On Things I wasn’t Allowed to do as a Teen

Yes, I’m in my mid-thirties. I now check that age bracket that makes me feel much older than I really am. One of my favorite things being this age though, is this list of things I can now freely do. Things that I would not have been able to do as a teen. Full disclosure though: my parents weren’t all that strict. That, or I just always did my own thing regardless of circumstance. So, maybe “not allowed” doesn’t really apply here. Either way, here’s the list of things I came up with. All of which I did in this, my 35th year of life.


I think I’ve been saying I wanted a tattoo since I was in college. I just never actually did it. That wasn’t me. I’ve always been the type to just go and do. I had an assortment of reasons why not (yet). I didn’t know what to get. What if I like the design now, but not later? What if I get bored with it? What if I hated it? Realizing this was the only thing I never followed through on, I finally bit the bullet and had it done. Thanks @curiouswiji for popping my tattoo cherry!


At 16, I don’t think I’d ever consider buying that designer bag or uberly expensive gadget. I had no cash, no credit card. My parents would never splurge on anything that cost more than my high school tuition. At 35 though, spending on the finer things in life on my own dime is an accomplishment in itself. And let me tell you, there is no guilt there. At all.


Okay, fine. I do have a whole lot of piercings already. I got my second lobe piercings when I was 13, with my Mom dragging me to the mall to get them, no less. Then, I got my cartilage piercing at 17, when I first came back to Manila for Spring Break after moving to the US. This time though, I actually sought out a particular piercer (Hello, Josh!), picked an unusual spot on my ear to pierce, chose my own jewelry, and did not go the piercing gun route. Crazy how the piercing which took all but a couple seconds to get done seems like a bigger commitment than the tattoo on my shoulder. It’s taking forever to fully heal!


Okay, okay, okay. I HAVE moved out (many times) and lived on my own (many times). I counted, and this new home is actually the 13th address I’ll have in my life. Of all the moves I’ve done, I feel like this is different. Moving to Alaska for college was not my choice. Moving to NYC was an attempt at chasing my dream job. All the moves within the Queens was for lower rent. Moving back to Alaska was the recession’s fault. Moving back to the Philippines was to try living here as an adult. All the moves were “tests” to see if it were a good fit. This is the first time for me to move into a space I was in love with, into a place I carefully selected, for several reasons that were all my own.


The last few months have been about getting a new business, Make Space Today, up and running. As much as I would have encouraged the younger me to get into business, I don’t think I would have been able to manage. This wasn’t my childhood lemonade stand anymore. I’ve been referring to Make Space Today as my first “real” business, and I’m so so glad to be a part of it.


I absolutely love traveling. I love exploring new place and cities alone even more. While my parents have shipped me off to America alone at 12, I was never roaming around strange places without some relative with me. In the last year, I’ve gone out to new places in my lonesome by choice. Getting lost is one of my favorite thrills in life, and I don’t think that’ll ever get old.


Do you have anything to add to this list? Let me know! 🙂

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