5 Reminders For Your 20s

in at April 3, 2017

I’m turning 25 in a couple of months, and I don’t have life figured out – will I ever?

There are days when my bank account is close to empty, when I only go to a doctor’s appointment…when I have my parents with me, when I get anxious going to the airport and the bank, plus many other things I’m embarrassed to even put into words. I’m clumsily chasing possibilities, praying my soul’s intentions remain victorious over the work I produce. It’s taken a lot of mess and molding to get me to where I am now. Admittedly, growth is uncomfortable but it’s endlessly humbling to recognize and embrace a teachable heart.

I could actually throw in cliché but uber essential tips for young adults like allocate 20% of your monthly salary to your savings (which I *try* to do) or make a 5-year plan, but that’s for another entry – when I’ve become more disciplined…in due time. But this, I do give you: reminders you can tuck in your heart when you have idle days, when you’re struggling, and when you’re allowing someone else’s standard of worth and purpose be your own.

Time is not running out.

There is enough time for me. There is enough time for you. With everybody’s activities and, yes, progress sprawled out on platforms for you to digest, it’s easy to forget how your timeline is uniquely yours. This is not a competition; you can actually be happy for your friend’s successes – just saying. Maybe you don’t like who you are right now because you’re too busy looking at other people’s social media highlight reel than your heart.

“You are allowed to admire the voices of other people but be weary of when you begin clinging to those voices to give you your own. The people you’re watching on the internet won’t show up to live your life for you. You’ve got to move. You still have things to say. Don’t kill the stories before they’re even told.”

(Hannah Brencher)

We will, eventually, get to a point in our lives when we can be proud of the work we’ve managed to produce through the years. If the time is not now, good, it means we need to make peace with the glory that has yet to arrive. Maybe, we aren’t ready. Maybe, there are things corrupting our hearts that we have to let go of. Maybe this is, always and in all ways, His sovereign protection. Our finiteness – limited by reason and result – cannot comprehend it now but some day, may it be soon, we will. God, in His limitless mercy and compassion, will not leave us this way.

It’s okay to not be busy. 

The past few weeks have been an incessant blur. I’ve been covering one event after the other, finishing my Saturday classes, and meeting self-made deadlines for the blog. It took a toll on me when I found myself bedridden Monday morning due to a fever. Believe it or not, I was praising the Heavens for my unexpected sickness – eventually cured by Judy’s vlogs, sleep, and Earl Grey Tea.

In a world where sleepless nights and ungodly work hours are badges of honor, give yourself the luxury to rest. Your health and sanity are more important than your deadlines. Sometimes, you can be preoccupied but not actually be productive. It’s okay not to be busy. Take an hour or 2 to catch up on Riverdale, get a crazy 10-Step Skin Care Routine, go on a day trip,  just rest. Okay? Okay.

It’s never too late to learn something new. 

It took a few years for me to educate myself with everything beauty. After much time binge-watching YouTube videos and reading blogs, I finally learned, not only to do it, but photograph and write about products. In the beginning, I thought very little about it. Ah, maarte lang ako – inherently, ha-ha. But, it eventually became my (very expensive) passion. I’m always on the look out for new beauty releases – as in, every day ako pumupuntang Watsons – and trends I can share with you, guys. Eventually, I realized that I can actually apply my newfound obsession with my shoots. Sometimes, I even do the make-up on my models! A beauty channel next, perhaps?

Remain teachable. Do something outside of your every day. Have a passion project. There are no expiration dates when it comes to dreams. You will always have time for the things you love. When nothing is certain, everything is possible.

“Making art is extremely difficult, requiring tremendous courage, enormous sacrifice, great risk. You leap into the abyss, into the arms of uncertainty. Open and alert, you respond to the world around you, and it causes you a great deal of pain and tremendous trepidation. But, of course, these are the natural byproducts of a closely examined life.”

(Carrie Mae Weems via Brain Pickings)

Read: Big Magic: Lessons on Creativity

Show up.

We have got to stop cancelling on plans at the last minute (unless our boss requires us to do the occasional overtime). Make an effort to reach out, reply to a message ASAP, plan a get-together. We’re all busy making things and living out our best days, but may we not forget what really matters. Even if this causes us discomfort – because our alone can be so beautiful – move, and we’ll be surprised at how much He can bless us when we take the time to seek out other people.

A note, do not be so obsessed with your social media presence that you forget to take care of the relationships which occur in real life.

Read: Being Intentional in A “Busy” Culture

We all start somewhere.

You are not entitled to overnight success just because of your education and social status. It takes a lifetime of devotion, zeal, and faith to make one’s dreams into a reality. Also, you are not your résumé. So, you can take all that pressure you’ve put on yourself, and be kind to your progress. You’re doing a great job, friend. I applaud you!

In God’s economy, nothing is ever wasted. He does not waste a day, and He will not waste you. Everything, even the most unremarkable parts of your life, happen to further grow you. Personally, I just love being old, you unabashedly become yourself. There’s something so beautiful about accepting the person you once apologized for.

Elisa Aquino

Elisa Aquino is a portrait photographer, life(style) writer, passion blogger, and beauty rookie from Manila, Philippines. This platform exists to document her daily musings and to showcase the life-changing power of grace to transform women from ashes to beauty.