[S20S] Veeyah Penero on Learning Adult Responsibilities and Ending Toxic Friendships

Welcome to Something by 20-something! In this blog segment, I interview some fellow yuppies about life after college, career, relationships, and transitioning to this whole adult thing. This segment aims to share real-life stories and insights on “The Real World” by 20-somethings so we, other 20-somethings of the world, can learn #protips on how to wade through #adulting with as much grace and wisdom and courage as possible.

For today, I interviewed fellow blogger and new-found friend Veeyah Penero on life and lessons in her 20s. The interview happened on November 7, 6:25pm to 8:25pm on Messenger. #millennial

 

how to break up with a friend, how to deal with a friendship break up, how to break off a friendship, how to end a friendship, giving up on friendship

 

Mailan
Hi, Veeyah. Thank you for granting me this interview. You actually responded to this call for interviewees that I posted on this FB group that we’re both a member of. I’m very happy that you did and you’re willing to share your story. So first, how’s your day? *smile emoji*

Veeyah
Hi, thanks for having me. Today, I was on relax mode – I decided to have some time off my work and other responsibilities, haha.

Mailan
That’s good. *smile emoji* So let’s talk about your life in your 20s. In general. How do you find it so far?

Veeyah
Two words: pretty weird. It’s like I’m still in my teens, but not really. I feel like I’m in a grey area of my life right now, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I guess. I’m gaining a lot of first experiences, so at the right moments, life is kind of exciting.

Mailan
Sounds like a Britney Spears song: “Not yet a girl, not yet a woman.” Haha.

Veeyah
Hahaha! Oh, yeah! It does.

Mailan
How would you rank your 20s against other stages of your life, say: college, high school, grade school?

Veeyah
Wow, that’s tough to answer, pretty much. If I had to rank these four according to the level of excitement or fun times experienced, It would definitely be (1) My 20’s, (2) College, (3) Grade School, (4) High School.

Mailan
Why did you rank high school last, if I may ask?

Veeyah
High School was pretty tough for me. It was the period I was incredibly vulnerable and I didn’t know where I placed in the world. I also had stage fright, and it didn’t help that people knew I could sing (I could care less now, though). All these, in addition to my fear of rejection and being bullied, contributed to that ranking.

Mailan
I see. But I’m glad you’re enjoying your 20s right now. *smile emoji*

Veeyah
Definitely! So many exciting things going on all the time. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Mailan
I like the 20s the best too. Although it feels like the Second Coming of high school to me. At least, I have money. HAHAHAHAHA

Veeyah
Hahah that’s true! Having money to spend isn’t even the best part, right? Haha.

Mailan
In the pre-interview, I asked you what the top 3 things you’re learning (the hard way) in your 20s. You answered:
1. Getting used to “adult” responsibilities (eg. helping pay bills, etc.)
2. Choosing which people to keep and let go (for self improvement)
3. Owning a credit/debit card is NOT the fantasy life I always thought it would be.
Let’s talk about the first one: “Getting used to “adult” responsibilities.” Tell me more about this.

Veeyah
Okay, so since graduating, I’ve been thrust into the world of bills, accountability, legalities, and others. In college, my trip to Starbucks was at its highest. I’d visit 2-3 times weekly and spend quite a lot of my allowance. Now though, I’ve had to cut that visit to maybe 1-2 times/week to help my parents pay for electricity, rent, and other basics.
In college, it was easy to let go of a class day and tell myself, “You’ll just catch up on the lessons tomorrow” and the like, but in real life, it’s not that simple. You can’t just “catch up” without facing its consequences.
In addition, I’ve realized spending money and knowing how to budget is very important. I didn’t really fuss about things around the house or cleaning up my creative space since we have a helper around, but lately, it’s become a bother. I want everything clean and tidy now. Haha. Of course, it isn’t always like that.
At work, it’s all about legalities. As a Graphic Designer, my work is under the company and whatever I do inside has to stay within. I’m more careful now about how I conduct myself in public and in social media, as well as around people who visit the office often for a demo of our services.

Mailan
What’s the hardest “adult” responsibility to fulfill ever?

Veeyah
Another tough question! Haha!

Mailan
I’m sorry! Haha! I hope “tough” in a good way? Haha!

