Paw turns 22 🐾🎈🍰

June 24th 2018

Surprise, you’re 21!

I kicked off my year of being 21 in style – flying above the city of my dreams on a tiny plane. I think this was what defined the year to come: being unapologetically myself. This, of course, translated to… being extra – extra asf.

My year of being 21 involved me continuously getting comfortable with making myself uncomfortable, it started with overcoming the fear I have of heights by flying (I’ve conquered a *piece* of this fear now, not completely there yet) followed by the other side of the spectrum: conquering my fear of standing up in front of people to share my thoughts and story at events and online daily because I didn’t want to hide away anymore, ashamed of who I am and what I believe in.

I used my best qualities to my advantage and committed to levelling up on every aspect of life. I will always be proud of myself for these achievements and making the most of my year of being 21.

I don’t know about you but I’m feelin’…

I’m excited to discover more about myself, others and life generally in the year of being 22. I wanted to share some of my goals in another year of my twenties, they mainly echo my new year’s goals – online world, keep me accountable!

👩🏻‍🔧 Take on more Responsibility

My first goal is related to the fact that I face a big change – a new chapter in just a few days…

i.e. be a real adult, Pauline!

I’m moving out soon and need to be more mindful of daily tasks and finances that I may have taken for granted living with my parents. i.e. stop buying Gymshark – yep, even if it is purple. 😂

🌠 Self-Development

I want to continue my self-development journey, I have lots of momentum – let’s use it to keep learning and actioning!

  • find out things I’m the best at and make the most out of it
  • understand the things I suck at and improve on them

And to religiously remind myself to never get too comfortable with anything – keep exploring new territories:

  • Create more videos – recording in public is awkward but hey, I captured the moment 😉
  • Step up and speak at a few more public speaking gigs on different topics – with at least one that will terrify me (because of audience size or because it’s very important to me)

💪🏼 Optimise my Health

I want to continue earning my sparkles #pawgainz – not because I hate my body, but because I love it. Movement is health. Health is at the core of everything in life. I am proud of how committed I have been (almost been 2 years of consistent commitment to health!) My main goals:

  • Improve upper body strength
  • Improve mobility and flexibility
  • Keep movin’ and grooovvvin’ 🕺🏻

⚡ Pay it Forward… some more.

I want to continue creating a positive impact and contributions that help inspire others on my projects, my job, my online jazz and my local and global communities. I particularly want to contribute more to the Women in Tech and People of Colour communities to help fight bias and unfairness in society. (This is very important to me 💖)

I also want to teach what I know, I have had the opportunity to do this with Code First: Girls but in addition to teaching coding skills, I want to explore:

  • Teaching digital/creative skills – everything from social media, blogging, using Photoshop, specific things I’m good at e.g. editing photos or videos.
  • Teaching how to commit to health e.g. through meditation/food/moving/workout workshops? groups? Not sure! Something online in addition to my blog – a series maybe?
  • Passing on actionable knowledge for my journey that has worked for me (so far) including my career search, my side-hustles and university experience.

The list goes on, but I want to teach what I know from going through them myself. I loved what I had contributed to with Code First: Girls and want to give back in a similar way in different aspects of life!

📊 A less-blurry vision of my career

I want to have a clearer idea of where I want to go with my professional life. I definitely identify as a Multi-Hyphenate – being good at lots of things! But should I focus on a set career path? What works for me – is it freelance? What value can I truly bring to a company?

This is something I’m still scratching my head over. I know loads of people are still trying to figure their career out and I don’t expect to have an “ah-ha!” moment when I reach 23, but a clearer vision is what I’m aiming for.

👩🏻‍💻 Sharpened Skills

It sort of goes hand in hand with the above, but I want to sharpen my digital skills especially in front-end development (Javascript, I got my eye on you!) and editing and producing (especially video)

This, in turn, allows me to provide more value when I teach (see above!)

🤔 Pick up something new

I haven’t completely decided what this is exactly, but I want it to be completely different to everything I do now. I would say singing, but let’s be real – that’s never going to happen! 😆 I guess… stay tuned, you will know when I start obsessing over something.

👨‍👩‍👧‍👧 Quality time with other humans IRL – disconnect to reconnect

Because of how digital everything is now, I sometimes forget to talk to people…IRL. I am going to be the first to admit that sometimes I text my brother things when he’s just downstairs – surely I’m not the only one? I want to focus on disconnecting more often to reconnect with my loved ones.

That means no phones, screens, just another wonderful human!

🇵🇭 Dig up my roots

I embarrassingly don’t know much about my origin.

When people ask me about the Philippines, I stare blankly back at them waiting for them to give me somewhat of an insight. My year of being 22 will be digging up my roots, understanding it from the Philippine history and traditions to why Jollibee is the best thing that has ever existed.

