If This is What Adulting Feels Like, This is What I Learned


I’ve been an official adult for three years, and maybe I’m a late bloomer or an early one. It depends on one’s perspective. And I could just be having a moment, and then next thing you know by tomorrow I’m back to being a lost puppy in the city of maturity. But if this is it- the moment that we’re all waiting and dreading- then these are the things that I have learned.

Money is not about saving, it’s about putting it to good use. I have to admit, and we all do, that we could not help but wonder where our money goes. Sometimes we like to delude ourselves that they disappear out of thin air or an imaginary entity took it away, but we all know the truth. You can have big savings and guess what? It will be a waste if the next thing you know, you’re dead. (Knock on wood)

I like to invest in memories and experiences, but I also don’t forget to secure my future. The first year of my work, I already got my life insurance policy. Initially it was because I did not have the slightest idea what to do with my money (until I found my expensive hobby of concert going). Later on, I found out its purpose. I won’t be reaping from the benefits now, but with a future that’s uncertain, at least there is one thing I’m sure of- if I live to reach 42, I’m financially secure af.

I’m not asking you to do the same as I do, because your heart might not be in it. You find your happiness- people, memories, experiences- and don’t be afraid to invest or spend on them. Knowing what you really want and need, whatever it is, nothing could be wrong, and allot your money on it. You won’t have regrets.

Friendship does not require constant companionship. I like to joke that I have no friends, and that’s okay with me. It seemed appropriate to say given my social anxiety. The truth is, I have friends. They’re great, and I feel tremendously lucky to have them in my life. And it does not and should not come as a surprise that adulting can result in less meetups, girls night out, and sessions that last until the sunrise. That doesn’t mean the friendship ends or becomes dormant. Why do you think social media exists? I’ll get to that on the next one.

I don’t have the time and energy and sometimes money to meet up with my friends, but we find the time to check on each other through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. And it feels like youre updated. Besides, you can have some follow-up chats about it in person. It won’t feel like you haven’t seen each other in forever.

Of course nothing beats meeting them in person with a couple of wine or beers, maybe over coffee. Traveling together is a great way to know them better and spend time with them too, with a different environment and circumstance. But when there are time and financial (LOL) constraints, instant messaging is not so bad. You know friendship is real when it endures time and distance.

Social media is not something you have to hate or shun away from if you use it wisely. I know a few people who tell me they don’t like Facebook because their feeds give them a brain tumor by friends who post and share irresponsibly. When I hear them say it, it makes me think of either two things- they’re incredibly snobby or they don’t know how to utilize their social media correctly.

If you don’t like what you see, unfollow. If you don’t like the person in general, unfriend. If you don’t want strangers to mind your own business, make your profile private. Technology is humankind’s greatest achievement, next to the teacup pig. It’s not your fault other people don’t use it properly or is abusing its potential. You can only change what you can control, which is most of the time, just yourself.

I like social media because it makes me able to share my expressions, hopefully helping someone or simply just to relate to. I learn a lot from it, gaining my storage of unnecessary facts that I still like to know. I get to meet people from across the country and the world and learn from them in return. I recently joined a Facebook group about the Hulu series The Handmaid’s Tale, and it feels so good to know people who are as passionate with it as I am. I know that I am not alone, I mean I’ve always known that, but it just assures me even more. This I wish my skeptic friends knew.

Dating is supposed to be easy when you know what you want. Just yesterday, I went through Matthew Hussey’s YouTube channel. It’s never early to go through a self help phase, especially when it comes to relationships. I’ve only ever had one serious relationship. Does that make me a loser? No! Does that make me choosy? Yes! And I don’t mind it one bit.

You can never attract what or who you want when you don’t know what you need. Some might want casual relationships, and that’s okay. Some crave for serious, long-lasting relationships, and that’s okay too. The key is to know what you want, and look for the same species as you. If one wants caszch (short for casual, but not really) and the other wants the real deal, well they can’t really date now, can they?

My very brave friend messaged me and told me how he likes someone at the moment and confessed his feelings and intentions for the girl. It made me so happy! It was because I wish all people were like that. The what ifs are harder to bear than the oops. It’s better to be flat out vocal and honest to yourself and the one you’re eyeing on than drag it along, hoping it will change. Of course, as a friend, I’m totally pining for his crush to work. And when my time comes too, I will be as brave as him.

