Thursday, June 3, 2010

if I knew then what I know now...

I saw this topic at twitter a few weeks ago, asking people what they would tell themselves if they were given the chance to talk to their teenage self. There were plenty tweets, some light, some serious. I did post my own tweet, but I felt that it was too short, that I had a lot to tell my younger self, of the things I have learned and not learned over the course of 18 years (the original tweet assumed that the age of the recipient would be around 15). Then I broached the topic to W and we got to talking about it. It was funny and poignant what we wanted to tell our young selves. A few days later, I attended a seminar (which as with most seminars, was boring in places so you tend to try and find a distraction so that you don't fall asleep) and decided to kill time by writing 15-year-old M a letter. This was the result.

Dear 15-year-old me,

If I could tell you one thing, that would be to never give up on your dreams. Oh, make that two things: never give up on your dreams, and whatever you aim for, follow through with it always. ALWAYS. We tend to procrastinate too much, you are aware of that I'm sure, and 18 years on, we still haven't changed on that aspect much.

And since I'm giving you advice, here's another one. Try not to be too insecure. Sure we're fat (and we still are, but so what? I know that right now, that's just another thing you don't like about yourself, but trust me, only until you learn to be comfortable in your own skin will you be confident. Ignore the sundry relatives who thrive on making snide comments about our weight and focus instead on nanay's lovely compliments). Always remember, you are pretty, and you have a good head on your shoulders, and our brains are nothing to sneeze at if I do say so myself. Remember that in the real world, smart trumps pretty and skinny most of the time (unless you are competing for the attention of vapid men of course, but that's another story).

Also, smile more often. Trust me on this. Scowling is not good, not only because of the frown lines (and yes, mommy was right about those) but because we actually have a beautiful smile.

In matters of the heart and infatuations, try not to be too enamored of H, you remember that time after the last summer vacation when you saw him and you thought he looked iffy? hold on to that thought, because if you don't, you will realize too late that as W says, he really is not THAT good-looking and he has the voice of a strangled cockroach. And you would have wasted too many years mooning over him (yes, I said years).

Try not to unconsciously ape our aunts and give daddy more slack, be nicer to him and take care of him better. We are going to lose quite a few people we love far too soon. It will break our heart, and I think our heart will remain a little broken always. So be nice, and hug them more often.

You are going to get into the school of your dreams, but it will not be without some hitches. You'll weather through them though, you are far stronger than you believe you are. When you get to your second year at the Uni, opt to stay at the dorm no matter how much you dislike the idea of having roommates. You'll enjoy college and being young better that way. Join organizations, stop being such a hermit.

Stop being such a prude, go out and enjoy life, you'll be a better person for it.

Be happy, always. Always remember that although our life will not turn out the way we want it to, or how we planned it, we are still fortunate and we do have a good life.

Finally, always remember, life IS a journey; so you should just relax, hang on, and enjoy the ride.