Veeyah
Hahaha! Yup! Very good way actually! Gets me thinking about things.
Well, I guess it’s being more responsible about my money and learning to control my somewhat materialistic tendencies. I’m all about my gadgets and art supplies/books, so it’s extra hard to walk away from an awesome find. As much as I try to talk myself out of it, my spontaneous side gets in the way. If I really can’t purchase something, I settle for frozen yoghurt or iTunes/Spotify streaming. Haha.

Mailan
Is there an “adult” responsibility that surprisingly you found enjoyable?

Veeyah
Surprisingly, it’s everything work-related. I love talking to people and learning new things, and just doing something for them, you know? Just yesterday, I had a total of 6-7 meetings with a number of different people, and it was so exciting to learn about them, what I can do, and what else can be done in the future. Having a real, full-time job is that “adult responsibility” that was worth everything I’ve previously done.

Mailan
I can only imagine. I’m the type who dislikes meetings. Haha. Or perhaps it really varies from one industry to another. (Hello, boss, if you’re reading this, I’m trying my best.)

Veeyah
Ahaha, yeah I guess. *smile emoji* I know I’m the interviewee, but may I ask what your job type is?

Mailan
I’m a college instructor. I teach English and Tech Communication.

Veeyah
Oh cool! *grin emoji* that’s nice.

Mailan
I think most teachers dislike meetings. Haha! Okay, back to you. *sticking tongue out emoji*

Veeyah
Ahahaha!

Mailan
Do you have any protip on fulfilling a specific “adult” responsibility? Say, how to do something more efficiently or get something at a much cheaper price.

Veeyah
For people whose work is on the busy side, I’d suggest having a handy planner, one that’s not too big to stay organized. If it’s really a busy time (or if you work on the computer mostly like me), why not use google calendar to schedule whatever you have to do? I’ve been using this like WATER the past two months and it’s heaven-sent. It’s free, you can invite people to your “event” through their email address (to confirm or decline) and set notifications to your phone or email. I don’t think I’d function properly without this in the future.

Mailan
I agree. I’d also like to thank Google Calendar for reminding me about this interview. Haha!
Next, you said “Choosing which people to keep and let go,” as the second-most important life lesson that you’ve learnt. What’s the story behind this?

Veeyah
Hahaha, great. That’s on a more serious note, that second point. Around last August, me and a close friend from college had our first major disagreement. We planned to meet at Starbucks to catch up and idk what really happened but I waited for hours, having to spend more than I should’ve to stay. I didn’t speak to her for about a month, and it hurt because my trust was betrayed. It kind of piled up at that moment, the previous happenings, and i had had enough. For the time i didn’t contact her, i was able to reflect on things. Some relationships hurt to keep, and some need more than just effort.
That friend and I are okay now, but we aren’t as tight as before. We’re still working on restoring our friendship
I sort of had to keep appearances in college. To make sure i didn’t upset anyone, even if it made me feel bad about myself. Now I know what I’m worth, I’m not stressing out in keeping those people.

Mailan
How do you know when to let it go and when to hold on to a shared friendship? Do you have a criteria?

Veeyah
The only rule I have is this: if that person “friend” drains your soul at the end of the day, and you are not yourself around that person, let him/her go. That relationship isn’t worth keeping.

Mailan
Even if you used to share a lot of fun times together?

Veeyah
Here’s the thing. I believe that a good friendship grows when two people make the effort to maintain it. I usually know within weeks of meeting that person if the friendship will last. If otherwise, the fun times wouldn’t truly be fun anymore. Cutting off a friendship is also different from maintaining it. I guess when I said, let it go, I mean let it loose and give it freedom. If you two drift apart, then maybe it wasn’t meant to be. Or maybe there’s nothing in common between you two anymore. smile emoticon like outgrowing each other.

Mailan
I see. So far, how do you find this whole “letting people go” thing?

Veeyah
It’s freeing! A small group of close friends is better in my opinion.

Mailan
I agree. I recently “broke up” with a very close friend too. Universe knows I tried my best to hold on, but yeah. Some things just don’t work out anymore. This is a very touchy topic for me too. :’)

Veeyah
Aw hehe. At least we’re all moving forward right? And clearing up space leaves more room for new people.

Mailan
Yeah. I agree. And it’s actually freeing. (Ex-friend, if you’re reading this. I’m sorry.) Now tell me about the kind of people you want to keep in your life.

Veeyah
I want people who will give the same effort as i will into keeping me in his/her life. I don’t want to be a one-way bridge to the both of us.

