I am 20. I’ve never been out later than midnight. When I do so, my father sermons me till 3:00 am. 20 and with a curfew. Life sucks. Graduating very soon though. Looking forward to a career in brand management and marketing. Where should I apply? I’d love to work for Unilever and Procter and Gamble. Extracurricular takes up a lot of my time, and I lead one of the biggest organizations in school. Bored with my classes though. I miss the days when we’d sleep 3 to 4 hours a day, and still feel energized in the morning. I am optimistic of the future, and my 5-year plan.

21 years old. Never been kissed, never been drunk, never had a boyfriend, never been asked up to a man’s apartment, never experienced a lot of things. I was ignorant yet ironically, happy in my ignorance. 5-year plan thwarted. I apply for a scholarship to study Mandarin in Taiwan. Somehow, gets it. I didn’t even apply for a job in Manila. I pack my things and hop on a plane with two pieces of luggage and nothing else but courage and a sense of adventure. Shell offers me a job one day after I leave. Wonder what life would’ve been if I’ve accepted their offer.

I am 22. Does puking mean that I’ve already experienced what drunk has been like? Okay, fine. Then I can still proudly say that I’ve never had a hung-over. Water does wonders in getting rid of the toxins. I’ve been kissed though. So this is what making out feels like. First kisses are overrated. I didn’t really hear fireworks or bells ringing. However, I did feel my heart race, two weeks later. It’s too late. He’s gone. And I miss him.

23 years old. He’s with me, technically. But I still feel empty. Is this what unrequited love feels like? My Chinese is a lot better than when I first started. At the very least, I can converse in kindergarten Mandarin and people can start to understand me albeit the Japanese accent. I apply to my first job, go to the interview and gets it. The package they offer is almost double of my scholarship. Finally, a yuppie.

24 years old. Single again. Cry, moan, meet two cute men. Recover fast. Meet another cute man who I can really talk to. Recover even faster. I am busy with work, and even busier outside work. Happy and content. Got the rug taken out from under my feet though. Heartbroken. I realize I am not as strong as I seem to be. My friends are there for me. They tell me to quit cold turkey but who believes them? Hurt myself even more then finally realized that I love and respect myself more and deserve better. I stop crying then move on.

25 years old. Aussie guy. Man, he is manly. Somehow breaks his heart, then he manages to break mine. Aussie guy shows me his real colors. Glad we never hooked up. Would’ve been interesting though. I am even busier with volunteer work. Social life a flurry and I’m into more things it’ll make your head spin. People have to book 2 weeks beforehand to hang out with me. Not that I’m a diva, just that I’m busy 24/7. I club. Party. Enjoy life. Gets bored. Is this what life is all about? I need more challenge in my life.

26. Find a new job. A whirlwind of opportunities. I am energized again. Started dating or shall we say hang out with several eligible bachelors. Somehow, they almost always ask me up after the first date. Argh. My friend says I have a look that says “I can tire you out” or whatever that means. Where did they get that idea? See 20 when you know I come from a conservative background. Nobody believes me. They think I’m just flirting with them. Investment banker, one bigger regret. I thought about him tonight while showering. I wonder if he’s thinking about me? I miss him, even though there wasn’t us in the first place. Ironic, ain’t it?

27 and knowing that I’m damn good at what I do. I feel comfortable being by myself now. Totally understand Aussie guy when he said that one needs to have time for oneself as well. Studied for a major exam. Passed. Exhilarated. Waiting for the next one. Started putting on makeup. Need the help. Applying for B-school but often distracted with other things. Addicted to Facebook. Shit. Trying to find a good work life balance. Kinda failed. A handful of guys asking me up again. Jeez, what is this and guys who think I’m easy? At the very least, they keep on getting cuter. I still turn them down. It’s all part of the process, and I like to take things slow.

To be continued…

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