Damn. The big two-eight. I've always written a blog for my birthday, but at the moment... I have no idea what to write about.

I feel like life has taken a weird turn that's made me numb to certain things. With this whole COVID-19 scare the world is in, the only emotions I often feel are either frustration (at the government) or neutral happiness (not too happy but not too sad either?). Some relationships had to be dropped within the last few months and I've had to adjust with life as an actual adult.

I recently opened my Penzu diary and read an entry for April 6, 2017. I was not happy then. I was talking crap about being more mature and writing about my life plans. Utter. Crap.

The more I read my past entries and the closer I got to 2019, the harder I sounded. Back when I first started blogging in 2009, I sounded so chirpy. My writing was cheerful and idiotically positive. My only worries then were passing the exams, finding my place in extra-curricular activities and organizations in college, when I'd be meeting up with friends at Starbucks, and what planner I should be using for the next year.

While these were things I was interested in and worked hard on, 2020 'me' felt the cringe. I found myself almost wanting to delete those records. Yeah, yeah - I was naive and young at the time. Of course I can't take my past opinions against me. I guess it's just that when you've gone through some things, your past becomes... an awful reminder of what you used to be, naive and without a care in the world. We're way past that now.

In the last year alone, I had to make decisions that more or less damaged real-life friendships all in the name of financial stability. Yeah. I can't say I'm sorry about it because the bills were getting paid monthly, but I am sorry for having to keep things from people that had become close. My family always comes first.

So. Twenty-eight. Holy crap.

It's funny because 10 years ago I was determined that by 25, I would be a millionaire. Right now, it feels more like I'm a millionaire of things I've done wrong, time I've squandered, and opportunities I've wasted. I'm not sad, and I feel like my depression is becoming more manageable because of the people around me. I've just needed to become a harsher critic to myself. I'd rather hurt myself than be hurt by other people you know?

I understand why people in their 30s (mostly) don't give a crap about a lot of things. It's possible I'm also reaching that point where I can't be bothered by other people's opinions about me anymore. As long as I'm providing for my family, I have friends I can be myself with, my career is going great, and I'm doing self-care on the daily, I'm good.

Public image... that used to scare me a lot. Really. How would I want to be remembered or described as? Would it matter in such a small town? What if I moved to another country for good? Would it matter then?

I used to get bullied in high school for different things, and at the time, I felt like I wanted to die. (I'd even done the research about which would be the quickest way to go.) Every time I was in a community or network of people and I didn't feel good about myself or I felt that the friendships weren't genuine, I'd feel like a loser and didn't deserve to exist.

That got me thinking. My feelings were dependent on my community. Wherever I was, it would feel like that was the only world that existed, and anything beyond that is imaginary. I started pushing myself to think bigger picture.

You see, if I left Naga City for example, no one would give a crap. My absence wouldn't shatter the city or the people living in it, so if I left, why should I feel bad? In a few years' time, your footprints would fade (if you're not a politician or big-name celebrity) and all you have left are the memories of events in your perspective.

Perspective can change your reaction to something. When people get 'triggered', what does that mean? It always has something to do with self-reflection. You see an event as offensive to you, but for others who may be in a situation where it's actually beneficial to them (and they didn't commit a crime against you or anyone), what should you have against it?

(This is what happens when I have no concrete topic for a blog post. I just rant everywhere, haha.)

Everyone's too sensitive about everything these days. You should always tread lightly on every little thing, and it's pissing me off. Be passionate about what you believe in, but if it's on something trivial, please find another place to focus that energy at.

If I didn't need social media for work, I'd quit. Honestly. But social media's a powerful tool to reach people now more than ever. It's also a place where hate plays in. I wonder what would happen if every social media app went down all at the same time?

So. Twenty-eight.

I'm busy with work and lots of side-projects at the moment, and I've never been so thankful for every opportunity that's come my way after that fateful decision 1-2 years back. It may have cost a few necessary sacrifices along the way, but like I said, the world is bigger than where you are. Your situation? That's just a blip in your history. If I hadn't said 'yes' to that chance years ago, I don't even know how we would be faring in this pandemic right now. That's the truth.

I've always said that family was the most important thing for me. It still very much is. Friendships fade but family is forever.

Happy birthday.