Tick-tock to 30

By: Donnavi Fadriquela - @inquirerdotnet - Columnist/Philippine Daily Inquirer | November 21,2022 - 08:01 AM

I’m six months away from my 30th birthday.

I have always wanted to submit an entry to Young Blood since I was in my early 20s. But guess what, we like procrastination.

Turns out that when you reach the age of 30, you’re already considered an adult, like a butterfly that has already passed the larvae stage, ready to fend for itself.

I couldn’t agree more. Thirty, biologically speaking, is already a full adult, with bills to pay and a family to feed. In my case, I am still single, and lucky that I am not the breadwinner of the family. The only mouths I have to feed are my pets’.

Though I don’t have a heavy load to carry, I would still constantly hear the clock ticking as I approach the inevitable 30.

Tick-tock, tick-tock … for the bills I have to pay, and the papers I need to submit on time.

Tick-tock, tick-tock … for realizing that as I get older, my parents are getting older, too. Lines on their faces are now becoming more and more visible, despite using different anti-aging creams.

Tick-tock, tick-tock … for the promises I made to my parents when I was younger. I told them that someday, we’ll have our own house and our own car. Boy, I thought it was going to be easy. I’m even struggling to pay my own rent.

Tick-tock, tick-tock … for the dreams that are now drifting away from me, and slowly becoming harder and harder to recall and realize.

Tick-tock, tick-tock … for the bouquets I should have caught at every friend’s wedding I attended. The wedding bells are already ringing for most of my peers, and here I am, walking my dog in the morning, and waiting for her to pee.

Tick-tock, tick-tock … for those sleepless nights when I asked myself: Have I seen enough places? When will my passport get stamped? What have I done for myself lately? Am I living my life wisely?Tick-tock, tick-tock … for those days, weeks, and months that have passed when I felt being constantly measured by numbers. My age, my savings, my degree, my income, and even my weight. Not to mention, the number of likes and shares I sometimes count to measure how valid my feelings are.

Then, there’s here, there, and everywhere!

I am created by God with only two hands and one body, but it feels like I should be here, there, and everywhere—doing a couple of things, juggling my time, and extending my arms like an octopus with eight tentacles. Are 24 hours really enough?

Then one day, I was asked, what have you achieved in your 20s? Probably, one of the hardest questions that I have to answer.

What have I achieved?

It’s like hitting a quick rewind to that moment I marched down the aisle wearing my black toga.

There’s nothing extravagant to share about after I graduated. I don’t have my own house and car. I only have a small amount of savings and haven’t been in any romantic relationship yet. So, what have I achieved so far? Getting my professional license, I guess?

And then … I stopped all the nonsense thoughts because I realized that I can’t stop the clock from ticking. I can only be in my 20s once and what has passed already passed. I contemplated and realized that due dates and deadlines taught me to be accountable and responsible for my obligations. Life is fragile so I have to take all the opportunity to show my parents the love and care that they deserve as they face their twilight years.

It’s not too late yet to fulfill my promises to my parents, and I still have time to make them proud by taking action one step at a time. I can still make room for improvement by constantly challenging myself to be a better version of myself. I don’t need to compete in catching the bouquet at any wedding because love is something that I can’t rush, especially if I want it to last forever. My age, my savings, my degree, my income, my weight, and even the number of likes and shares that I get don’t define who I am and these are none of anyone’s business.

Lastly, I am in control of my life as long as I keep my feet grounded, value my time, and stay faithful to our God.

So going back to the question, “What have I achieved so far?” The answer is experience and wisdom.

Now that I am approaching my 30s, I realized that 30 is not the end of it all. It is a beautiful age where we can start over again without going back to square one; a wonderful chapter that marks the beginning of an adventure to continue celebrating life.

Thirty simply says that it is never too late to set another dream and strive for it because if 30 is the deadline, then what a short life it is to live.

Donnavi Fadriquela, 29, is an introvert who enjoys reflecting on life by sharing her takeaways as a novice podcaster at “C’est La Vie, Donnavi.”

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TAGS: 30, 30s, adult, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, experience, older, Promises, THIRTY, tick-tock, wisdom, younger

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