27 February, 2015

33 and Happy


Two Fridays ago, I turned 23. Again.Ü Add 10 years, that's how old I am.
A few months ago, I had a "cosmic birthday notebook". I remember having a party twice: I saw photos of my 1st birthday and when I turned 7, my Mom threw a birthday party for me in school. When I got older and when I started to work, I'd always make plans for a party-party, but my wanderlust soul always wins me over.

It happened again this year.
I had every intention to throw a party to celebrate my 33 years of existence. Heck, I already have my venue and was ready to send out invites to the 33 people that I was going to invite. However, come week 2 of January, I changed my mind and booked a flight to KL, Malaysia.

I've been loving life more — it is not always a bed of roses, but it makes you a tougher cookie if you'd let it. Heartaches get easier. I'm kidding. You get better at rolling with the punches and you realize that being a responsible & functioning adult is hella fun. While I'm still like on certain days that I deserve to be one, I know that I'm a wiser, more grateful, stronger, happier, and better version of myself. Today, I'm sharing life lessons that I'm most thankful to have learned and have taken with me in all these 33 years. I hope to inspire you in some way and perhaps, you will learn something from me too.



  1. Count your blessings and stop complaining.
  2. Travel. Seek new adventures. Make new friends. Try something local that you've not eaten before. See the world!
    If you get the chance to travel, go for it. Don't think that it's impossible. You have to make it happen. While some of my friends and classmates have been traveling with their parents since they were kids ( the set-up that my parents have is complicated ), I discovered the joys of traveling on my own. It was my first job and one of my former bosses, Cecille Ang, that got me to love traveling and I will always be thankful for that. I have this plan mapped out with me working my way from one local destination to another ( some 10 years ago ) and finally here I am to today constantly feeding this thirst to be in a different city in a different country. It's a wonderfully enriching experience.
  3. Take lots of photos, you'll be glad you did.Ü
  4. Always do what is right even when no one's looking.
  5. Let other people say that you're good.
    Sobrang hindi ok ang magbuhat ng sariling bangko slash don't broadcast how awesome you are. Who does not like recognition? But isn't recognition sweeter when it comes from others? When you always give your best no matter how simple a task is, it shows. When you get things done efficiently without overspending, people will notice. Do these and you will never have to prove yourself to anyone.
  6. Dress appropriately. As Harvey Specter says, appearance is important. How you dress affects how others perceive you.
  7. Punctuality speaks a lot about you. Correct spelling, math, and also grammar also matter.
  8. Always strive for excellence & never stop learning. Do not tolerate mediocrity - hindi puede ang puede na.
  9. Not all your friends are your friends. Faux friends will only be there during good times.
  10. The people you lose remain a part of you.
    That one's from Marc & Angel. Gosh, while I hate to agree with this, it is actually true. BUT heart breaks do get easier as you get older. It's not that you will no longer get hurt, but it's more of you getting better at dealing with it. After all, people say that our past relationships prepare us for our greatest love. Let me share how Marc & Angel beautifully explained this one:
    "As life goes on, days rolling into nights, it will become clear that you never really stop missing someone special who’s gone, you just learn to live around the gaping hole of their absence. When you lose someone you can't imagine living without, your heart breaks wide open, and the bad news is you never completely get over the loss. You will never forget them.

    However, in a backwards way, this is also the good news. They will live on in the warmth of your broken heart that doesn't fully heal back up, and you will continue to grow and experience life, even with your wound. It's like badly breaking an ankle that never heals perfectly, and that still hurts when you dance, but you dance anyway with a slight limp, and this limp just adds to the depth of your performance and the authenticity of your character."
  11. Study your competition, watch your back, never be complacent, and always be three steps ahead.
  12. Be self-sufficient and plan for your future NOW.
    Save up for the rainy days ... that kind wherein you won't really have to depend on others when the time comes. Remember the ant-grasshopper fable? Yes, we're only young once and we can't while away during these younger year. The inevitable will happen anyways. Pay your debts, spend wisely, and live within your means.
  13. If not NOW, when? Don't wait for the right moment. Live in the NOW.

☮..Peace + _Love + Happy Days Ahead. RUSS.

40 comments:

Jennifer said...

I think this is a GREAT post. Too many women are obsessed with their age. It doesn't matter how old you are. It matters how you feel.

Lucky SevenTen said...

First, let me begin by saying that you have great genes because you look like you are 18! Second, I LOVE LOVE LOVE your list and it's amazing how much you actually know in your 30s even though you thought you had it all figured out by 21 (at least I thought so). 30's are really the best years and it's great to read other's experiences. Great advice.

Donna L. Ward said...

Happy Birthday!
And love that you booked a flight to KL, Malaysia over having a party!

And yep each year gets better - at least for myself and my husband agrees with that!

Masshole Mommy said...

I am one age, but always tell people that I am younger than I am. I know age is just a number, but in this case, smaller is better ;)

Jennifer Van Huss said...