Hygiene with yourself and your surroundings doesn’t have to be painful. Style can evolve and return, but comfort is forever. Just like any normal human being, I went through every possible phase I can go through in my lifetime. And often, it was not because of some deep reason, but because I wanted to belong. It’s fun to look back at it that I feel bad for the others who didn’t, because their childhood sucked. When I was a kid, I loved dressing up. And I still do.

My wardrobe is a mess of girly dresses, military jackets, and sports tees. Does that mean I don’t have a concrete personality? Of course not. But the truth is I keep them because I feel comfortable and well, pretty damn good in them. And when I do buy them, I only think of two things- do I look and feel good in them? If both, and it has to be, answers yes then that’s only when I get it.

Same goes with my things. There’s nothing wrong with spending your Sundays organizing your tupperwares (I just did that earlier), accessories (I used labels!), or your workspace or apartment. Self help books know a thing or two about how tidying up helps you subconsciously. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

There will be times when you want to do everything or nothing, don’t resist it. I’ve had my fair share of quarter life crises for the past year, and when I dealt with it poorly, it lashed out on me. The consequences sucked, but I can only look back at it now, not change it. Along the line, I forgot who I was, what I wanted and needed. I zombied my way through it and I gained nothing.

Someone told me there was a specific time in your life that will be a point in reference for everything else in your life. To me, it was different. I am slowly and gradually changing, wanting and needing different things, but one thing is constant- I don’t want to fight it anymore. 

There are many things that I want to achieve. I want to reach my full potential, though I don’t know it yet. But I try every day, even if it seems too much and it’s overwhelming. At least I did something about it.

And then there are times when I don’t want to do anything (cue Bruno Mars’ song), because maybe I want to rest or take a timeout. Maybe I want to be a bum for a day or two. I indulge myself with it as well. Being a superhero teacher sometimes takes a toll on you, you know? But you never give up, you just rest. I don’t want to be called a quitter like in The Pacifier.

Something To Read When You Feel Like Your Life is Too Messy

At times like these, we just all wish we had a rewind button. But rewind button is too cliché. And if you had one, you’d go far back as to your, I don’t know, birth? That is because you don’t ever remember having experienced pain, hurt, fear, and heartache. Also the thing about life is an awful roller coaster ride, with ups and downs. Sometimes it just happens that you’re down there too long that no matter how patient you are in waiting to get to the good part, climb up, that you just want to get off the ride because it’s so boring.

Life gets so boring, you wonder why you’re still given the time and space in this world, in this life.

So we either do two things. One, we find plenty of ways to regain that feeling, or any feeling at all. We go through such lengths that involve the unusual, the bizarre, and then the uncharacteristic and sometimes immoral/illegal. The crazy lengths we have to go through makes everyone else put a distance from you, or worse, condemn and ostracize you. Honestly, you’d rather they just leave you alone than tell you what to do with your life. If you wanted help, you would have asked, right?

And second, you get so tired of it all that you just want to end it.

Everyone knows those two things, but there was that one obvious answer we often forget in which we really need.

You just need to rest. What we need is a pause button.

Whether it be a vacation, a retreat, or a simple timeout. Hell, it can even be a small bathroom break. All it just takes is a time for yourself, remember who you are, what you really want to do and become.

I’ve always thought the point of roller coasters were not the feelings of the highs. It makes my stomach queazy and awful, so I don’t like it at all. Nor is it the lows, the plummeting down, because I’m afraid of heights. What I like, and what I think is the purpose of me riding a roller coaster is the view. Open space, clear skies, and the fresh air despite coming from the speed of the ride, is what I’m in it for.

Life can get high and low, bumpy and smooth, good or bad, but when you never lose sight of what matters most, then the messiness of it all doesn’t seem as colossal at it does at the moment. To some, it might seem like you’re trying to forget, project, or even neglect. But the view looks too good for every other distraction, am I right?

Today I Wish You Knew

Having one person to share all of your thoughts, secrets, and demons within is a lie. Each person you know knows a fraction of who you are, not as a whole. But there is only one person you always want to talk to about everything- that even if there’s everybody else, it doesn’t feel as good as when you tell that person. It doesn’t matter what your relationship is with them either. Connection is what you’re looking for, and you can connect with a stranger far more deeper than a childhood friend.

