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So this is what it feels to be 35. 

While some would shudder at the thought of the big 30, my former boss told me to enjoy this phase because this is the life stage wherein the world is your oyster. You can mastermind your life—live freely, boldly and passionately while achieving your purpose. 

In your 30s, it’s the tipping point. It sits on edge of two polarizing truths: you have aces up your sleeve to YOLO but at the same time adulting just got real. 

The past years had many twists and turns. But it also came with wisdom, enlightenment, and inspiration in mammoth proportions. I picked these up at work, from new people I’ve made friends with, book listings I’ve ticked, conversations with my constants, and of course from the school of hard knocks that is life. Sometimes I catch myself thinking and saying that at this age…

1. You begin to rethink on competing. You instead start inspiring—most especially the young guns. You have a soft spot for them because you see a great deal of yourself in them.

2. You are more self-aware. You recognize that your weaknesses are equally important as your strengths and you work it toward your advantage.

3. You are rigorous and vigorous about the things you want and the things you don’t want.

4. You are empowered and curious and bursting with vitality. You relentlessly rattle the monster’s cage.

5. You no longer have the mental wherewithal to worry about what people think and say about you.

6. Self-respect and self-worth are priceless gifts you give to yourself.

7. The point of life is to give yourself to yourself. – Montaigne #SelfCare #SelfLove

8. You never compromise your well-being even if people make a fuss about it.

9. Body shaming is an apology other people are afraid to say to themselves.

10. Behind a confident woman is another equally confident woman. We should all lift each other up and stop the cycle of judging each other unfairly by how one thinks, talks, dresses and behaves.

11. Have composure. Check your posture.

12. You no longer aim to be mindful. You are #Mindful

13. Authenticity is being, not showing. – Inang

14. It’s an aberration to see people trumpet their purpose, causes, advocacies for the less fortunate they hardly even know while refusing genuine kindness towards familiar faces they encounter everyday.

15. You are a tiger with [impeccable] table manners. – Nev Malubay

16. Some people choose to hide the oppressive weight of problems they carry everyday because it might pull the team down or dampen a loved one’s spirit. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have feelings.

17. You carefully choose your own battles. Sometimes, silence also meant you’re wielding the sword.

18. You can’t choose the situation, but you can always choose your response. – Nev Malubay

19. You are the master of your own destiny. You can engineer your future and decide when to get married, have kids, be a unicorn, and so on.

20. You have an unshakable core belief. Nothing can faze you, gaslight you or change what you stand for.

21. After trial and error, the next step is correction. The first two are not on repeat.

22. If you’re not afraid, don’t do it.

23. At the end of the day, a job is a job. It pays the bills. But it won’t save your life or your soul or your relationship/s. You work to live not the other way around.

24. Time is gold. Time is money. Time could either be your friend or enemy. There is rhyme and reason as to why time is ALWAYS of the essence. Respect it and the people who commit to it everyday.

25. Never trust people who are always late. – Mom

26. 50% of your future lies on the man you will marry. Make the other 50% count. – Mom

27. Not everyone deserves your kindness. Save it for those who truly deserve it.

28. Suffering isn’t punishment. It’s a catalyst.

29. You make the best decisions when you’re financially independent. – Taryn Yap

30. Ambition is not a dirty word. Complacency is.

31. Always choose the path where you can grow.

32. Always find the golden mean—that happy spot where your passion and purpose rest perfectly.

33. Good mentors can be found anywhere if you are open, humble and accepting.

34. You’ve found out that the myth of doing it all is after all a myth.

35. The saying women age while men season is also a myth. #Feminist #HopeYouAreToo

Well, these are just my top lines. I think I have about 89 more.  which one spoke more to you?

While my fine lines are becoming too visible, my bones are getting rickety and more and more people are calling me Tita Miki, I wouldn’t trade these for all the life wisdom I have gained from this supercharged, super crazy and super fun time of my life!

Miki Espe is a marketing maven who has handled some of the country’s lifestyle brands ranging from retail to content. When offline, you would find her working out in a Pilates studio, redesigning her and fiancé’s humble abode, puttering around her walk-in closet or curling up with a good e-book.

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