My 20’s have been grueling, transformative and liberating. I’ve written about the most important lessons I’ve learned in my 20’s which is by far one of my favorite posts on GabarIskuFilan. I opened my first bank account, financed my first car, applied for my first passport, negotiated my salary for the first time and went on my first solo trip to Costa Rica. However, there were a few things I knew I didn’t want to happen during my 20’s. I didn’t want to be a martyr like my mother and grandmother. The life I have now would cease to exist if I wasn’t wary of this generational curse.
I knew I wanted to graduate from college, travel, become financially independent and live a life of my own choosing. I wanted to pursue my dreams of becoming a writer, further my education and exercise absolute control over my destiny. Self-determination, freedom, and autonomy were my goals. We live in a world where the wage gap, anti-choice laws, and student debt restrict women from living fulfilling and self-determined lives. Theorizing about various frameworks, providing statistics and discussing policies is crucial. However, it’s money that ultimately keeps women in bondage.
At 28, I am autonomous, fearless and financially independent. I tolerate less. I have the freedom to roam alone, wear whatever I choose, date whomever and pursue the career I actually want. I can’t describe what it’s like to drive a car with the title in my name. I inspire women worldwide to break free from traditions, relationships and institutions that prevent them from embracing the life of their own choosing. I recognize the luxury of being able to live the life I’ve chosen because my survival is not contingent upon others. This is why I believe financial freedom is key. I was willing to get into student debt, work two jobs and delay milestones for this freedom. I was also willing to disappoint people and lose relationships to pursue the life I’ve chosen. I’ve realized that breaking mental chains is harder than systemic ones.
As the eldest immigrant daughter, I did not own my 20’s. Until now, my life was spent juggling financial responsibilities and childrearing associated with a surrogate father role. Will my life only be damage control? Why am I depriving myself of the life I actually want when I know I’ll never be rewarded for it? I will devote the remaining years of my 20’s to my personal, professional and financial development. I plan to change careers, move across the country and turn GabarIskuFilan into an enterprise. My 30’s will be everything my 20’s were not. I look forward to documenting my life with more travel, financial stability, career opportunities, and milestones. I am ready for a new life to happen to me.