23 Things I Learned at 23

Hello, everyone! This Friday, I turned 23. I feel like I’m getting really older and very much getting deeper into the “adult” life but I’m also very excited. For some reason, the Lord has left so much excitement in my heart. The funny thing, though, is that I don’t know exactly what for. I just feel like 23 is going to be a fruitful year for me if I continue pursuing my passion and continue seeking the Lord’s heart and desires for my life.

Just to get things straight, if I could change anything in my life, I really wouldn’t change anything at all. I’m writing this because I thought it would be fun to share and maybe others can get a thing or two from it. It would also be super fun to be able to share these with my future kids. Hehe.

I’m sharing 5 things I lessons I learned about growing into maturity, 5 lessons I learned about fitness, 5 lessons I learned about life, 5 lessons I learned about relationships, and 3 lessons I learned about the Lord (spiritual lessons). That’s 23 in total! Hehehe.

5 things I lessons I learned about growing into maturity

  1. Enjoy the season you are in; love your “today”

On my 12th birthday, my mom gave me a birthday card and what struck my heart the most are the words “I hope you don’t rush too much in growing up”. That was me. I was rushing. I put down my childhood early and always tried to be in a place where I am not supposed to be in… yet. I learned that each season is beautiful- childhood, teenage years, early 20’s… all of them. It would mean so much for all of us to enjoy each day and each season and let tomorrow come for us. To be who God wants me to be tomorrow, I must live fully in the now.

  1. Skin care routine is a must 

Hehe. This post isn’t going to be all serious, yknow? But yes. I’ve spent many years neglecting my skin even if it’s already as sensitive as it can be. Stress, lack of sleep, and even bad eating habits can easily cause huge breakouts for me. I’m 23 now and I have a usual wash, tone, moisturize everyday, and use face mask every week routine. I think that’s a good start for me. I can’t really afford regular trips to the dermatologist yet, but when I finally can- I will. So yes, clean your skin because it makes a ton of difference when it looks bright and healthy!

  1. Do not neglect what makes your heart beat faster

I’ve always been a kind of girl who was a jack of all trades and a master of none. I tried many things- I was (and am) a science student, tried modeling, tried business, tried sketching, tried blogging, tried baking, tried singing, tried dancing. I really liked all of them! But what really made my heart beat faster was business and blogging. I didn’t pursue that path very much because they say it wouldn’t pay the bills and that it’s better off as a past time. Who knew that just by writing to my open diary (blog and facebook blog), I would get the chance to touch the hearts of thousands of people. I could just imagine if I didn’t stop blogging when I was just 18. But I know it all happened in God’s time and in God’s will. I learned that the things that makes our heart beat faster are placed inside us by the Lord. My passion for blogging and business are God’s gift to me- so I will do my best to keep pursuing it and learn more about it. Is there something that makes your heart beat fast, too?

  1. A haircut isn’t so bad after all

I’ve always been known for being that girl with long hair. I was raised by my grandmother who really did an amazing job when it comes to hairstyles and kept my hair long all the time. New hair cuts and color used to scare me a lot. I guess I was scared of change. But as my favorite beauty guru, Michelle Phan, says “life is too short to have one look”. I got rid of my fear of change and tried different looks. I loved each one of them. What I loved more, though, is that feeling of being able to conquer fear.

  1. I don’t have to be like others

I don’t know about you (girls), but when I was really young, I was very insecure. I wanted to be loved and accepted. Things got bad for me when I moved to the Philippines from Dubai. In Dubai, I belonged in class consisting of different race, ethnicity, and religion, but everyone respected that difference. We don’t always get along but everyone tried to get to know more of the other person and where she comes from. It was a big culture shock for me when I got home here in the motherland. I found myself trying so hard to fit their standards. I used to tell myself that maybe if I did my best in doing what the popular kids usually do, I would finally be loved and accepted. The more I tried, the harder it was for me to adjust. The more I swayed from my real self, the more my heart broke. It was only when I started embracing myself that I found genuine relationships and started being happier with who I am- that only started when I was 19. I still had a few true friends from elementary and high school, though. And they’re still precious to me until today.


5 lessons I learned about fitness

  1. Not all types of diet you see on social media is for you

Raise your right hand if you ever saved pictures of healthy plates and salad bowls from the internet and tried to copy them. That was me! My goal was to gain muscle but I did a diet that was meant for weight loss. Not a very good idea for my 42 kg self (before). I’ve learned that diets are really unique and different for every individual depending on a person’s current state, genetics, and goals. We can’t simply copy what others are doing. We need to observe ourselves and educate ourselves a little when it comes to what and how much we are supposed to eat.

  1. Run

I hate running. Hahaha! It’s just so hard for me and it makes my chest hurt- which is normal. But having a healthy heart is even more important than a good physique. That’s why I am currently doing my best to make running more fun- like jogging outdoors instead of running on a treadmill.

  1. Proper gym attire can make a difference

I used to work out on my baggy shirts, jogging pants or pambahay shorts, and bras with no wire. I don’t know how that sounds to you but when I was 17, I just wasn’t ready to invest on gym clothes. I mean, it makes more sense to me to spend the money buying dresses or clothes I can wear outside. When I turned 18, my mom gave me a few pieces of actual gym wear and I felt comfortable in them. So, I slowly started investing on sports bra, tank tops, and leggings. Sometimes, when it’s the right fit, it even boosts my vibe and confidence- I get a better work out! I wear shorts and a loose shirt when I train legs so that I can see the muscles that I am training. And I wear leggings and tank tops when I train upper body.

