1. You turn 26 this year and that basically puts you under the mid- or late 20s category.
2. Which also means you have to start acting like an adult. And #adulting is very hard. On days when you just can't deal with shit, you look around and go "There must be a responsible adult in the room who can deal with this situation better!"
3. Until you realize "Oh shit, I AM the adult in the room."
4. Everyone around you is in a long-term, super committed relationship. Which is fine, but sometimes you feel like you're the only single, 25-year-old Pinay out there. Like, where do all the hot, 25-year-old guys hang out? Are they all in long-term, super committed relationships? Are they on Tinder? Are they gay? Do they hang out in Starbucks? Where they at, huh?
5. You don't have a problem with being single because life is great. But there are days when you just feel you are going to die alone with a dozen cats. Those days are usually when your titas ask you, "Kailan ka ba magkaka-boyfriend?"
6. This is obvious, but you are no longer 20. You cannot party until 5 a.m. on a weeknight and report to work four hours later looking like you run the world. This is just not physically and emotionally possible.
7. And since you can no longer party like it's 2010, the only thing you wanna do is stay home on a Friday night and binge-watch on iFlix/Netflix. Where the real party's at.
8. That one time you went to Valkyrie, everyone was 21. That ONE guy who hit on you just turned 18. Actually, debut pala niya 'yun.
9. Brunch is a thing with the barkada now. Y'all used to hang out in McDonald's at 3 a.m. after partying in whatever bar was uso then, but now y'all are just old and prefer quiet mornings in...Mary Grace. "Tapos coffee after, G?"
10. You're basically the same age as Kim Chiu, Megan Young, and Serena Dalrymple. Kim Chiu now has a three-storey and four-bedroom home she built for her family in Quezon City. Megan Young became the first Pinay to win Miss World in 2013. Serena Dalrymple was one of the country's most promising child stars in the '90s. She quit showbiz but now has a Master's degree in International Business from London. So yeah, what have you done with your life?
11. Your Facebook newsfeed is full of friends getting 1. engaged and/or 2. married. Your batchmate Stephanie got married last weekend in Tagaytay and she got Jason Magbanua to shoot her wedding. She has now moved to a fancy-looking condo in Rockwell.
12. Meanwhile, you are still poor.
13. Ang dami kasing bills! Fresh from college, mom and dad felt sorry for you when you couldn't afford to pay your bills with your first paycheck. But you've been working for approximately four years now, so there must be...a million pesos in your bank account. Right?
15. You've learned what kind of clothes work for your body type. Shopping isn't easy, that's for sure. But you've stopped trying every imaginable fashion trend. You are so over those printed sandos that you can only wear during a music fest. You cringe when you see throwback photos of yourself wearing—gasp!—a flower crown.
16. There is a great need to exercise. Yeah, that sisig and shawarma combo you ate over the weekend just bloated your cheeks and you now look like a siopao. Your metabolism is slow AF.
17. #PapayatDinAkoHumandaKayo2016 is your official hashtag.
18. There is constant pressure to find a job you are irrevocably in love with. People assume you're in a committed relationship with your job and you're climbing the corporate ladder to be The Next Best Thing.
19. Truthfully, you're stuck in limbo and don't know what to do. You've been working for the same company, doing the same thing for years, and you just feel like you're going in circles. "Where does this all lead to?" is something you ask yourself every damn day.
20. People expect you can walk in stilettos. You can't.
21. You've unfollowed and unfriended people on Facebook and Instagram and you DGAF about it. Not everyone is worth the double tap.
22. You've cut your social circle in half. And that's okay. Not everyone in your life is meant to stay. The ones who do are worth 10 a.m. brunch plans and coffee runs. You have fewer friends you don't get to see all the time, but when you do it's like nothing has changed.
23. You're more careful about where you put your money. At 21, you blew your paycheck on lots of alcohol, shopping sprees, and travel plans, but now you're more meticulous about savings. You're not exactly saving up for marriage or kids, but the thought that you have enough money in the bank in case shit hits the fan reassures you that your life is on track.
24. There's a lot of unfinished business and it's unsettling. When you turn 25 there's a biological timebomb in your body that goes off and reminds you that there is still something that you have to do. You can't escape it because it's in the Google Calendar Of Life. (Ask women in their late 20s or early 30s to explain this, it's a real thing.)
25. Hence, quarter-life crisis is very, very real. Not all 24/25/26-year-old women have the same kind of quarter-life crisis, but it happens and it comes in all shapes and sizes. Some break up with their long-term boyfriend because they just "need something more." Others quit their jobs or start their own passion projects.
26. But you know what? The struggle to grow up and be an adult is real, but the best thing about being born in 1990 is you have nothing to lose. At 25, you're brave, impulsive, yet you still make calculated decisions based on what you think is good for your #future. Whatever it is you want to do, do it. It is never too late to chase after old dreams—or find new ones.
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