The Things I've Learned

Last week, I flew back to California for the first time since I’ve moved out. There have been plenty of things on my mind on the plane ride home: how the holidays might feel different this year especially during the pandemic, if I would even see some of my friends, and most importantly how much I’ve grown and changed in the past 5 months. I was so excited to see the look on my mom’s face from picking me up at the airport. As I arrived on that Sunday evening, I felt this nostalgic feeling but it was so different. It seemed as though nothing has changed yet at the same time EVERYTHING has changed. My perspective on life was a lot different compared to when I was leaving SFO back in the summer. My mother picked me up and the first thing she asked, “what do you want to eat”? I finally got the Filipino food that I’ve been craving for months and was so happy. As soon as we got back to the house, it felt as though I never left. Little things around the house changed but going into my room, I was just remembering the things I told myself -- that I would come back probably different.

It has now been a week since I’ve arrived back home and I was able to see my parents and all my siblings. It’s especially nice during this time of year to be around family. It warmed my heart because the only thing that I felt was missing in New York was my family. I remember moving in July and how heartbroken and painful it was to be away from them. Now after all those tears and Facetime calls -- I was able to feel their hugs, listen to their laughs, and catch up. When I mentioned that I might change or be different it’s more-so the growth that I’ve experienced in living across the country. I have been the “product of my own environment” as I surrounded myself with different people, different friend groups, and different cultures out on the east coast. I learned things there that I probably and most likely wouldn’t have learned staying here. Recently, I’ve been mainly focusing on my career, my passion, and just really my purpose in what I want to do in my life. I turned 25 while I was in New York and just had so much free time being by myself. I’d like to share what I’ve learned so far and just the thoughts that I’ve been having while I’m out here. I’ve been educating myself with spiritual and self-help books to feed my mind on becoming a better person overall.

Here are a few things I want to share:

  • Be yourself. Who cares what other people think about you. As long as you stay true to yourself then no other person’s perspective on you really matters. You are unique and no one else is like you. Don’t compare yourself to other people’s lives. It’s their path and they have their own timeline in their life. You may have friends getting pregnant, degrees, having jobs, getting married, or whatever it is. That’s the life that they have and not yours. Live your life to the fullest and stay in your lane. Head up, and keep moving. Looking at other lanes will only slow you down.

  • Live in the present. The past is over with and nothing you can do to change it. The future hasn’t happened yet, so why even think or stress about it? Be and live in the now. Whatever you’re doing and whoever you’re with -- just embrace it. Life is short, and it can be taken away from you just like that. The only thing that matters is what’s happening to you right now.

  • Journal and self-reflect. Write down your feelings. During this pandemic, it’s so hard to be out and socialize with your friends and even family. It’s important to acknowledge how you’re feeling whether that’s a good feeling or a bad feeling. Journaling and the physical act of just seeing how you feel on a sheet of paper helps.

  • Be kind and forgive. Spreading love has just been so good to me. Love seriously helps the world and it definitely needs more of it, especially now. For those that may have hurt you or have done you wrong… put it in the kindness of your heart to forgive. Nothing is worse than holding onto a grudge forever. It doesn’t do you any justice, but you can definitely just move forward with your life. Do an act of kindness a day! Even if it’s not physical, say something nice to a friend or even a stranger. Give a compliment or tell someone you care about them. Words can go a long way.

  • Don’t listen to society. I might’ve mentioned this in previous posts, but follow your dreams. Society tells you to do this and do that. Expand your mind and read books. Ask questions about life because society is corrupt and built to make you like a zombie or a robot. Follow your passion and go explore! Life is beautiful when you pause for a second and admire everything around you. Don’t get a degree about something you’re not passionate about. Don’t force yourself to work a 9-5 job that you’ll spend years hating. Start that business or whatever it is.

As I continue to read more books, write, exercise, and just take care of my mental health -- it’s been really rewarding and refreshing. I was at a low point going through some personal things a couple of months ago, but now I am doing a lot better. I’m focusing on my life and myself and it’s been nothing but good. I’m experiencing life and it’s been the best decision ever. I suggest experiencing life by living it, not just doing it. Don’t do something you don’t want to do. Say no to things that you don’t want to attend. You will catch yourself living someone else’s life rather than your own. Don’t listen to whatever society tells you. Life is a lot more than likes, followers, and social circles. It’s been experiencing the highs, the lows, and learning from them every step of the way.

I hope that you continue to crave personal growth. Continue to learn more about yourself and learn more about life. I’m in my 20s, and I’ve read that these are the years you start discovering yourself. You are young and there’s no rush. Society tells you that you need to get married or have a kid by 30, but realistically 30 is when your life really begins. Take these years to embrace who you are and be okay with being lost. You will be okay.

Here’s to finding ourselves and living life to the fullest.

With love,

Another Lost Boy