28 things I have learned at 28

28 things I have learned at 28

I have always wanted to write something like this and since it's my 28th birthday, I finally have an excuse. Lol. The past years have been a rollercoaster ride (I mean whose life isn't?) and I wouldn't have it any other way despite the setbacks. Because these taught me so many lessons I never knew I had to learn and made me realize things I never thought I would. And I am grateful because it led me to where I am now. So let me share to you the 28 random things and life lessons I have learned for the past 28 years.

1. Love yourself. Self-love is more than just a cliche. Others may find this idea funny but really, loving yourself is the number one thing you should learn. I love this particular line from Rhoda Byrne's The Secret and I always tell my friends this as well, "Your job is you. Unless you fill yourself up first, you have nothing to give anybody."
2. Stay in your own lane. Stop comparing yourself to others. Every one has their own timeline, strengths, achievements, and successes. Focus on doing your own thing.
3. Astrology is fun. I used to only know about what most people know—zodiac signs. But I learned that astrology is actually more than just that. I learned about natal charts, numerology, planet retrogades, and a lot more. I have been reading and listening to podcasts about astrology and I always find myself amused and amazed whenever I learn something new.
4. I can actually live without eating rice. If you have read my post about my fitness journey, you would know that I used to finish three to four cups of rice in one seating. But when I finally decided to let go of this unhealthy habit, I learned that wow, I can actually let go of rice. It was difficult at first, of course, but with determination and discipline, I was able to do it.
5. Mom guilt is real and it's okay. Fellow mamas, it's totally normal to feel guilty whenever we spend time for ourselves but know that making time for yourself is essential not just for you but for your kids and family too. And this also goes back to my point #1—self love. Just because you are a mom now doesn't mean you have to lose your identity.
6. Black coffee is really good. I used to always drink brown coffee. The more creamer or milk, the better. I used to want my coffee sweet too. I have a friend who always has her coffee black so I tried it myself. And wow, I am never going back to brown coffee again. Plus, black coffee has very minimal to zero calories and has a lot more benefits too. Now I know why they say, once you go black, you can never go back. HAHAHA. Oops, pun intended.
7. Slow down. For the past years, I have always had plans that I wanted to achieve at a certain time. And it came to a point where I wanted to achieve so many things at the same time. I pressured myself so much that I eventually got hurt and got burned out. I'm not saying you shouldn't make plans. In fact, it is important to plan for your future. But sometimes, we focus too much on planning our future that we tend to forget to enjoy our present. Slow down, trust the process, and let things unfold on its own. Enjoy life.
8. I am bad at multitasking. And I commend people who can. I'm not really efficient and productive when I try to do multiple things at the same time so I usually end up not completing any task at all.
9. Stop worrying about what other people think of you. All these years, I have lived with making decisions, doing things, and saying things while wondering what other people might say. But I'm glad I met a very good friend who is a living epitome of someone who lives the way she wants, says what she wants to say, and does what she wants to do. I have always looked up to how carefree she is and how she doesn't give a single F about what others think of her. So I told myself, "F it. I'm gonna be like her." So yeah, I stopped caring what people say about me. I don't let their judgment hold me back anymore. I realized life is so much easier, better, and more peaceful that way.
10. There is more to life than portraying a perfect image on social media. This is actually related to my previous point. Because I used to care about what people say, I tried so hard to create an almost "perfect" image on social media. I used to post only the almost "perfect" photos on my feed because I wanted to show them I'm living such a good life. So when I learned and realized how toxic that mindset was, I changed. I will post what I want to post no matter how candid and random it may be. For the past months, I have been posting photos that are really, really, really close to reality. I want my social media presence to be authentic and honest and truly represent my real life. I won't be pressured to hold up to anyone's social media standards anymore.
11. Take a break from social media. Yep. And this is very, very important. I never realized this until I decided to finally get off screen for 24 hours for the first time. I was able to finish a book within the day, I got time to do other things outside my online life, and I got to spend more time with Zayn too. So I decided to take a break from social media at least once a week and focus on things I can and want to do offline. It won't really hurt to unplug and disconnect, you know. Especially now that social media has become one of the main sources of stress, anxiety, and negativity.
12. I'd rather have a few real friends than a hundred fake friends. I mean, what's the use of having a lot of friends when you can't even count on them on your lowest times, right? And goodness, I can't even imagine being friends with someone who "loves" you when you're together but is the very first person who stabs you in the back.
13. Exercise at least three times a week. For the past years, I have never appreciated the essence of exercising. But when I started doing it, I realized how exercising helps me not only physically but mentally as well.
14. Take care of your health. We only get one body in this life so I better take care of it and make it last as long as possible. I still want to witness Zayn grow up into a fine man, you know. Haha. Like what they say, if you take care of your body, it will take care of you.
