I celebrated my 26th birthday two days ago and I just want to share with you guys a few musings I have on turning yet another year older. 😉


When I turned 21 a few years ago, I told myself that I would stop counting and just tell everyone that I’m 21 – FOREVER. Pun intended. 😉

However, I never truly stopped counting.

I guess I just realised how my life always gets better every year. A lot of great changes have come and I can truly say that I get happier every year.

At 21, I told myself I would never get married but I did – just three years later. It was fate at work. I was cynical about love but then along came my husband who changed my mindset.

At 21, I told myself that I would never work out and that I will always be happy with just being extremely skinny despite being weak and needing other people to lift things for me all the time. But now, I’m at my fittest state ever and I can really say – without any sliver of doubt – that I love my body. From how it looks to the things it can now do.

At 21, I said I would be a journalist or I’ll die trying. I said back then that I will stay in that career and climb up the network ladder no matter how cut throat the competition can be. I said that was the only life for me.

But now, 5 years later, I’m a freelance writer and events host. Oh, and I blog as a hobby. 😉 I do have my thoughts on moving forward with the blogging and turning it into something more full time. But that is still in the pipeline.

I always thought that there is always a format and a proper venue in telling stories and that I won’t have an audience unless I’m with a media company. However, here you are. And I thank you for being here and reading the things that I have to say. I hope it makes a bit of sense or that I entertain and inform you somehow. 🙂

When I left my job with the TV network then the online news agency, I thought that I’d be lost. That I’ll be nobody. That I’ll just end up being Alvin’s wife. Just a diplomat’s wife. Don’t get me wrong – I do love being a wife to a diplomat as it opens doors and it does entail interesting responsibilities for me. But I want something of my own too! It turns out that a woman can be married and not lose herself in it. She can still have her life and enjoy it. I can still be my own person and do the things that I love – writing, meeting people, talking to an audience. I just had to find the means to do it and work with those means.

I thought that I’d end up fading into what they call “marriage oblivion” and that was one of my greatest fears. I was somebody before I got married. I was a journalist in Manila and I clung to that title. That was me. It was part of my persona and I couldn’t imagine being anything else. But I won’t be a journalist anymore once we move to a different country for our posting. Who will I be? I was terrified.

But all of those fears are gone now. I’m happy that my husband has been so supportive in letting me follow my passions. That way, I can stay being the woman he fell in love with – interesting, fun, loves to try new things, and a bit crazy. His words, not mine. 😉

I love how I can help him with his work by being myself and how I can enjoy everything life has to offer. There are a bit of limitations when you’re married to a government official and when you’re from the media, there are hardly any limits. So I did have to adjust at first. But when I do think about it, these ‘limitations’ are more of guidelines that help my husband keep the integrity of his job and I’m happy to follow that. Marriage isn’t about putting each other in a cage but it’s about helping each other grow.

These days, I still contribute articles to the online news agency I worked for. I am also slated to contribute articles to a couple of magazines in Malaysia, and I have plans to (really) jumpstart this blog and maybe try my hand at video blogging since a lot of people have been requesting it.

When I was 21, I thought being married is boring and that I’ll have all the time in the world. But nowadays, I often find myself so busy and always asking the heavens to make my days longer just so I can fit everything in 24 hours. I am never ever bored. 🙂

I often find myself thankful for quiet weekends or weekends wherein Alvin and I find time to travel and explore the region – something we’ve always loved to do. I’ve always liked travelling solo and at 21, I thought that I was going to do that forever. But at 26, I now have my constant travel buddy and we’re even planning to do a couple’s trip maybe to South America with one of our closest couple friends in the next few years. But we’ll still have to find time for that.

At 21, I also told myself that I had to make up my mind. I was confused at that time. Would I have to focus on the serious stuff or the fun stuff? I thought that I could only be one kind of person. That I should put myself either in the ‘hard news’ box or the ‘lifestyle and features’ category. It’s either I was the smart and serious journalist or the fun loving one which people would often judge as a ditz since you talk about what most consider as ‘fluff’. But that’s one thing I realised – I don’t have to be just one. The society does not dictate who I am – I do. I have been both as I’ve dabbled with both types of journalism before. And I could be both for the rest of my life. I can talk about politics with my friends and write about makeup and travel. I can write about European history on a Monday and do a food review on a Tuesday. I can love both makeup and Star Wars. You should never ever limit yourself nor should you let other people put you in a box. And if they say you’re too serious or if they call you a nerd or a ditz, just brush it off. We live in a world where labels are about to go extinct anyways. 😉

At 21, I thought that if I lost some friends, I would be alone and devastated. But in the past 5 years, friends came and went. I had to walk away from some amicably and in some cases I had to burn bridges. But one thing I realised is that I would never be alone as long as I love myself and that I will always find like-minded people in the end.

As cheesy as it may sound, the bridges I burned did light the way. And at 26, I can honestly say that I just don’t have room in my life for toxic people anymore. I’m all about mature friendships. No competitions, no petty fights. I just need a handful of true friends and not a bunch of fake ones. I’m just so over it.

Cruisin' with these lovelies. 💋 Thanks for the photo, @miriam_hk! ❤️

A post shared by Almost Diplomatic (@almostdiplomatic) on

Five years ago, I also thought that I can always fill the emotional void in my life with alcohol and material things. Whatever it is that was missing, I never gave a flying fuck. I would just grab myself a drink or take a trip to the mall and buy myself something. It gave me a temporary high but it never filled the void. What it got me was a truck load of clutter, credit card debt, and a drinking problem. But at 26, I realised that what that void needed was a good conversation with my dad or a kiss on the cheek from my mom. A message from my sisters or a smile from my husband. Or one of my true and most cherished friends telling me that I shouldn’t be scared of being uprooted from Manila and starting a new life elsewhere (and every couple of years at that) since I will bloom anywhere I’m planted. There’s just so much love and support in my life right now and I couldn’t be happier.

Early on in our marriage, I would always tell my husband that getting old is one of my life’s greatest fears. But as I turn another year older, I find that getting older isn’t so bad. You find yourself wiser, happier, and stronger. Of course, that depends on the choices you make. But don’t worry – the bad decisions you made years before can be reversed as soon as you decide to live a better, happier life and start making good choices.

Well, I’m still afraid of wrinkles but there’s always moisturiser and sunblock to help me prevent that. 😉

Toodles for now, my loves. Still have to get ready for tonight’s Independence Day celebration. We’re having a fashion show featuring Filipiniana! Exciting, right? Will definitely post pictures of that. 😉

Much love!


0 comments on “Musings at 26 (and lots of #Throwback Instagram photos!)”

  1. Why am I so emotional reading this? Haha! Anyway, for the nth times, Happy (belated) Birthday again Carol! I’m glad I meet you too ;D Let’s fill your days in Malaysia with laughter, fun and lots of love <3 muah! xoxo