Dear girls of the world,
Have you ever felt that your surrounding seems so loud and noisy, but there is no actual noise that your ears can hear? Is it just our brain? Are we overthinking? Maybe yes or no, but for sure you will agree that society has so much noise of expectations of what and where we need to be in life. And whether we like to admit it or not, these societal expectations are plaguing us, plaguing us to the point that we even doubt our own selves. Crawling feelings of shame deep down our veins often stem from what other people think. For women, shame is this tangled chain of unobtainable expectations. Even competing, conflicting noise of societal expectations of who we are supposed to be.
How’s the future going to be if I do this or that? If I choose this and that? Is it for the long term? Do you see a future in it? These are the questions I constantly ask myself in everything that I do in the past years. I’d like to believe that I am still in my early 20s or as young as a teen that saying I like him or I want this and that immediately could be exciting and easy to do. Then if things end or I don’t like it anymore, I can quickly move forward and not just move on.
When we are young, life seems so much easier because we are still guided, very curious, and is in a learning stage where we are less scared to try different things. But for a 30-year-old woman like me, I always have this feeling that I am expected to have everything figured out by now. At my age, it is no longer the question of “do you like him, this and that?”. It is more of “do you see a future?” And by that, if you feel me, I’m putting too much pressure on myself. I feel like my life has an hourglass that is putting every stage of it in timer. That at a certain age, I should be accomplishing and attaining something. That by this age I have bought my own house, saved millions in my bank account, have a fiance to settle down, or already married and raising my children, have stable high paying job, or a good career, and the list goes on— tick tock tick tock. I wish I have figured everything out for myself by now, but to be honest, I do not know. What I know is I am a 30-year-old woman, solo traveling the world and raising the Philippine flag one country at a time. All I know is I am living my life the way I know, and I am happy.
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I seem to be doing well in the physical world, yes. If you know me, probably I am one of the most optimistic, happy people you’ve ever met. Always smiling, never a sign of worry nor overthinking. A very chill person, but I guess not. For the past years, the future keeps bugging me, and I am not going to deny it. No matter how many detours I make not to be affected by societal expectations, still it gets me. At the end of the day when I am alone in the quiet cold room, lying in my bed, looking at the ceiling, my brain is non-stop analyzing, wondering, running, questioning. It’s deafening inside my head. It’s my everyday battle, and it is a tough one. But you know what’s important? It is still facing the struggle while embracing your vulnerability at the same time. Let yourself be vulnerable. It’s part of being human. And it’s okay because vulnerability is courage, not a weakness. It is the most accurate measurement of courage. And it is through vulnerability that we share empathy with the world. It gives us a better understanding that all of us have differences, and have our own stages. That we do not have to compete against each other, and we do not have to race for success. Living your life on your own phase, doing the things that you are really passionate about and attaining what you really want to become is way fulfilling than trying to conform with society’s expectations and deadline even when you are not yet ready.
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If there is one thing I’ve done, and I continue to do that I am very proud of is that I invest in my passion and continue just to be me. The saying “Follow Your Dreams” is I think overrated, and for a reason, that following your dreams is not enough because you have to invest in them. When I say invest in your passion doesn’t only involve money, but it is about vulnerability, resilience, and most especially grit. It is a tough world out there but go ahead, invest in your passion! If you like to sing, but people say you do not have the voice and singing doesn’t pay the bill, get yourself the best voice coach to help you! If you like to dance, take that class! If you want to be a painter, go ahead stroke those brushes with all your heart! Train yourself. Do not just practice but perfect practice. One of my mentors said that perfect practice makes perfect. But Yvette, nothing in this world is perfect. Says who? Society. Exactly, so I guess the way to success is the mindset and effort for your goals. Your perseverance and passion will make it perfect. The journey will sometimes be painful and can also break your heart, but keep going and be resilient. Your success is all in your grit!
Dear girls of the world, the world needs you to be you so be you! Keep shining bright doing what you love and of course, live the best life on your own phase!