Maybe it’s time to make a quick trip…

I have always felt that my identity is similar to my skill set i.e. it dips into so many things. I want to grow more confident in explaining where I’m from… The Philippines with Spanish family but grew up in a little place in the UK where I can speak in the strong accent when asked. And this will, of course, help me understand myself in on a deeper level. Afterall…

*cue dramatic music*

That come what may,
I know the way,

I am Moana Pauline

Thank you to all those who have wished me a happy birthday 😊❤, I’m off to celebrate with cake, chocolate and lots of kale smoothies because hey, this is me. 😆

Thank you for the reminder, Matt 💖

Thank you for the reminder, Matt 💖

Leave a reply


  1. Sakurasays

    Happy birthday, Pauline! I’m sure you will do well in many years to come. But be warned! Things won’t be smooth sailing, especially in the first few years of your career. In fact, things will be really tough because there are definitely going to have people who will be there to make your life difficult. They may not mean that way but trust me, their existence is going to make you stronger and better as you march into your career.

    Indeed, behind every successful woman is herself (and maybe a bunch of friends who are there for her when she needs them).

    1. Thanks Sakura! 🙂 I understand it’s not always rainbows, in fact in 2016, I had the worse year of my life and that was what pioneered me to change my mindset and look for the rainbows when there are none. I still stand by this today!

  2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY LADY! I always love reading your reflections and goals because they get ME so motivated. Everything is so spot on and inspiring! And yes haha, moving out is a big kick in the but when it comes to budgeting but you’ve got this :). One of my favorites was your goal to continue giving back. I love your focus on that and it makes me want to find more ways that we can give back too. A little time from everyone given to their community would make a huge difference. And of course, THE GAINS! You’ve kicked so much booty in these years, we can’t wait to see you continue to do so in 22 (also, BEST T-swift song ever). Hope you had plenty of time to celebrate, you deserve it!

    Susie |

    1. WORD. I’ve had that song on repeat since I turned 22 – haha!

      I find so much joy in giving back and want to continue to do so in different aspects! It’s so rewarding and fulfilling 🤗 Sometimes when I think to myself what I was “put” on this world to do, I genuinely think giving back is one of them. Thanks for the wishes and constant love!! 💖

  3. Wishing you an amazing Birthday girl 😀 Sending love and light and keep shining the way you do 😀
    With love,

    Patricia & Miguel

    1. Thanks both! 🙂

  4. Cindysays

    Happy birthday Pauline! 22 is such a monumental year, especially as you’re makin’ moves in your career and life. I’m rooting for you. 🙂

    1. Thanks Cindy!

  5. Catsays

    Happy (belated) Birthday, Pauline!! I think you’re going to do awesome on your goals, and I liked reading the ones that really focus on yourself. Good luck on moving out! It was kind of weird the first time I did it in college, but I quickly found myself loving the independence, even if it was more work and responsibility. My mom even wanted me to move back home after I graduated, and I couldn’t do it!

    I think it’s great that you want to continue your positive contributions, and I think it’s ok to still be scratching your head about your career path. It makes sense to want a clearer vision, but it’s amazing how much things can change over the years! It’s ok to take your time on that!

    I feel you about wanting to know more about your origin. I’ve been to China a few times and know some things, but I’m sure there’s much more about Chinese history and culture that I could know, especially when it comes to my own family history.

    I hope you had an awesome birthday, and good luck with everything!

    1. Thanks Cat! 🤗 I’ll be documenting everything on here including things I’ve learnt about my origin, I think it’s so important!

  6. Nancysays

    Happy 22nd birthday! It’s great that you keep on pushing yourself to new heights. Keep on doing great and continue to reap the rewards :). It’s important to help others reach and go beyond their potential whenever possible.

    As far as career goes, hopefully you’ll figure out what you really want to do. You define your own success :). YES on spending more quality time up front. It’s great to have access to technology but not at the cost of some interpersonal skills. Hope you’ll have a great year ahead!

    1. Thanks so much Nancy! 🤗

  7. Thaosays

    Happy birthday! 22 is so fun! Everything is new and exciting! Moving out is a major change. I still have the daily struggle with figuring out how to feed myself sometimes. And being active when you have a sedentary lifestyle! It’s a challenge! It was all easier in college when I had so much extra time (even though it didn’t feel like it). But it’s all a big fun journey of learning how to be an adult. 😀

    1. Thanks so much Thao! I actually worked full-time for a “year out” on a placement year and really enjoyed the balance I had with work and fitness – I struggled more whilst being a student!

      Yes! Excited to learn more 🙂