Sequel of Life: Reflections on Turning 26

📢 Disclaimer: this is going to be a long cringy post. I apologize in advance.

Apparently, I wrote in my calendar that I wanted to do a birthday post right on August 20th (my birthday), because that’s what all the bloggers normally do, right? And finally the day came, today I’m turning 26, have no idea what I’m doing, probably never will — and that’s okay. 
Bluntly speaking, birthdays are not something that I make a big deal about for myself, but more of a blast for the people I know. I love making parties, buying presents, doing surprises, and birthday cakes for my favorite friends. I’m all about celebrating others’ birthday – just because no one really gave me any of these things, except my family.
I think there is something particularly scary about turning 26. None other than the fact that I’m now closer to my 10-year high school reunion (will be in 2022) than I am to my high school graduation back in 2012 (7 years ago!). Time really flies, huh. Maybe it’s because I recently forgot who my eleventh-grade Pharmacology teacher was and spent a few minutes on my school’s website trying to remember the name of pharmacology-old-guy-with-thick-glasses-who-consistently-told-lame-jokes (shout out to Mister Mardjuki!).
I know, somehow it is pitiful (or lame, lol). But now that I’m no longer an eighteen, I feel like it’s not something I should be sad about. My energy should not be spent looking back about my past. Now that I’m turning 26, my past is less and less relevant to me, isn’t that it, eh?

Hang on, I just really wanted to make this a funny one because hey it’s 26 and let me explain it… 26 is not funny at all, guys. Wasn’t it just yesterday I was turning 21!? And I wish it was only my 17th birthday, too. At least then I would not be closer to the hazy 30. And as I turn the dusty corner of 25 to 26, I thought it was the perfect time to jot down and share my 26 precious thoughts in my life so far, merely because I want you to understand and reflect to it from my point of view.
So, here we go…

1. I live just like my peers. At her 26 (back in 1996), my mom got a husband, one son (was pregnant with another one), a stable job, and a house. At my 26, I am living in my mom’s house and talk with my cats every day. Lol. Don’t be in such a rush. Look at my peers. I live just like them, the millennial.
2. I’m old enough to be treated like an adult, but still young enough to make mistakes without being justified for them. (And I’m still a junior in my office, so it’s a yoo-hoo for me.)
3. I’m at that weird age where anyone under 22 seems really young to me. And oh God, why am I saying things like “When I was your age….” Make it stop.
4. This is the age where those same teens ask me, “How old are you, bro?” and I secretly cheer when they guess (my age) younger than I actually am.
5. I would still give into my inner child if he calls. Sometimes, I still feel like I’m a 5-year old boy. And yet, I still feel unchanged. I say this because when my life isn’t playful or bright, it’s like I lose a part of what really makes me happy. I’m able to recharge just by watching cartoons, reading comic books, coloring pictures, playing mobile games, or even cooking in a messy kitchen with my little brother.

6. I got rid of toxic people and it’s awesome. A year ago, I bid farewell to few toxic people in my life: stopped responding to negativity and cut ties with them. I’ve never been happier ever since. Truly.
7. This year is for my career. I’m in a good place in my life generally and hopefully not looking to get married and have kids anytime soon, I’m excited to see where my career can go. (And psst... I want to go abroad before tying the knot!)
8. People in my field are really starting to respect me and value my knowledge. I work in a university scale now, and working with people with extraordinary knowledge amazes me every time. They know how to respect ideas.
9. I have plans to travel abroad this year. Still saving money for it though. I want to see as much of the world as I can, dream big they said.
10. I have a savings account. Not much, but I plan to save consistently.
11. And I started investing my money. Not in a risky way, of course. I wouldn’t be that blunt.
12. For me, life choices feel much more… serious. At this age, it’s almost like I feel like I no longer have enough time to make mistakes. Small or big.
13. Being single is not as lonely as you think. I’ve had so much time to work on bettering who I am and reflect on my experiences and actions, even when it hurts.
14. Everyone else is having babies. I have friends who are still struggling to finish their study; friends who are still dating like high-schoolers; friends who have just married; and friends who already own 3 kids. Oh God, what a weird age.
15. Karma exists. I repeat. Karma exists.
16. Backup anything important. Good bye to my reckless self, now I make copies, over and over. And most importantly — I press save.
17. I bought a fluffy grey fur rug for my bedroom. That’s a funny thing to be excited about, isn’t it? But it’s big, soft, and silky and I love to spend my 24 hours laying on it.
18. I finally bought all Harry Potter books (and started to read them wholeheartedly of course). I used to be a lazy reader and only willing to watch its movies. Turns out that the books gave more complicated but amazing things than the movies. Hogwarts will always be my magic escape whenever I need time to recharge and cast my Expecto Patronum.

19. And I bought a new motorcycle. Not much, but he’s red and so cool.

20. Best friends aren’t “forever” like people said. But, I was lucky to spend so much of my life with friends who I called my best friends for years at a time. I treasure them a lot.

21. I’m really starting to see the value in family. As I get older, my family truly becomes more and more valuable. I’ve realized how important it is to call, just to talk, even when I don’t feel like it.

22. I could finally eat fried grasshoppers. This thing haunted me (or tempted me?) for many years. And actually it was very tasty. Now I know why some people love this sweet and spicy snack.
23. I’m redesigning my blog. I’m thinking of a bit simpler design and content, for new bloggers to easily chew on my pages. Still figuring out how to execute these ideas though. (Ooh, and I’ve got Google Ad Sense's approval, too.)
24. I’m still a hopeless romantic. I (still) fall in love with almost everything. This saddens me sometimes, this part of me might be due to the way I perceive the world - in a dream-like, wishy-washy, perhaps unrealistic manner.
25. I’m starting to realize that I need my daily alone time. Over the past year, I’ve learned that I need some alone time to really get my mind together. Being with people all the time can be energy-draining. Do you ever feel like this?

26. This is just the beginning. There are better things ahead and it’s just going to get better if I keep positive and work at my goals. 26 shouldn’t be a scary thing, right? To conclude, Happy Birthday to me. 🎉


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