Cat-eye Sunglasses, Turtle Neck Chiffon Top, and Bangle: Forever 21 | Scarf Print Silk Trousers: Apartment8 | Cream and Gold Clutch: Accessorize | Snakeskin Peeptoe Sandals: LAMB | Gold Earrings: H&M
While catching up with one of my best friends yesterday (my travel and shopping partner: Weesa), in between bites of luxurious Truffle Chocolate Cake from Mary Grace (at St. Luke’s Global), we both came to a realization that we are at a point in both our lives where we feel the need to just cut back and withdraw from all that is unimportant, and to focus on the essentials.
In what sense, one might ask. In all possible senses and aspects, of course.
Gone are the days when we can afford to be frivolous; days when we can be careless, impulsive, and negligent altogether, and days when we don’t have to discern our daily choices and our daily acts.
Eventually, you grow out of it. It’s the casualty of maturing, I think. When a person isn’t yet exposed to the real world at its purest form, is inexperienced about life in general, hasn’t met all sorts of people, and is oblivious to disappointments and failures, the tendency is for the person to be a bit more reckless. Maybe that’s why they say the young (and the uneducated) are ignorant (consequently, there’s also a saying that goes: ignorance is bliss.).
At 23, I am working to build a name for myself. “How do you want to be remembered?” is a thought that’s constantly on my mind. I’ve always been the ambitious one, ask my grade school teachers. I’ve always wanted to leave an imprint of myself in the world–I was that eccentric child scribbling my name in various facades whenever I’d travel, the same one writing random messages in empty coke bottles and setting them out to the open sea–thinking that both acts were tantamount to leaving tiny parts of myself.
Nowadays, I’m a little bit less strange. Like most people, I just want to be nothing short of “brilliant.” I want to impart something that will benefit a lot, not necessarily in the field of blogging and advertising per se, and definitely not through shallow achievements. Some people have their own dreams and ambitions, mine are a little bit rough around the edges but I know for a fact that I want to partake in an endeavor with a higher purpose.
To get there, I think, I really have to reconsider all parts of my life and stick to what is essential. I am learning to discriminate the various investments I’ve made, knowing when to cut a few loose when the losses outweigh the benefits.
Here’s how I manage to trim everything down to what is important.
On Fashion: In my quest for cultivating and fortifying my own style for example, I have to invest in articles of clothing that are timeless and exquisitely made. Cost is of no concern anymore so as long as the items I buy are those that transcend the normal day-to-day casual wear; ones that I can wear in various occasions, repeatedly, and without implications. This year alone, I’ve cut back on my cheap retail thrills and reallocated my funds on designer garbs, bespoke garments, and real leather goods. Once in a while, I indulge and buy trendy items but I make sure that it’s something I will utilize until I get a positive ROI (or return of income). I’m also always on the look-out for unique pieces and bargains, but at the end of the day, so as long as the item I purchase will make me happy, I’ll go for it.
On Beauty: Like in fashion, I have to make sure to stick to what is effective and simple. Cost is of no concern again, because honestly, I’ve realized throughout the years, that although cheap makeup will serve its purpose, its lasting power is disappointing, and the finish is not as refined as I would want it to be. Right now, I’m crazy about looking natural and retaining just the basics–enough red on the cheeks, enough shimmer on the eyes, and a flawless, glowing complexion–emphasizing my assets rather than trying to look edgy. To take it a step further, I take my beauty regimen seriously wherein I wash my face every morning, remove my makeup completely in the evening to let my pores breathe, then I set my face with a toner afterwards to remove excess dirt, I put on a moisturizer to keep the skin moisturized and to avoid wrinkles, and finally, medicating it when I get a pimple or two.
On Health: I have a voracious appetite, admittedly, and I tend to enjoy unhealthy food in general. Because I cannot avoid my distaste for greens, I try to take vitamins religiously to encourage a healthier immune system. Because I am still young, I’ve managed to maintain a healthy metabolism, which I’ve developed from back when I was active in athletics, but because I need a failsafe to manage my weight, I exercise when I can (remember), I take wheatgrass at night to cleanse my colon, and finally, I take A!Life (click this hyperlink to read my review on it) to block unnecessary calories (for when I binge on 3,000 calorie meals).
On Love: As I’ve told all of my friends rather candidly, I don’t venture into relationships if I don’t see it going anywhere. The person has to be for keeps and the person has to be someone I can connect with in various levels. I’ve made mistakes in the past which I could chalk up to as experience and likewise, if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be as giving in my current relationship, and I wouldn’t have pitched in much effort in correcting my shortcomings. Because I’m already in a happy relationship, the focus is to maintain a healthy rapport with one another. We try to cultivate similar interests, agree to disagree when necessary, open communication lines, and to be endlessly supportive of one another. However, the focal point of the relationship is “trust”–the so-called essential; you have to trust in your partner’s capabilities and you have to trust that your partner loves you and wants what is best for you.
On Friendship: This is the tricky part–I used to take pride in having lots of friends. I knew a lot of people and I hung out with a variety of groups. These days, the meaning of “friendship” is open to interpretation. Recently, I’ve learned, that what defines a true friend, is having someone you’re willing to entrust your life with, someone whose life you’re willing to save in turn as well, and someone who won’t ever divulge your deepest, innermost secrets and use it against you in case of an impending rift. Given this, I ended up letting go of a lot of people, retaining only those who are essential to me as a person, and those who promote positivity and sincerity. The friends I have now are those who will go out of their way to spend time with me despite their busy schedules, ones who won’t reach out only when they need something (favors, benefits, or expanding their network), the very people who will call me out for my mistakes but will have my back anyway, people who won’t be resentful of me, people whose intentions I won’t ever doubt, people who value my opinion, and people who genuinely care. These are the friends I can count on for the rest of my life–they know who they are (I’ve talked to each one recently), so thank you.
At the end of the day, I count myself lucky. My life isn’t perfect but it’s fabulous and I’m pretty certain I won’t have it any other way. I’m in control of things, I am empowered, I have all that I need with me, and I continue to make decisions in it that have proved to be fruitful.
I’m slowly making my mark.
How about you?
My household help taking the photos asked me when she took this shot, “Why do you always pose with one of your arms raised up?”
With a smile, I replied, “Why not?”
Why not, indeed. Have a pleasant weekend!