May 24, 2021

Today I turned 25, and as monumental and life-changing as I thought it would be, it seemed like an ordinary day to me. Well, I already celebrated last weekend. My mother rented a villa, and I spent my birthday weekend with the people that mattered most to me: my family. This was the second year in a row that I’m spending my birthday back home in the Philippines—the first one didn’t really count because we were on lockdown, so yeah.

Now, before I get all sentimental and sappy, I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you to all of you who have joined me on my escapades all around the world. I had a dream to go through all of the continents in the world, and so far, I’m only missing two more (Australia and Antarctica). Maybe I’ll get to fulfill this dream, but if not, I’m grateful for all of the memories I got to spend running around this beautiful world of ours. It’s been one heck of a ride, but maybe it’s time to pause and reflect and think what my next steps would be.

I started blogging when I was learning how to write, or when I was trying to figure out what it meant to be a real ‘writer.’ I was a teenager, barely an adult, but I had a vision of what the next few years would’ve been like. Oh goodness, my first blog was chaotic! I think it was on Blogspot, then I moved to Tumblr, then to WordPress, before I ended up getting my own domain. Life had thrown some pretty hard rocks at me before I got to where I am now. Truthfully, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I had a dream, and I wanted to share my adventures with anybody who would listen or take the time to read it. As time passes by, I got readers all over the world. I lived for the thrill of it all, and whether I admitted it or not, I craved to be known. Let’s face it, who would set up a blog and not dream of being well-known one day? As much as I’d like to admit to that fact, well, it’s just that—it’s a fact.

However, as I turned 25, I realised that there was more to life than simply being well-known or being a globally competent content creator. Obviously, this is something that I’ll always do, and I get to do it at my awesome full-time job every single day! I may try and pause from creating content for Following Paraluman, but I’ll never stop writing. This is basically impossible to do because I write every day, whether for this blog, for work, or for my journal. Writing is a part of me, and it’s something that I’ll always hold dear. Being a writer was something that I’ve dreamt of for so long, and now I can proudly say that I am one. So what’s next?

As I reached my mid-twenties, I learned some things about myself and about the life that I want to live onto the next quarter of my life. I think it was the noughties when I started blogging, and it was when the internet was booming, and social media was at its early stages. Everybody was eager to share their lives online, and I was definitely one of those people. However, as I grew older, I realised that I didn’t have to share this much about myself, and people didn’t need to know certain aspects of my life. I knew which worked and which aspects I should always keep private. It’s been a tough journey, but I did learn, and that’s all that matters.

I used to blame social media for the downfall of my last relationship. Maybe I thought that I shared too much about the personal bits of my innermost circles, and it somehow backfired. Then again, I realised that my last relationship wouldn’t stand the test of distance if it weren’t for social media. So whether I liked it or not, I had to learn how to treat it as my worst enemy and my best friend. I had to learn how to distance myself from it and how to keep it close enough to let my future relationships flourish.

When I entered my early twenties, it was as if I didn’t know myself at all. I had just moved to a completely new city, my relationship was not in its best shape, and I struggled with my mental health. It wasn’t the prettiest sight, but I needed to go through that. My shaky past was what got me through my steady present. If I didn’t go through that, maybe I wouldn’t learn the things that I needed to learn to know myself a bit more. The struggles were necessary to keep me afloat, and it was pivotal for my own self-growth.

As I enter into my mid-twenties, I am confident of myself and of what I bring to the table. I’m so proud of the artist that I’ve become, and I can’t wait to see what the next quarter has in store for my career. I can safely say that I know myself enough to know what kind of daughter, sister, friend, worker, and artist I am. Then, I also know myself enough to know what kind of lover and mother I’d eventually become. The latter is something that I’d have to wait for because I’m finally ready to wait and trust the process.

There are so many things that I want to say, but I guess I’ll save it for another time. My decision to pause from blogging is something that I’ve thought of hard and clear, and it’s something that I know will help me immensely too. This is not the end; this is just me taking a break. Maybe if I get an idea next week, I’ll post another blog post, but maybe I’ll take my time. It’s not easy to think of content and work a full-time job as a creative, but I’ve managed to do both. Now, it’s not that I’m choosing sides. I want to focus on my career and on the other things that I want to venture upon. I’ve been blogging for a decade, so maybe it’s time to do something new. Maybe. Maybe not.

So many things are headed my way, and there are so many things that I want to fulfill in the next quarter of my life. I want to start and finish my postgraduate degree, I want to see all seven continents eventually, I want my career to flourish, and maybe if I get lucky, I’ll fall in love again, and I won’t be scared of putting my 100% in it this time. The truth is, I’m scared to fall in love because I’ve been single for so long (wow, five years), and I don’t know how to navigate with another person depending on me or me depending on him. Then again, if he’s the right one, I’m sure it’ll be a smooth ride. We’ll see what happens, but that’s on my manifestation list for the next quarter. I do have an idea of who I want it to be (and maybe if he sees this, he’ll know), but if not, it’s okay too.

In the next quarter, I’m trying hard not to be scared of falling in love, and I’m trying my best to balance my work and life situation in order to enjoy everything that life has to offer. These are some of the things that I’ve struggled with in my early twenties, and I’m sure that my mid-twenties will be a better learning block. I’m really looking forward to it!

Today I turned 25, and as much as I love parties and surprises and giving people gifts, I was extremely glad that I got to spend it alone. After all, today, we’re celebrating everything about me, and who else would I rather spend today with, right? So, ’til the next, friends, and thanks for joining me on my journey!

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!'”

Isaiah 6:8 NIV

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