things and thirties

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Remembrances from my twenties past. This often happens: I would look for something and end up unearthing tin boxes with an assortment of tiny things. Sometimes, inside the tin box would be another, smaller tin box housing more stuvves. It’s like that scene towards the end of Amelie when the character rediscovers the content of a tin box from his childhood. That’s me minus the tears because these are not stuff from my childhood anyway. Ha ha! But I would spare a few minutes to recall how and when I got some of the things. In this box are handmade pins from the crafters at the Art in the Park and 10-a Alabama, tiny mismatched earrings pasalubong from a friend from Korea, a smiling fork (part of a set) that I had charmed an ex to get for me, a little red bow clip that I wore on my very first trip to Japan. The only ancient thing in this set is the Tare Panda magnet, a Christmas gift from my sister when I was 14 or 15 and collecting anything panda. I have outgrown acquiring things that I don’t need, but I don’t think I’d ever outgrow the joy of unearthing these little surprises every now and then. That’s the little girl in me.  

My exact age as I write this: 31 years, four months, and three days old. Some days it still feels surreal that I’m already in my thirties. Lol (Hnggh I had acquired “Lol” to annoy a colleague and now I can’t get rid of it. So much for maturing. L_L.) Life happens and days pass and years swing by in a flash. I am in my thirties and it is inevitable. I’d like to think I’m still in the transition phase. But, to my surprise, I am gradually seeing the light. *stop me from blurting another L_L*.

I’ll skip the “age is just a number” cliche. Figures are a fact of life. But let me just express that I am starting to embrace this decade of my life. While it’s true that I cannot do certain things anymore – for instance, staying up all night for a racquette and report to work without a yawn to show for it, while nowadays this tita has to stay plastado in bed to recover from an all-nighter – a lot of things stay the same. With the combination of genes, luck, and effort, thankfully wrinkles, crow’s feet, and unwanted flabs are not yet showing (please take your time. I wouldn’t mind if you never show up.).

Unlike in my twenties, I am now inclined to choose my battles and learn to appropriate care more carefully.  Energy, along with time, is crucial. I don’t feel the need to explain myself to everyone anymore. I don’t have to prove I am right all the time.

I also know myself a lot better now. I’ve become more intuitive and more vocal about what I want and what I think I deserve, and surprisingly, that’s when the universe starts giving me exactly what I ask for. All right, maybe not exactly and definitely not all the time, but there is palpable magic to being specific about what you want and being receptive to the possibilities. Which leads me to the importance of being flexible. Let the Big Guy up there execute his grand plans his way and not the way you picture it to unfold.

Being in my thirties also has an impact on how I acquire things. Granted, I was never a shopaholic and brand-conscious (My designer pieces – Isabel Marant, Marc Jacobs, Alberta Ferreti, CDG, Diane von Furstenberg, Tsumori Chisato etc – are all proud ukay acquisitions.) but I was guilty of buying little things I hardly need. I had enough clothes, home stuff, and trinkets to last me approximately four lifetimes. I remember when I was 24, I was going crazy at the Chatuchak market in Bangkok that my friends had to literally pull me away from the trinket aisle for my own good. Ha ha!

Fortunately, despite my tendency to acquire, getting rid of the unnecessary was never a problem because de-cluttering was stress therapy for me.  I had given away batches of more- than-decent clothes and shoes and a slew of other things in huge volumes. On one occasion, I had someone sell some of the better ones for me, for less than a hundred pesos each. Not bad, really, but she wasn’t able to sell some of the clothes because of the limiting size (I wear a size zero / small / xs / xxs, depending on the brand) so those went to our laundry lady’s tween daughter named Generous/ Jenny Rose /Generose, my most constant beneficiary. Sometimes, when she would tag along with her mom, I’d get a bit taken aback seeing her wearing very familiar clothes. Hee hee.

I’ve been much more discerning now. I’ve been investing in good-quality things that I could wear over and over again. Yes, even after that dress or that top has been Instagrammed. But then, this is just part of the big picture. It is important to point out that my fashion sense has undergone a significant shift through the years. It’s not like I had a closet overhaul overnight, but gradually, I would add more and more “adult” clothes to it until one day, in search of something bright to wear, I was face-palmed by a selection of neutrals and muted tones. Where have all my crazy-patterned skirts and quirky, colorful dresses gone? I miss them sometimes, but I am loving my current choices. Me and my quirky, pattern-orgy outfits – We had a good run from college to late twenties but it’s time to move on. Nuhks.

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