I just realized the other night that I only have like 5 months to be 25. Next year, I will turn 26. Can you believe that? Seems like yesterday I was just an outcast kid in grade school turned cheerleader in high school, who turned out to be a singer wannabe in college, and recently, a self-confessed Millennial smacked in the middle of a quarter life crisis! Wheew!

I’m actually going to be in my mid-twenties in several months. (Well, I think I kinda already am, right?) And while taking a shower the other night (unbelievable realization really springs outta my head when I’m taking showers!), it just hit me. 

Where the hell did my early twenties go??? 

What happened to me the last 5 years? Well, probably part of the trigger is that I watched the movie “Something Borrowed” recently. The lead character celebrated her 30th birthday at the beginning of the movie and she asked herself pretty much the same question - What happened to her 20’s? She was thinking she just wasted her entire 20’s. She hates her job, she has no boyfriend and she’s actually thinking of being a cat lady. One of her friends told her that she didn’t really waste her 20’s, she just grew up. Now I’m asking myself, did I???

I have 4 more years or so to be 30. And I have these crazy things to do before I turn 30. Like going to Florida and visit the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry theme park, or dye my hair whatever I want because I told myself I would only wear black hair when I reach 30. Or wear as much denim jeans right now because I won’t be wearing denim jeans anymore when I reach 30. I told you, they are crazy! And I’m not sure if I can stick with them when the time comes. But hang on! Why am I talking about turning 30??? I’m supposed to talk about hitting 20’s! Right? Right!

25 – I’m 25 years old now. And it’s such a turning point, really. Even though I didn’t get my dream birthday party (which is dressing up like Rinoa Heartilly in her cream mini dress from the music video of Eyes on Me, and dance in a ball with Squall - or whoever dresses up like Squall), I’m still happy that I was able to celebrate it. Well, not really celebrate. Haha!

So the dream birthday party (which I haven’t told anybody about) was…to have a ball, not a really fancy one. Just enough people who care about what I want and who knows what I want. And everybody would be dancing…yeah pretty much the same as one of the scenes in the music video of Eyes on Me. Ever since I was 15, I’ve always been dreaming of such a scene. I want something like that to happen in my life. And I chose my 25th birthday for that. I was thinking I have 10 years to go to make that happen. Lots of things happened in 10 years. And on my 25th birthday, unfortunately I was walking home alone, crying in the rain, for too many reasons.

I was happy and sad at the same time. Happy that I made it to my 25th, sad that it didn’t turn out the way I imagined it 10 years ago. Kinda pathetic in a way, but the funny thing is that I’m thinking that somewhere out there there’s a video camera recording that scene. I was walking in a dark parking lot, I see some lamp posts, and I took the late night bus going back to my dormitory. You can choose your own bummer song to play in your head while imagining this scene. I was shaking my head as I get off the bus and as I walked through another dark street. 'This isn’t happening", I whispered to myself.

But it was real. The sadness was real. And it made me human. I was happy in a way that I never imagined I can bear that kind of sadness. It didn’t kill me, I was able to sleep on it. Ha!

But flash forward to months after that ‘dramatic birthday’. Now, I’m back to reminiscing what really happened before I turned 25???

And here’s what…

Age 20 – I graduated from college. I took the board exam, I passed. I went on my first job interview; I didn’t get a call back because apparently I dominated the interview - pretty much. I kept sending resumes online, got a few calls, turned down some because the locations of the offices aren’t convenient for me. Got ecstatic about one, decided to take an exam, and the office is very close to where I was living that time. I passed the written exams and other interviews, didn’t get through the medical exam because apparently, I have tuberculosis which shocked the hell out of me (for about 2 minutes) and because that was my first chest X-ray ever. I went through months of treatment before coming back again to the same company.

Age 21 – After months of treatment, and making vain videos and posting them on Youtube, I finally got in my first company, which didn’t last very long. I met some cool people and I learned a lot from that 3 and a half months of work. But one day, I just decided, I’m done with it – I quit! I thought I wanted to write or work for a magazine or at a hotel, so, I sent out resumes, went to interviews, changed my mind and went back to nothing!

Age 22 – I landed on my second job, but I was a bum for a few months before landing on this second job. This also lasted for about 3 months. I worked with a friend from college, met more people, learned a lot more, but not sure if I wanna do that kind of thing forever. Took a break, became a bum again, and decided to come back to the seasonal job - I gave it another 3 months.

Age 23 – Sent out a resume, trying to get a job in my second company again for the summer of 2011, apparently I wasn’t in the list of those who would be given another chance to work there. I sent more resumes, but this time for online teaching. Went to interviews, didn’t make the cut in one company, didn’t accept one because it’s quite far and turned down another one because it’s located on the first floor of the building and I won’t have a reason to use the lifts, so, NO! I almost accepted one job offer but I noticed that the cubicles aren’t big enough and the divisions were like as thin as paper folders, so, NO! I tried to take an exam and interview from another company, same industry – online teaching. Not bad!

I got my 3rd job a couple of months after I turned 23. I freaked out the first 3 days, then, I’m good. Met awesome people, learned a hell lot more, learned to live on own and finally started paying rent. This was the time when I really felt like “I’m an adult; I’m paying and worrying about rent. Cool!" I started living with total strangers, not quite shocking though. There are pros and cons, you just gotta learn how to look at the brighter side of things.

This was also the time when I started working on this “book” that may or may not be published in this lifetime. But when I got stuck on one chapter, I decided to create a blog instead. My blog (iamcyndrel.blogspot.com) is where I put my random thoughts. I also call it my cyber toilet. If number 1 is pee and number 2 is poo, then writing/posting in my blog is what I call NUMBER 3!

Age 24 – The adventure continues. Still working for my 3rd company, shockingly! Really inhaling life - a time when I can go wherever I want as long as it’s within my budget. This is a time when I can meet whoever I want to meet, talk to whoever I want to talk to, and sleep as long as I want as long as I’m not at work. Apparently, I was falling in love with the job, and call me crazy when I say this but I wasn’t having Monday blues. Basically because I get enough time to rest because for the first time ever in my work history, I was only working for 8 hours a day. I don’t worry about anything at all after logging out from work. I get to live my life!

Age 25 – I was in denial in the first two weeks after my 25th birthday. I was still bummed with the fact that NOTHING COOL happened at all that day. Plus, something went wrong with the work schedule, it messed up my sleeping habits and I am pissed as hell every single day. I don’t feel productive at all and I keep barking at people. I had a major headache that scared the hell out of me, I had to see a neurologist and I was given an anti-anxiety pill to tone down my DRAGON behavior. The job that I look forward to every morning eventually turned out to be a torture. I tried to bargain for my old schedule but my request was denied, so, I had to look for a way out. I went back to sending out resumes, actually just one this time. Sometime in April 2013, days after I sent out my resume, I got a call from the company. I spent the whole month of May 2013 trying to work on my documents – everything happened too fast. I barely sleep anymore trying to do everything as soon as possible. And I was able to do it! 

My last day at my 3rd company was May 24th, 2013. Had I stayed for just one more week, I would have worked there for exactly 2 years, training days not included. I enjoyed the work, up to my last day there – but I just had to take a break from the poor sleeping habits. I’ve had enough of that. Good quality sleep is really a big issue for me. I needed a job that would let me get enough sleep to do what I have to do. That’s how I landed on my 4th job here in China.

Although, I think I went too far. Haha!

(Originally written on September 11, 2013)


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