15. Always wear sunscreen. Wearing sunscreen is the MOST IMPORTANT STEP in your daily skincare routine. The sun's UVA and UVB rays can cause the premature aging of the skin and can burn your skin. And we don't want that, do we? So never take sunscreen for granted.
16. It's not difficult to start a healthy lifestyle. All these years, I have heard people saying that it's difficult to eat healthy and live healthy and I believed that. In fact, I used to agree with what they said. But you know what? It's actually not. Starting a healthy lifestyle is as easy as 1-2-3 you can start it the very second you read this. You know what's difficult? Maintaining it. Because you can always stop in the middle of your journey. So when you decide to start living healthy, ask yourself if you're doing it to really change your health habits or are you just joining the bandwagon. Because living a healthy lifestyle is a lifelong commitment.
17. Less expectations, less disappointments. Stop beating yourself up and let go of expectations most especially from people. The only person who can help you is yourself so stop expecting people to be there for you all the time.
18. It's never wrong to splurge on yourself. Becase you deserve it. You have been working so hard so it's totally okay to treat yourself sometimes. Just set a limit to know when to stop because remember, even if it's on sale, if you don't really need it, don't buy it.
19. Drink more water. I can never emphasize this enough but please, drink at least two liters of water a day and stay away from carbonated and sugary drinks.
20. Invest more on skincare than makeup. Don't get me wrong, I don't have anything against people who love makeup. All I'm trying to say is if you're willing to pay heaps for makeup then you should be as willing to spend for the right skincare products too. Taking care of your skin is as important as taking care of your body. And trust me, your older self will thank you for it. *wink*
21. Never be afraid to ask questions or ask for help. Back then, I was so afraid to ask questions or help from someone because I was afraid people might say I'm stupid. But I realized I'll be more stupid if I don't ask for help. It's not all the time you can do things alone and you can't really know everything. No man is an island so you will eventually ask someone for help.
22. I am not yet ready for marriage. Back then, whenever I see wedding films on my timeline, I felt jealous which is why I used to force the idea on my ex. When that relationship fell apart, I realized a lot of things and one is realizing that I only fell in love with the idea of walking down the aisle, wearing that white dress, and being the center of attention. But marriage is so much more than that one grandiose day. Marriage is a lifetime commitment and I realized I am not ready for it. For now.
23. It's okay not to be okay. No matter how things are doing great for you, there will always be days where you'd feel sad, scared, anxious, unmotivated, or lonely. And that's totally okay. Your feelings are meant to be acknowledged and felt. So be sad, be lonely, be scared, be anxious, be angry. Feel everything. Just know that these feelings are only temporary so just be patient and allow yourself to heal in time.
24. My primary love language is Words of Affirmation. I realized that I love getting even the tiniest bit of appreciation, praise, acknowledgment, and encouragement through words. But beware, I can tell if you're faking it or not. Haha.
25. Whining and worrying are a waste of time. But I'm not saying you can't, alright. You can always vent it out but don't dwell too much on it. It'll only cause you stress and drain your energy. Complaining and whining about what's already happened won't change anything. Accept that what's done is done, learn from it if you can, and move forward.
26. I love spending time alone. I used to always want to have someone with me to go somewhere or do something. Back then, I couldn't even eat lunch without having someone to eat with me. I used to be so dependent on people. But when I started my self-love and self-development journey, I began watching movies at the cinema alone, going on lunch or coffee dates with myself, do groceries alone, and almost anything ( except for traveling but it's on my bucket list!). I realized I love being alone. I felt free and independent. I don't have to rely on someone anymore before I can actually do anything. I still enjoy my friends' company though but I also need my space.
27. I am an omnivert. I learned about this just a few months ago when I was searching for random personality tests. I used to think I was an ambivert but I have always doubted it. You see, an ambivert is someone whose overall behavior is in between an introvert and extrovert but an omnivert is someone who can be either an introvert or an extrovert depending on the situation. When I learned about this, I instantly self-assessed myself as an omnivert. Why? Because one day I would be extremely outgoing, loud, and talk to people nonstop. And then one day I suddenly shut myself in and don't give a damn about anything in the world. I detach myself from everything. I am in extremes in both, there's no such thing as in between for me. So yes, I am an omnivert.
28. Everything happens for a reason. Yes. I know this sounds cliché and I know you have heard this countless times but this is really true. No matter how hard we work on something or how detailed our plans are, things won't always turn out the way we want it. So we get hurt, we get frustrated, and we get so disappointed that we tend to close our minds and believe that it's the end. No, my dear, it's not the end. It's just the beginning. Pick yourself up, learn from that certain experience, and move forward. Little by little, you will realize that what happened will lead you to where you are meant to be and not where you want to be. And in the end, you will be grateful that it happened because sometimes, the toughest challenges in our lives are actually blessings in disguise.


  1. Yay! You finally did it! Hahaha. And I can clearly almost relate to everything!! Especially the part about rice lol. Happy Quarantine Birthday, Janine! I hope you're well x

    Cae | http://caealen.com

    1. haha i finally had an excuse to write this! LOL. thank you, Cae! keep safe always! <3