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Life’s Critical Decisions Come In Increments of Five Years

Noemi and I had a business meeting last night, building the concept for a client’s website. As always, business meetings with this lady would always divert to pleasant conversation. She said that according to personal experience and that of the people close to her, “life’s critical decisions happen in increments of five years.” Such as the time when she reached 25, she started evaluating her career path and made the decision of quitting her job and setting up her own business. This has occurred to several people she knows and I realized then, that indeed, it is a usual phenomenon among my colleagues as well. Five years can indeed be considered as a milestone in life, half a decade…hmmm…..not bad.

She asked me to “review” where I was at 15, 20 and 25 years old. At 15, I had to make the decision if I was really to leave the country and spend one year away (perhaps, most of us, at the age of 15 would start thinking about what course to take up in college). That was a critical decision for me because a lot of things can happen in a year……and I mean, a LOT.

So here’s my evaluation. At age 20, I never bothered to think about it, didn’t care actually. At 25, all the more I was too preoccupied with other things that it never occurred to me that I was already a quarter of a century old and now, that I’m about to turn 29 I still don’t feel the least worried about it. I guess, I’m the kind of person who would live at the moment, the kind that don’t get easily swayed by outside factors when it comes to major life decisions (yeah right, for those who really know me, email me and tell me what you think about this statement haha). Seriously though, I want to make decisions based on careful thought and understanding, not out of pure emotions or pressure from other people (okay okay …. Email me and give me a comment about this too). It dawned on me, that indeed, some of the people I know, all within the same “age range” are actually preoccupied about their next step in life. That, perhaps, at this time they should be married or should have made the decision on what to do for the rest of their life (such as joining the congregation of the blessed sacrament sisters, career move, finalize their sexual preference, joining the vampire society, be in touch with their intrinsic self and start going back to nature and eat only organic stuff, turn into a frutarian, become an hermit (or Kermit, up to you), get a divorce, start the SSS or Social Spinsters Society, drop everything and get into the music industry, Joining the happy hookers club (Hey! I’m referring to those who like to knit and crochet), Join the circus and become a human canon ball, travel and come home only to die or whatever).

My question is this, should I worry that I’m not at least preoccupied about it? Or should I join in the bandwagon and start contemplating as to what my next step is? Am I not human to actually feel that tension or strain? Has emotions and human needs totally slipped out of my mind and heart? Noemi said it’s probably because she thinks I’ve been doing the right things and made the right decisions so far. I don’t know, perhaps, such is the case. We’ll see. I’ll let you know what my “big bang” is when I reach 30. But until then, I’ll continue to live life.

Oh and about the issue of age. I finally had a taste of my own medicine when a new friend started teasing me about it. Ouch. She then said not to worry as “With age comes maturity.” I’d like to say, I beg to differ, maturity really comes from life’s experiences. TTFN

About The Author


Stephanie Caragos is the President & CEO of the 19 year running IT Company, Syntactics, Inc. and is the founder of, a program and initiative that envisions in helping young Filipinos hone their skills in IT and increase their chances of getting stable and profitable jobs. She is also the founder of Syntactics PINK (Promoting Innovation Networking and Knowledge) for women to encourage and empower more women in IT and to encourage the younger generation of women take up STEM. She is a speaker and mentor in various Startup, Online Marketing, Web, ICT and ICT businesses related seminars and talks and works tirelessly in finding innovative ways of marketing online for clients. She is also a staunch supporter of Filipino Small and Medium Enterprises as she continues to develop products and services that would benefit SMEs as well as help them increase their success rate in using technology in business. Stephanie is currently the president of the CDO ICT Business Council and works with the members and stakeholders in the city in promoting ICT to support more startups and create more jobs in the city. She also currently serves as a director for the Eisenhower Fellowship Association of the Philippines. She has completed her Eisenhower Fellowship and was awarded as the Douglas Dillon Named Fellow for the year 2016 and recently completed her term as National President for the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines last 2017.


  1. hi honey! age schmage! it shouldn’t bother you because, yes, you’re on track. and also: milestones happen — planned or not — but i doubt if one should make it a point to set it at, say, 5-year intervals. if u fall into that trap, you’d be setting yourself up for possible disappointments.

    just my $0.02’s worth. 🙂


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