15 days into January and the year and yet, here I am.. still writing about 2018. I thought #ThankUNext?? Well, I wasn’t really sure if I was going to still write about it BUT I realized that looking back has always helped me (and I’m sure you too) look ahead.

It’s exciting to look in the future, definitely, but there is also a whole lot to learn from the past. I know this is true because we’ve all done it – if not during those two to three most popular wistful days of the year (December 30 to January 1). And after reading every #NewYear caption on my timeline, I realized two things – we all had a challenging year BUT two, we can always start anew. 

Anyways, since you’re a busy person, let’s go! Here are 10 things I’ve learned this 2018: 

1. Be kinder to yourself

This is number one on my list for soooooo many reasons. But to be real, I’m really bad when it comes to self-care. I’m a type A – you know, the usual meal and sleep sacrificing not until she gets it done kinda girl. Add on all the projects I’ve been working on – I rarely had time for myself. And although I really love what I’m doing, it got to a point wherein I was so tired and demotivated. There were days that I even felt guilty for resting. And the kinda “tired” I was experiencing was just sloppy.. it didn’t make me feel good – at all.

How I dealt with it? No straight forward answer expect I placed myself on the ‘shelf’. I re-evaluated what needed to be done, what I could delegate, and (sadly) what I needed to drop. I would schedule engagements every other week so that I also had some weekends to myself. And even started saying said ‘no’ to things in light of realizing that I need some rest. 

Friends would also know that I hate spending on myself, so it was sort of an achievement that I started setting some money aside for a “treat yourself” budget. So far, I spent them on books, courses, and food. But most importantly, seeing other people who were dear to me – old friends, Jan, and the family. It was really refreshing and kinda showed me what I was missing out when I take on too many projects.

I learned how to slowly take care of myself by the fourth quarter of 2018, and yet already found myself even more passionate about the things I was working on and more appreciative of the little things. I can’t wait to be kinder to myself this 2019, I know it’s gonna be good.

2. There’s still so much to learn 🐝

I find it really humbling when people go to me and ask for advice of all sorts. I think we’re seeing some light for being a not-so-good-at-one-thing-but-an-okay-jack-of-all-trades. But even as I go through it all, I also have so many questions myself.. because hey, there’s still so much to learn. 

People often think the learning stops after they graduate the university or school, but the reality is, we learn much more outside the classroom. The best part though is that you can choose what you want to learn and more often not, they aren’t graded – all though they can teach you some pretty cool life lessons. 

Ever since graduation, I’ve been on a constant run on investing in myself. I’ve been buying books (as I’ve said earlier – because seriously, most of my money goes to books or food), enrolling in online classes, going to community events, and conversing with other people in the community. I’ve also been looking for mentors – or at least seeking the advice of some local thought leaders. And let me tell you, I’m constantly amazed by what I’ve been learning. 

We don’t know it all, even the greatest people don’t. The only difference is that the great people make it a choice to continue learning.

3. Some days will be a solid 3/10

Yup, it’s true. Some days will leave you feeling like sh*t.  The good news though is that it’s normal, it’s okay, and it too shall pass. There’s always tomorrow and that tomorrow could be a 10/10. 

I mean, I used to be this girl who hated bad days.. if my day started bad, I’d expect everything to be bad too. I’d count the “strikes” and believed that the universe just wanted me to cry – I can be a cry baby too (HAHA). But as I write this, I can’t even remember those 3/10 days. And I feel that those bad days may have just taught me some valuable life lessons. 

I still have bad days.. but life wouldn’t mean anything without them for I know I’ve only become stronger. To the words of Ari herself, “she handles pain – that sh*t’s amazing”. 

4. Be in the present 😌

As much as I love the digital age, it also has its downtimes. Sometimes, at family gatherings or friendly outings, it becomes harder to just put down our phone and socialize. I used to be guilty of this too as wanted to capture every moment of whatever I was doing or experiencing. There were times I overdid it and would just naturally get sucked in by the infinity pool of social media (got this from the book, Make Time). 

Thanks to my self-awareness, I started to put my phone down more and just be in the present. I don’t have much pictures anymore but I do remember more of what was happening that time. It feels good, I’ll be honest, but I’m still torn whether to still document things or just enjoy the moments. I think I can do both, just have to work on finding that balance. 

