I haven't really had the time or will power to sit down and write a heartfelt blog post. This used to be my safe space, but no place on the internet feels safe anymore. It's been about 20ish days of being 27 and somehow everything and nothing feels different.
I'm usually a "get excited for my birthday" kinda person and Februaries are always special cos they feel like MY month but this year, life threw everything at me. I don't know what's up with this year because almost everything seems to be going wrong and I'm holding on to a very thin line of hope that seems to be getting away from me. I saw the article Taylor wrote for Elle about 30 lessons and I thought this would be the right time to do a version of my own but I don't have 27 things, sigh.
1. Bad days, months, or years don't define you
I had the worst February this year and I didn't even enjoy my birthday. I was trying my best to just end the day without anything major bad happening and for most part, it was tolerable. I feel like I've complained on the internet about this Feb being the worst so I'm not going to list all the terrible things because a) I don't want to remember them anymore, let them be a part of the past and b) I'm not gonna let myself be defined by the bad things that happen to me. I'm trying to learn not to react to everything, not everything deserves my time or opinion. Live through the bad, and let it go. As you get older, you also develop a low tolerance for bullshit.
2. Don't look for validation from others
I really wish I was good at this but I'm the worst at this. I can't sleep knowing someone is mad at me, and it eats me up. I'm trying to not let other people get to me but it's easier said than done. Especially being on social media, you constantly are looking for people to validate your opinions and I fall victim to this every time. After much thought, I made my Instagram private. I'm gonna curate who I want around me, and whose opinions matter to me. I am a bit of a pushover (actually a really big pushover, ugh) and I sometimes let people walk over me, take my kindness, my time for granted without expecting anything in return because that's just who I am but I also am trying to be more assertive on who I really am. I want validation from myself and no one else.
3. You have to learn whom to trust.
I wish I was better at this but it's also an ongoing process. I have so many people around me (few friends, lots of acquaintances and people I know mostly from social media) and I tend to very easily trust people because I have a habit of believing the best in people and it has come to bite in the ass a few times and I still haven't learned. I still give people the benefit of the doubt and give them second chances. What I've learned most last year is that people are very fickle (me included) and they won't hesitate to cut you off and betray your trust especially when you blindly trust people. Being an INFJ, I tend to think of things from the other person's perspective and while it makes me know the situation better it also doesn't help when I have to choose sides. I'm still learning who deserves my trust and who needs an INFJ doorslam but cancel culture doesn't help either, sigh.
4. Sisters make your life better
Being the eldest sister, I'm so blessed to have Mick and Mun around. They're growing up to be such wonderful people and I feel nothing but absolute pride. They're so silly and whimsical at times. They always ask me for advice and I get to just be me around them. I don't have to pretend or try because they accept me as I am (despite all the eye-rolls when I constantly talk about kullhafilaa faiy) and I have them forever. I know I can always count on them and they can always count on me. It's such a refreshing feeling to know you have two people that believes in you wholeheartedly and is cheering for you. I would do anything for both of them.
5. Your parents really trust you to do your own thing
For the longest time I thought my parents would be disappointed in things I do. Even when I was in uni, I had this self imposed thing that my parents would disown me if I got anything lesser than an HD. I think most of it was just in my head. Sure, I've done a few things that upset them but they've always trusted me to be my own person. The funniest thing was that last month I finally got a haircut I've been wanting forever (I thought my parents would not approve for some reason) and when I came home and showed them, they were like "oh that's nice" and that was it. I think in my head I made such a big deal out of it but they just want me to do things that make me happy. I sometimes tend to take them for granted so the lesson is to appreciate both of them and all the unconditional love they've given me. I know that no matter what happens, they will always be on my side and I can't really ask for anything more than that.
6. Focus on what you love, and everything else will fall into place
Instead of reacting to everything that happens around you, decide what matters to you and focus on that. Don't get sucked into other people's drama and keep to yourself. I always thought I did this, but perhaps not. I want to spend the rest of my life focusing on what I love, the people, the things and the passions. Read good books, eat good food, celebrate small victories, make time for the company that add value to my life and work towards my passions. Focus on leaving a bit of love in everything I do. As my mission statement in life goes "Work for a cause, not applause. Live life to express, not to impress."
7. You can be on social media and still live a private life
I think I'm discovering how important privacy really is. I've always been on the internet and I guess a lot of people "know of" me and it never used to bother me cos I always thought that they only knew my public persona of what I put across on social media. People tend to make assumptions about you based on what you tweet or post. I remember meeting someone I really adore from twitter irl for the first time and she was very blunt with me and told me she thought my public persona could not be who I really am cos no one's that nice and then she really got to know me. I honestly appreciate it so much. It was such a breath of fresh air from all the people who are constantly only nice to my face. I think the biggest lesson is to know whom to share parts of your life with. Not let strangers know everything about you (it's so hard because I've been on twitter for so long and it used to feel like a safe space but as the years went by it changed) and to not give them a glimpse into your life. Let them think whatever, and you not bother with all the things they have to say about you. Treat social media as just that and live your life outside of it.
I know I will make more mistakes and learn from some of them and have yet to know even more things. I'm always a work in progress so it doesn't bother me. I hope I am able to live by my own ethics and be the kind of person I aspire to be.