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29 Lessons

I’m one year shy of launching full on into my thirties (yikes), but since I have that one odd year left, I still have to realize a lot of things that I have planned for myself several years back. I turned 29 in the midsts of a whirlwind of classes, papers to grade, and essays to correct, but time does have a way of marching on without any regard for whether you are ready or not for new challenges in life. This year has been full of realizations and lessons, especially since I took on a teaching job at my old college. This year, I also learned important life lessons, and I think now, more than ever, is the perfect time to write down these  29 nuggets of wisdom. Away we go:

Nothing replaces a good night’s sleep. Not even coffee.

When a dog loves you, it’s in their nature. When a cat loves you, it’s unconditional.

Take the time to know your favourite server’s name. Tip well when the service is good.

Grow out of the “I’m gonna splurge because I deserve it.” mindset and always stash something away for the rainy day.

Black coffee is still king but vary your caffeine sources. Chai, milk tea, plain tea.

There is nothing better than a massage after a very long day. Especially if it’s free.

Tidying up a small apartment literally takes 15 minutes. That quick scramble to sweep, put things away, and freshen up the floor with a clean mop will make a lot of difference.

Invest in an AC but use it for better sleep or when guests are over. Otherwise, turn on the electric fan.

Dry cleaning is an expensive but necessary expense.

Electronic notes and reminders are great but manual, pen-to-paper notes and lists are still the best.

Absolut Vodka empties make good water bottles. They chill well in the fridge.

You can’t listen to too much Bon Iver. Any time is peak Bon Iver time.

Sometimes, travel plans won’t push through, and that’s okay. Planning is fun in and of itself.

There will be days when getting up is a chore and there will be days when you’re just rearing to get out of bed and be productive. Use that burst of energy to get things done for the slump days.

Settling bills first before anything else is a good exercise in wise spending.

29 is a good age to start a checking account.

29 might also be a good age to get one’s first credit card.

Learning how to drive in Manila is not that important as a life skill. Maybe that could wait.

Some friends will slip away and go out of your radar but the real ones are always the one who can strike up a good conversation out of nowhere and it would feel as if there was no distance or separation at all.

Life isn’t fair but you always have control over what to do with curveballs. When you are dealt with a shitty hand, do something about it.

Losses and gains are not always zero sum. Sometimes, losses (rejection, delays, setbacks) turn out to be advantages in the end.

Isolation can sometimes be good. Think aloud and talk to yourself every once in a while.

Some people will totally surprise you with what they can do or achieve. “Don’t judge a book” is so old but I say, judge away but be prepared to be proven wrong.

A good yoga stretch is welcome any day. Even a few down dogs help ease out tight muscles. Drop down and get centred even for a very brief period each day.

Today is a good time to start working on your next income stream. Aim for something that can gain you a passive income.

Not everyone will recognise you for your greatness and that’s okay.

It is healthy to make friends with people with varying mindsets and ideologies.

Vineger is damn versatile. Don’t go for those puny little bottles at the supermarket. Get white vinegar by the jumbo gallons and use it for literally EVERYTHING: cleaning, self-care, cooking etc.

Gratitude opens doors for more great things. Always be grateful, and then figure out a way to pay it forward.

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