It doesn’t matter if it’s something trivial as how beautiful the sunset looked today as you walked home. Something profound as a passage you discovered from this new book you’re reading. Something simple as a new episode of The Handmaid’s Tale coming out today. Something debilitating as how you feel like everything is too much and you hate making small talk with people and just want to be left alone for a while and yet you feel lonely for something but don’t know what it is.

But the thing about those persons is that they often have lives of their own, one that might not include you anymore for different reasons. And when you suddenly have the urge to talk to them but can’t yet wish you would, the question is, does that make you selfish?

I wish I didn’t have to fight for people to stay in my life. If they wanted to be, they will be. Everyone seems to be having that same mindset lately. But if we kept waiting around on each other, nothing will ever be done, now wouldn’t it?

I’ve learned that it’s all give and take. When you give, you give what you can. When you tire, you rest. When you give up, you leave. Of course you can leave, you’re human after all. We’re all capable of having fickle hearts at certain times of weakness in our lives. It’s not a crime to fail, to give up, to forget.

But like the sunset that you witnessed, the book you’re reading, the show you’re watching, and the feeling you’re having, this will have to end and you will have to finish it. The walking around on each other. The silent dance. 

It is then that you realize that your persons can leave you, and that you can find another one again. And it will feel so different yet so intense as well.

I wanted to tell you so many things that my boring life has had lately, but I don’t see any point of it anymore. You can ask, and I will tell, I just won’t push again. I’ve done it a lot that I must sound crazy and silly and desperate to some. I guess I should keep all these experiences, feelings, and moments to myself so I can tell it to someone who will be my new person. I don’t know if I’ll find another one, I’m hoping I will. Until then, like my love, I’ll keep it hidden and tucked away to someone who’ll take good care of it.

When Someone Said I Needed a Holiday, I Said

What is a bed
when you lie down
and still your mind
shouts and rings and cries
with your thoughts,
your life on replay like a bad sitcom,
and your regrets
play in your head?

What is an empty room
when it’s filled with
the suffocating air
of the words that
you ache to say,
or did say
but wanted to take back-
mixing with the
sounds of the air condition-
and you wonder if
it’s either keeping you cool
or coldhearted?

What is a nice stroll
on a quiet park
when you have
the fear that someone
might mug you,
rape you,
kill you,
or worse,
see that you’re
lonely and alone?

What is a recluse
on a deserted island
when the waves
remind you of
the things, the people
that came and went in your life,
and how you, like the sand,
was never the same since then?

What is rest
of all kinds and places
when all you ever wanted
and needed and craved
was a person,
a feeling,
a moment,
a chance?

I Like Staying In Thrift Bookshops

Amidst the crooked spines
and the tattered pages
and the smell of
aging paper,
I found my place
in this world.

Left with marks-
like fingerprints and
coffee stains-
once touched,
never the same.

After giving pleasure
abandoned, discarded
they’ve seen it all before,
sometimes more
than once.

I’d like to think
that the next
person to touch me
will keep me
this time.

A Year

is the time
that we spent together-
laughing and crying
and loving
and loving still
until you had to go.

A year
is the time
that we spent apart-
wondering and worrying
and loving
and loving still
but decided to let go.

A year
is the time
that you came back-
trying and failing
and loving
and loving still
but not the same way anymore.

A year
is the time
that I moved on-
wishing and praying
and loving
and loving still
even if it’s not you anymore.

If By Any Chance You Still Love Me

You have to know
that I am not the same woman
as I was before.
You once wanted me
because I was the kind
of person who would
never do anything cruel.
But the world, time, and my loneliness
have made me the woman
you said you did not want.

You have to see
that I have changed for
I no longer look like
the delicate angel that will
touch your hair and
kiss your lips.
I am the iron maiden
in my ivory tower
that you must fight before
you get a taste.

You have to hear
my voice.
My once joyous laugh
has gone to a better place,
and is now replaced with
a dark chuckle
on a good day.

Most of all
you have to see
my demons,
my fear,
my shame,
and wonder if this is what you made me.
If this is what I would always be.
If this is what has been me all this time,
and if you will still love me the same.