Don’t be too obsessed with your age. Sure, with the current road that you’re taking, you will graduate from your second degree when you’re 26. Most of your friends in the same age group will (probably) already be successful. Some might even have their own families. But it’s okay. Age is just a number. Repeat that a million times or until you believe it, whichever comes first.
Don’t be too preoccupied with timelines. People grow in different phases. Some live their lives fully in their 20s. I guess you’ll be a late bloomer and enjoy yours in your 30s. Ever heard of “40s is the new 30s”? Yeah, that’s possible. Never mind being a cougar.
Don’t be too sad that you’re a people-pleaser. The adjective connotes a negative meaning but maybe if you look at it from a different perspective, it can be translated as being just too sensitive of others.
Though please stop fretting over the approval of others. This is your main problem. Instead of seeking the approval of mere mortals, why not work towards a life that is pleasing to God? Yep, it’s easier said than done so work on that.
With relation to the above, don’t be too afraid that “friends” will leave the instant you show them you’re capable of being anything but nice. Hey, those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
Don’t be too guilty if you laugh at corny jokes or cry over shallow movies. Yeah, sometimes it’s only 40% funny and 60% courtesy but who cares? Just laugh anyway. Also, stop feeling bad if you’re the only one who thinks the exam was easy. And don’t think that you’re arrogant just because you say thank you when someone compliments you.
Don’t be too preoccupied with the so-called FOMO or fear of missing out. Sure, it sucks to be left out. It sucks to see pictures of your friends having fun sans you in social media sites but it won’t kill you. Maybe you spent the time doing more important things or you’re saving up or you’re taking a much needed rest. Point is you’re making a different memory. Just like what a close friend always says, “hindi naman magkakadikit ang bituka niyo”.
Don’t quit just because of one obstacle or two or a dozen. Now you realize that pursuing what you want isn’t fun 24/7. There are still doubts, what ifs and all those other ugly thoughts and feelings. They linger. They don’t disappear the moment you make a decision. Instead, they just lurk around and wait for the perfect time to resurface and attack.
Don’t be too scared to disappoint people. By doing so you’ll know who’ll stick with you when it gets tough. Friendships don’t happen in a vacuum. You don’t always get along. You don’t always like each other. But those who value you will make an effort to see past everything you’re not and everything you cannot do.
Don’t be too stringy with your trust. I know you have trust issues but you will not feel totally free unless you trust. A few years ago I received a message saying love is like handing someone a gun, having him point it at your heart and trusting him to never pull the trigger. I tell you, let them pull the trigger. Your blood will be in their hands.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Don’t sulk over the fact that you’re far from what you want to be, from where you imagined yourself will be, from what is expected of you based on the faith you profess. Remember: you’re a work in progress. You cannot change yourself alone.
Do appreciate where you are. What you have achieved. Things you learned. Experiences you had. Pains you felt. Let those things fuel your desire to be more, to do more, to live more (snatched from a Rexona ad haha!).