When I read you were 23 I actually believed it until I read your title! lol! You are beautiful!! I agree live each day to the fullest and enjoy!

Christina Aliperti said...

You look great and although we get a little crazy about age, it's all about how you feel. If you still feel young, you still are young.

Catherine Sargent said...

What a great post. Age is just a number I stopped counting birthdays a long time ago. I want to start traveling more.

Michelle Varga said...

This is such a great post. I'll be turning 30 this month and I can say that some of these life lessons can be difficult when they come. Each year I find that there's always something to learn.

Cassie said...

I couldn't agree with you more about the people you lose. My husband still feels like his father is with him everyday, although he died five years ago.

Cher Littleton-Megasko said...

I agree ... you should grab all the gusto you can when you are young. Traveling is a great way to do that.

Barbie's Beauty Bits said...

What a great post and fun! I just recently turned 25, plus 20!

Beth Williams said...

I thought you were actually 23! I love this post though... I wrote a somewhat similar one about 23 going on 4 :)

Autumn Blues Reviews said...

This is such a great post. So many people are so hung up on looks, age, etc. You are as good as your attitude is. Thank you for sharing.

Kristen said...

I just turned 32 in December, and I totally agree with the dressing appropriately thing. No more juniors dept for me :)

Stephanie C. said...

I definitely love this post! There are so many wise points in here that I definitely took to heart. I'm a year older than you (you look great by the way) and I am not sure I have realized all of these things, so kudos to you!

Terri Ramsey Beavers said...

First off, happy belated 33rd, I mean 23rd Birthday. I love your tips and information and after losing many to death in the past several years, I make each day count.

Erin said...

This is such a fabulous post! I loved all of your little lessons :)

Marielle Altenor said...

Happy belated birthday! I'm turning 31 in just a few days and I'm not at all as stressed out about as I was when I turned 30. Go figure lol I'm happy with where I am now and feel blessed for the people around me.

Chene said...

What a great post-- age isn't anything but a number. It's all about how you feel and what you want in life.

Sana said...

Love your blog .. and amazing post .. thanks for sharing.. I do believe that age is justr nos u need to feel young by heart :)
Makeupoholics

Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen said...

Happy Birthday! And thank you for such an inspiring post!

Kalliopi Sakellariou said...

Happy birthday gorgeous1I freaked out last month-26!You encoyraged me!Age is not the point but how you feel!Well I feel 18!Loi!Love your blog!

rach said...

Great advice! Thanks for sharing.

Cebuana Mom said...

What's not to be happy about? :) Life is great with all its twists and turns. :)

Fred Hawson said...

Happy birthday! Nothing like a birthday to look back at what we have done in the year just past, and look forward to what more we want to do with our lives. Hope all your plans come true.

Debarpan said...

This is no doubt a great post.Age doesn't matter unless we feel old..thumbs up

Melvin Paul said...

Heyyy...ticket to Malaysia? Excellent choice...do visit the islands...and try the food... :)

Tiffany Yong W.T. said...

Take lots of photos!
Just yesterday, a friend was commenting how he was amazed by the number of photos I have. And guess what, I was happy I did have lots of photos!

Angelo The Explorer said...

Thank you so much for this tips! I really like the No. 1! We should always be thankful about everything whether its good or bad ... Things happen for a reason!

Shayne Zalameda said...

Having an appreciative mindset is always a good thing. Happy birthday to you! May you visit more places this year :)

Fernando Lachica said...

Life is what we make it, and really, we have to choose which way to tread. We have to anticipate anything in the future and ready to face it no matter what.

Amanda Love said...

Happy birthday to you. I'm a few years ahead of you but I totally agree with all your points you made. I've been trying to take more photos, dressing appropriately for my age and I love punctuality. As for planning for your future, that's something that I recently started doing and regret not having started earlier.

Raquel said...

Belated Happy Birthday. After I hit 35 I started hiding my age...ha-ha. I think you did a good decision to go to Malaysia instead of spending money to other people. It's your money and you deserve it. I like #7,

Raine Pal said...

Great positive views in life for a 23 years living in this world. Happy Birthday!

papaleng said...

Belated Happy birthday. I'll take your pointers into consideration when planning what must I prepare comes my natal day. Travel is a nice option.

Manu Kalia said...

This is very inspiring. The number 4 is my favorite. Being humility is one in a lifetime. Glad you shared this one.

Franc said...

Having 33 people to spend your 33th is a great idea. Too bad, you changed plans. I'm sure you had a great one too.

Vanessa said...

Your posts are always so positive and inspiring! Keep up the sparkle in you and wish you many new challenges ahead!

Eliz Frank said...

Happy Birthday blessings to you! With age cones a recognition of what we are and what we won't do. I like your points and the only one I would change is the one on competition. I'd say the only competition that matters is the one with yourself. Skip competing with others. Be your best You!

Phylicia Marie Pineda said...

I plan to do something like that next year, travel on my birthday.This year I went with throwing a party, so yeah, opposite of what you did. :)

And yes, travel more!!