This 90s Kid is Ready to Take on the World… or Not

by Aileen
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birthday cupcake

Today, I am 31 and proud. To celebrate the occasion, here’s a list of lessons and realizations I’d like to share with you from my yesteryears.

1. When you stop seeing something, it doesn’t mean it’s not there

Remember that lesson on childhood development about object permanence? Turned out to be handy when I was moving from place to place. I used to think that when I don’t see people for a long time, they stop being part of my life. Thank heavens I had been wrong because I would have lost some awesome friends.

2. Figuring things out in grade school, high school, and college is difficult

– but not when you have the gang of Sweet Valley Kids, Sweet Valley High, and SVU helping you through the motions. I even secretly wished I had a twin sister I can exchange lives with from time to time.

3. When things get crazy, it’s okay to find a way to escape

Calvin and Hobbes

with Calvin, Hobbes, and even Spaceman Spiff.

4. There is no better way to celebrate the weekend than with awesome friends

– and the T.G.I.S. barkada.

I grew up in a boring neighborhood with nothing exciting to do for the adolescent me. Please forgive me if my only sources of entertainment back then were Wacks, Peachy, Cris, Kiko, Micky, Iñaki, and Ice.

5. No amount of tequila can cure your first broken heart

Please don’t sulk about your first failed relationship longer than you actually had it. Trust me: It. just. isn’t. worth. all. the. tears.

6. You will never be able to hide the fact that you went to an all-girls Catholic school

I went to a co-ed school in college and everyone who discovered I came from a school run by nuns just couldn’t stop asking me about it, so I decided to just keep it to myself.

When you’re the only one who knows how to play the recorder (the musical instrument) and how to dance the Irish Lilt, however, you’re busted. Additionally, it’s a dead giveaway if you wear chemise and pantylet as if you’re life depended on it and you know how to determine  if you have the right length of skirt just by looking at it.

Up to this day, I still wear pantylet or shorts under my skirt.

7. Determination is the only thing that will make you quit

success kid

If you want to stop, just stop. Whether it’s quitting smoking, drinking, or a dysfunctional relationship, you just have to do it. There is no easy way around it. You just have to bear the pain because at the end of it all, a better day is waiting for you.

8. You’ll lost count of the number of embarrassing moments you have

Hey, don’t be too hard on yourself. As you get older, you’ll learn to laugh things off.

9. Dating is the best way to learn how to handle employment rejections

Dating is like finding a job. If you don’t have the right qualities, you won’t get the position. The more you know how to handle rejections, the better you’ll survive the corporate world. Just remember, most of the time, it’s not you; it’s them.

10. You can’t just throw friendships away

Stop looking for reasons people deserve to be in your life. Pause and think if you deserve to be in theirs. Friendship is a two-way thing. You’d have to do your share to nurture relationships.

Life hasn’t always been nice to me, but it has been amazing this far. Some people have left me, but many have decided to stay. I’ve missed many opportunities, but I’ve taken a lot of great ones, too. Today, I shall throw caution to the wind take myself a bit more lightly, laugh a bit more often, and take a bit more risks because (I don’t want to say this, but there’s no better ending to this post) like the kids today say, you only live once.


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