The Selfish Years: Making The Most Out Of Your 20s

Hello, twenty-year-old (or not) person!

Here’s something I wrote nearly two years ago on Buzzfeed, and I’m sharing this again, because these were some realisations I had back then and re-reading (and re-writing) them now, I feel like I did enjoy my twenties, and still am enjoying it (very much).

Anyway, the real reason why I’m sharing this is that I only have one year (and two months to be exact) till I turn thirty.

Omagaaaaaaa!!!! *send help*

With some friends my brother and I got to meet in Bacolod, 2011 (c) Michael V Manalo

With some friends my brother and I got to meet in Bacolod, 2011 (c) Michael V Manalo


You, you, and more about you.

That's gonna be a decade of being selfish and a decade of exploring all about yourself.

It's time where we can take time to ourselves without feeling like we're letting anyone down. We're old enough to finally buy our own liquor but young enough to still ask our parents for money when we're too broke to afford it. But never too young to keep chasing our dreams and applying for that dream job.

Be a "Yes, Man"

Take every possibility that comes your way. Whether it's a small opportunity or a cross-country internship, take it. This is the time of our lives where we can experience it all. So just take it. You can always say no when a better opportunity comes along.

Have lunch by yourself

Yeah, Pretty much. *shrugs*

This is the only relationship that you need to work on in your 20s---yourself. Okay, this is where it's gonna sound selfish; but "you first before anyone else"(for now). Whether it's dinner or a movie by yourself or just a long bubble bath, don't forget to take some me-time every now and then. Because eventually there won't be any more couch dates with Netflix when you're thirty and have a spouse and kids.

And I do enjoy it, by the way. Me and my movies, pizza, and wine...IN.MY.ROOM coz it’s that intimate! This is actually what I look forward to the most on my weekends  (if I’m not (t)werking).


Quit when you want to quit

People in their 20s do amazing things. These people, however, didn't get to where they are by taking on every task possible. If you feel like you're drowning in responsibilities, organizations or credit hours, don't be afraid to drop some of them at some point. You're no God. There's no shame in managing your time and realizing what's most important.

Been there, done that. Quit my job at Disneyland more than a year ago, and now teaching, writing and running a publication and whatever stuff I wish to work on--following my passion, I guess. But don’t get me wrong, Disney was fun. The downtime was great, but the “call-in sick-anytime” was always memorable (that time). HAHA!

Guess I can say that now since I no longer work there.


Apply to your dream job

Nothing to lose. Apply and apply, and the worst thing that could happen is that you get rejected but use it as a motivation to keep working even harder.

It pretty much sucks to be constantly broke, and not have any clue of what we're doing with our lives, and eat instant noodles for dinner every night, but we'll never be as free as we are right now. So I guess, we just have to embrace our selfish years for now before we have a house and three kids to worry about.


I Did.

I applied and applied and applied to numerous dance companies, publication companies. But one day, I realised that what I really really wanted was to be the boss of my own company or as they say, “be the CEO your mom wanted you to marry”---that’s who I really want to be. I have filled up that position and working hard on it at the most that I can. (disclaimer: future husband doesn't have to be a CEO. Just like what Nick Carter and the gang said in 1997 with sickass dance moves, "As Long As You Love Me....babyyyy"). 

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I guess I could say that I have pretty much made the most I could in my early twenties, and I still am at twenty-eight. 

I also think that I have always been scared of getting old, not because of the wrinkles but because of a load of responsibilities that can cause those wrinkles.

But last year, a friend from Singapore whom I have met from my travels asked me “are you happy?” I said, “I am”. And he told me that there’s nothing to worry about, as long as I’m enjoying life.’ And just last week, I met up with some friends who were both in their late forties (but one looked like a twelve-year-old boy.) and asked me how old I’m turning this year, and I rolled my eyes and said “29”. But one of them said that there’s nothing to worry about, and told me, “the older you get, the wiser you become”. True.

I wouldn’t say that I like to get older now, but instead, I’ll take it and wouldn’t regret it. Enjoy what I have now, and be patient enough to wait for what (or who) is to come. *wink wink*

Just like the song I used to listen to when I was a kid…”Que sera, sera..whatever will be, will be”