5. When it comes to family, you’ll always love them no matter what happens.

Ever since I got home from Los Banos this year, I spend more time at home now, with my family. And I started noticing things since, well, I’m nearer now. And like any other normal family, things can get rough and challenging – especially we’re a big family. 

But I also learned that things always get better. No matter how rough things will get, in the end, you don’t get to choose who your family is. My parents are growing old and my and my siblings are growing up, we’ll have our moments but you’ll always love them no matter what happens.


6. Stop selling yourself short 🤞🏻

When you’re fresh from graduation, it’s hard to not sell yourself short. This thing happened to me for months. Even after everything I’ve experienced and done, I always felt that I wasn’t good enough for the things I’ve been applying for. 

Before graduation, I was already working a full-time job while doing my thesis. I was balancing three organization roles and I was working on my side-lines and business (marketing and branding for small biz). But it was weird that I found myself applying for jobs, I, later on, realized that I would have been overqualified for, because I was so scared and that I didn’t believe in myself.

The crazy thing was, all my friends and family were never worried about me. They actually always tell me that I could go and get any job I wanted to – IF I WANTED TO. But nope, my insecurities were slapping me hard in the face.. and cheeks. It made it so hard for me to also “go out there”. For three months (after graduation), I was actually afraid. THE “REAL WORLD” CAN GET SCARY AT TIMES, KIDS.

I never understood what I was feeling that time but I came across this TED-ED video on Imposter Syndrome that explained some parts of what I was feeling. I do not entirely agree or relate on this but this is what I found interesting – it’s a psychological pattern in which an individual doubt their accomplishments because they feel they’re just as normal as everyone else. 

I got over this feeling when I actually landed really nice job offers. I started thinking – hey, I might be good after all? There were also times during the interviews wherein the employers would tell me that they really were impressed with my resume and found my skills valuable to the company. Yup, you can imagine I was shocked the whole time this was happening because I felt I didn’t deserve any of it.

No one contested though and my support system was just as supportive as ever. My conclusion – when you’re feeling the same, know that none of it is true – we’re all talented, special, and capable. 🙂 We gotta stop selling ourselves short.

7. The world owes us nothing, stop being entitled to things #GaryVee

I never thought I was acting on entitlement until the day that I got annoyed because the line for our van in the terminal was long and I was so tired. I obviously wasn’t used to commuting so I was really annoyed and crying in the inside. What a spoiled brat! But kidding aside, ever since heard #GaryVee say this, I’ve been consciously catching myself every time I felt I was acting again on entitlement.

Now, this is important to understand and act on because it makes us humble. When we learn and understand that the world is just the world and it doesn’t owe us anything – say the best transportation, in my case, then I understand and become more patient. I now know that if I wanted to avoid this thing (really, it was just a long line), I should act on it – if I can. If not, then I have to accept that there are some things I cannot control. What I can control, however, is the way I act towards the situation and that is to be more patient, empathetic and understanding. Because again, at the end of the day, the world owes us nothing. 

8. It is nice to be important, but it is more important to be nice ✨

I think this speaks for itself. We all get caught up trying to be important by working on ourselves, but when it all goes down, it’s kindness that matters. 

Once upon a time – I witnessed someone I considered really smart and successful treat someone else badly. While that moment wasn’t worth remembering, it somehow put a scar on me – and I wasn’t even the one put in the bad light. It was disappointing but it was also a reminder that it didn’t matter who you were – job, position, business, class, etc. – what mattered was how you treated others. Because our words and actions have an impact, so always choose to be kind.

9. Being authentic and yourself won’t make you the most popular person in the room but it will get you the right people and connections.

This was one of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned last year. Being authentic and yourself won’t win you everybody’s approval. But it really does land – or connect – you to the right people and connections. Surround yourself with people who allow you to be you and live life in your own terms, not someone else’s. 

10. Love and be loved ❣️

2018 was a year of love and 2019 shall also be one.

Don’t be so afraid to look back – sometimes it might just help you move forward. What are the lessons you’ve learned in 2018? I wanna know! 👇🏻


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