Mailan
WORD. Hahahahaha.

Veeyah
Hahahhahaha.

Mailan
And finally, your third top life lesson is: “Owning a credit/debit card is NOT the fantasy life I always thought it would be.” Why? What fantasy life did you have about owning a credit/debit card?

Veeyah
This interview is lifting a good weight off my shoulders haha.

Mailan
Really?! Aaaw. I’m happy that you feel that way. *smile emoji*

Veeyah
Hahaha ever since i was in high school, I’ve seen card holders buy anything they want. I thought having a card was all that and more. Imagine having that mindset for years and facing reality after college? Hahahaha, it might seem shallow to others, but I grew up kind of entitled to some things. I thought it would be just as easy (but challenging) in the real world.

Mailan
Did you get yourself a credit card after college?

Veeyah
I have a debit card right now, but i’ve been using my dad’s CC before haha. I’m planning to get one, but I’m not sure I’m ready for the responsibility (read: stress). Haha.

Mailan
Hahaha. Yes.

Veeyah
Hahaha.

Mailan
But I’ve never had a credit card. I can just imagine.

Veeyah
Oh? Why so?

Mailan
Hmm. My parents told me flat out that I shouldn’t get one. I’m just being obedient. But I recently understood why. You’re more likely to spend more when you’re using a card. Also, it’s another bill to pay?

Veeyah
Hahaha yeah, I’m very aware of this. Hahaha. True.

Mailan
What’s that one purchase you regret the most making?

Veeyah
None so far, really. I think it’s more on the time I purchased it that I regret. I bought really pricey headphones a day after getting my first pay, and I regretted that for the remaining 15 days after haha. Learning things slowly, but certainly.

Mailan
I see. If you could turn back time, what would you have done differently with your finances?

Veeyah
I would have put aside at least half of my pay to my savings and used the rest for necessary things. *smile emoji*

Mailan
Yeah, got it. *smile emoji*

Veeyah
Hehe.

Mailan
If I may ask, where does your pay usually go now?

Veeyah
Helping with phone bills and house necessities, but my mom makes sure i can still buy something for myself. The rest are stored in my debit.

Mailan
That’s good. Like a true responsible adult. Hahaha

Veeyah
Hahahhaa trying to, at least!

Mailan
At least you have some savings. Coz other people, they don’t. Not a single piso. Sad. Hahahahaha

Veeyah
*frown emoji* Ahhh one of my fears. I do NOT want that to happen ever.

Mailan
Because you want expensive things?

Veeyah
Hahaha let’s just say my career choice demands expensive things.

Mailan
I see.  Okay. Now we enter the lightning round. So, five questions, short answers.

Veeyah
Yaayy

Mailan
If there’s one thing you wish they taught you in school, that would be ____.

Veeyah
How to survive outside it.

Mailan
What makes you happy these days?

Veeyah
Work, new learnings, family.

Mailan
If your 60-year old self will look back at these very days of your life, what would your 60-year old self feel?

Veeyah
“You were one materialistic dreamer, little girl. Good thing you learned your lesson quick.” Hahahha. I’m really not sure but yeah basically.

Mailan
HAHAHAHAHA. What is your life’s theme song?

Veeyah
Hahaha. Can’t Take That Away by Mariah Carey.

Mailan
HAHAHAHAHA That’s a good one. Last one. How’s your love life?

Veeyah
Ahahahahaha! Straight answer or not?

Mailan
Up to you. Hahahahaha.

Veeyah
Flourishing. *smile emoji*

Mailan
NAKS. Hahahahaha *heart emoji*

Veeyah
Hahahhahaa yiiee

Mailan
Thank you very much, Veeyah, for this wonderful interview. I honestly enjoyed it. *grin emoji*

Veeyah
Hahaha so did i! Hope it didn’t bore you too much ahahhaa. Thank you! I really feel great now. Thank you.

Mailan
No, not all. I like talks like this. *smile emoji*

Veeyah
Hehehe same here.

 

——-

This ends my interview with fellow blogger and new-found friend Veeyah Penero. She’s also an illustrator, graphic artist, and great singer! Very talented young woman. Check her stuff here:

Blog: www.theindymiss.com
Facebook: theindymiss
Twitter: veeyah17
Instagram: veeyah19
Soundcloud: veeyah-penero

 

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