Ramblings and Musings

38 Life Lessons I’ve Learned in my 38 Years of Existence

Yesterday, I turned 38. And I want to share with you my retrospection as I reflect on my life. Well, to each his own, you might not agree with me and you don’t have to but I believe that at a certain degree there is still a universal truth in each lesson I’ve learned. Note that these are all in random order.

  1. That you’ll have more appreciation and will understand the hardships and sacrifices of our parents when we become parents ourselves.
  1. Forgive those who have hurt and wronged you, even if they have never asked for it. Do it for yourself, for your own peace of heart and mind.
  1. Choose a career that you are passionate about. If you truly love what you are doing, there is no burnt out.
  1. That even at this point I still have many life questions that have not been answered. Questions about religion, God, death and so on.
  1. Not all people will have compassion for animals and nature. Honestly, you might even get into trouble trying to protect and defend them. But just do what you can do; give what you can give in all capacity that you can.
  1. Sometimes the bond between a pet and human is stronger and more meaningful than some of your human relationships that you will have. Grief over losing a pet is real.
  1. Be grateful and enjoy the evolution of technology. Information and communication through Internet has never been this accessible. Use it in constructive ways. Continue to learn. Keep in touch with friends and family.
  1. Enjoy simple life conveniences that you have, others have worse living conditions.
  1. Cherish moments with your classmates specially your friends, high school barkada. Because sometimes in reality, “Graduation” is the last time you will see of some of them.
  1. Do not be close minded. As technology evolves so does other traditional things in our lives. Working from home is now possible. Homeschooling is also now an option.
  1. Find a hobby that will bring you happiness. Life is not always a bed of roses and can take its toll on you. You’ve got to discover what brings you joy and cultivate it.
  1. While it’s true that life is not fair, life itself has its own way of putting things in perspective and shows us what is more important in our lives.
  1. Remember and apply the Golden Rule because Karma is just right around the corner.
  1. Teach your kids household chores even your sons. Their future wives will thank you.
  1. On parenting, do not judge other parents and families on their decisions how to raise their kids. All parents who truly love their children will always want the best for them.
  1. No two children are alike. You have to adjust your parenting tricks and skills per child.
  1. Hug and say, “I love you” to your kids every chance you get.
  1. You can try and protect your children as much as you can. But they need to make mistakes, they need to get hurt so that they can learn and stand on their own.
  1. School recognitions, awards, and medals… while they are good to accomplish during school years, there’s more to these achievements that one should aim for. Perseverance, grit, and the ability to bounce back after failures are more important in developing in one’s character.
  1. Learning is not confined within the four walls of the classroom. Learning is beyond textbooks and exams.
  1. On loving oneself. I remember my mother telling me when I was in my twenties, she told me that when loving someone in a relationship do not give all your 100 percent. Leave some for yourself.
  1. And in relation to number 21, I believe you cannot love another person if you don’t love yourself first. You cannot pour into someone something that you are empty with.
  1. Sometimes silence is the best response, to preserve and restore relationships.
  1. It is okay to say, “No”.
  1. Spend time with your grandparents. I’m lucky to still have my grandmother (She is now 89 years old). When she visited and stayed with us here in the Philippines I immersed myself with her stories every night. I listened to her how her life was when she was very young up to how she met my grandfather in her teenage years. She repeatedly relived her very young life, stories about her parents and siblings and how hard their life was. Such stories we never really talked about in depth when we were both two decades younger and I was still living with them. I genuinely felt she misses my grandfather since he passed away in 2006. Sometimes tears will roll down her cheeks as she reminisced her young life.
  1. Be patient with your parents and grandparents as they tell you about their life stories. They will inevitably be sometimes forgetful and repeat things they have previously said (even half hour ago). Don’t hurt their feelings by saying they’ve told you that already. Just be patient and listen. Remember they had been patient with you also as you were growing up.
  1. Always be grateful to people who helped you reach where you are now. Do not forget to look back and give back.
  1. Power, money, and fame may rule the world and play a huge influence in people’s lives. But so does love.
  1. Emotional Vampires. In your lifetime, you will meet people that will suck the life out of you. And while it’s true that you should stay away from this kind of people for your sanity, what will you do if this is someone close to you, a family member perhaps?

Again, conscience and forgiveness.

  1. There are no perfect parents. Just like any human beings they are flawed and make mistakes. Still do not turn your back against your parents.
  1. And though I agree that it is not the responsibility of the children to give back to their parents, when they become adult and able to sustain themselves. But what kind of a person are you, if you don’t help them back when they need you?
  1. And for us, young parents, it’s an old Filipino mentality to expect your children to take care of you, to support your financial needs when you reach old age. Please save for yourself. You are lucky if you have an offspring who will do this for you. I know some, and bless their hearts. But I have also seen parents crying their hearts out because their children have forgotten them.
  1. Love is possible the second time around with the same person. Sometimes a break up is necessary. Adversity in relationships may be essential to test its strength.
  1. People may change their behaviors, or they may not. It’s up to you if you can accept them as they are.
  1. Life is hard. But you should strive to balance your life with happiness.
  1. Family is family, always stay grounded and remember your roots.
  1. Always have faith in yourself and be strong for yourself.
  1. Do not forget to love and take good care of yourself. Amidst all your other responsibilities in life, do not forget yourself.