  1. Do not underestimate the power of hydration

Ever got sick of being told that you’re supposed to have at least 8 glasses of water a day? Uh-huh. Me too. But since I ventured into the healthy lifestyle, I can tell the difference when I’m well hydrated or dehydrated. When I’m dehydrated, I feel hunger pangs, headache, and weakness. So yes, water is C-R-U-C-I-A-L, especially on weight loss. No product can work as “magical” as water.

  1. A good workout wouldn’t mean so much if you keep eating junk

Because I was born with a typically lean body, I didn’t bother so much whenever I ate junk food. That’s why I was always sick and I always had trips to the doctor. I hit the gym often but something still seemed off. Why wasn’t I getting toned? Yup, it’s because I spend 2 hours at the gym only to come home to dig on junk. That’s the reason I always tell others to focus on developing a healthy diet first before hitting the gym. If you could do both at the same time, then good. But if you’re like me who needs to break one bad habit at a time, then that’s okay too. I spent 1 month building healthy habits before actually stepping into the gym. I started working our with no weights and took me a year to be able to squat 120 lbs. Takes time.

5 lessons I learned about life

  1. Re-typing notes on MS word saves time

I am a sucker for hand written notes. I like them because they get so personalized. But with the very little time I have in my hands, typing  my school notes instead of writing by hand helped a lot. My journals, devotions, and blog ideas, though, are still written by hand.

  1. Be visionary

Learn to see beneath the surface. Learn to see deeper in a person’s heart than what their actions portray. Learn to see more of what lesson the trial is bringing than the pain it’s causing. That’s how we can make the most out of life.

  1. Not everything is worth your time and energy

Choose your battles well. Invest more time and energy on the things that will make you happy, grow, and learn. You don’t have to react or respond to everything. By doing this, you will be able to make the best out of the time you have in this short life.

  1. Invest on friendship

Whether you spend a few hundred pesos more when you go out with your friends for dinner. Whether you spend a few thousands when you go out of town with your friends. What you are really paying for is the growth of your bond and strengthening of friendship. That is priceless. Learn to balance finances, of course. But don’t neglect investment on friendship.

5. Your family cares for you

No matter how contradicting your beliefs are and no matter how hard it is to understand why they have to set certain rules at times, they love and care for you. I always thought my family don’t understand because they aren’t born in my generation, but as I grow older, the more I find myself trusting and seeking the wisdom of my family.

5 Lessons I Learned About Relationships:

  1. Love is not blind

I really love the quote, “love is not blind. It sees more, not less”. Sometimes we go around with the excuse of love being blind for our poor decisions. Or for staying in an unhealthy relationship. Love gets hard but it will always make you see more of yourself, your partner, your loved ones, and the world around you.

  1. It takes real love and character to love a person in their bad days

We can love anyone who is in his/her best day. It’s easy to love someone who is at their most lovable phase. It takes real love to be able to love someone in both their best and worst days.

  1. Cheating is not “normal”

The standards of the world once told me, “it’s normal. It’s part of every relationship. You just have to endure it and get over it”. Now I know that cheating is a choice and the person will always have the chance to choose. It will never be by accident. And no one has to stay and believe that it is “normal”. God wants the best for all of us and even God understands that no one deserves to be in the pain of adultery.

4.Friendship is a very important key for a happy relationship

It’s very hard for me to imagine being married to someone I am not friends with. Our marriage has always been healthy because of first, God. Second, the friendship that we have. It’s so refreshing to know you have someone you can trust, someone you can open up to without being judged, someone you can laugh really hard with, someone who is in harmony with your differences, someone who seeks the best for you- whether you need tough love or gentle love.

5.Don’t go around telling others about an ongoing issue

We have two rules in blogging: it has to be for God’s glory and we cannot write about an issue that has not been solved yet. Just like an artist cannot release a half baked masterpiece, each trials we go through cannot be shared until our Artist is done with His work in our hearts and lives. We destroy trust, confidence, and integrity of our relationship when we openly talk about unsolved problems to people we are not even accountable with. We either take the problem to each other and the Lord first, or seek the help of our couples discipleship group leader.

3 things I learned about the Lord:

  1. He is a God of love and second chances

One of the reasons why it was so hard for me to turn to the Lord and ask for a change of heart and life is that I thought I ran out of chances. I thought I’ve done too much damage already to deserve to even pray or ask for more from Him. But I learned that God goes beyond second, third, fourth, chances. His mercy, His grace, and the chances He gives us are fresh every day. God never gets tired of loving us and believing in us.

2. He disciplines those He loves

“Favorite ka siguro ni Lord”, is what I hear some say when they hear how amazing our life has been despite our early pregnancy story. However, the truth is that the Lord still loved us enough to let us experience the consequences of our decisions. The Lord has always guided us, but He did not make our lives 100% problem free. He did, however, make it 100% problem-proof. We still have to deal with finances, responsibilities, and sacrifices- all fruits of our decisions. But Mark and I learned that it is out of love that the Lord teaches and strengthens us. It is never to punish us or to make us suffer.

3. Give God a chance

Though at times we seem to be filled with disappointments and regrets, God still sees the goodness of your heart and all His amazing plans for you. Sometimes, we shut the doors at Him too soon that we miss out on all the blessings that we could have. My life has greatly changed in the year 2015… the year I gave God the chance to show me who He could be as my Father. Take away “I’m too this, I’m still that”. God can give you a new page right here, right now. I’ve been enslaved to myself for so long, I’ve been set free when I surrendered to the One who knows and loves me most.

That’s the 23 lessons I learned at 23! I’m so excited to keep on growing and to learn more in life. I’m even more excited because I get to share this life with you. Thank you for making me smile and for letting the Lord touch your hearts through my simple blog posts. This all means a lot.

What about you? What are the most important life lessons you’ve learned so far? I want to hear them!



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