch out for this underdog. Blink blink.

8. Being single is better than having another responsibility

After my devastating long-distance relationship two years ago, I have vowed to abstain myself from entertaining suitors and to focus on improving and discovering myself first. Though I am already “marketable” to bachelors, as what others perceive (haha), since I have already finished my studies and has a job, I believe that I am not yet ready to dive into a relationship just because everyone else is doing it. For one, I am actually tired of being jealous just because your man likes a status on social media from a certain girl. I’m actually tired of modern relationships that most individuals experience at present. Also, with my meager income, I am still not yet ready to face responsibilities such as becoming a wife and a mother. I wanted to provide the best things whenever I would already have a family. Most importantly, I also pray to God that my next relationship would be my final one. I pray to Him and to St. Joseph for the man who prioritizes God more than myself. For now, I’d rather be miserable with my own self than to have a responsibility.

9. Being able to determine the things that greatly matter and my priorities

I believe that I have opened my eyes to relevant issues that are happening in our society. With that, I have actually learned to prioritize the things that mostly matter in my life since we actually live in a world that has full of distractions. We need to determine those things that are just trivial from things that greatly matter. I prioritize spending the time with my family and friends, saving money to attain financial freedom, being kind to other people, and serving our church.

10. Putting God at the center of my life

I am living with confidence everyday that God is always with me. Ever since I began serving our church, I became a better person. I learned to guard my tongue, to be sensitive to other people’s needs, and to respect our differences. As pilgrim people, we would eventually leave this world. With this, I always remind myself not to become a victim of consumerism. I seek to do good things because one day, we would eventually face him and be judged based on what we Have done in this world.

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