Wouldn’t it be nice if you had someone who would teach you the things you wish you knew when you were young, like someone dependable…a person that’s exactly who you needed when you were younger…somebody that would give you some sort of manual on how to traverse life and all its complexities?

For a fact, nobody ever goes through life without having some battle scars and deep lessons in life etched on one’s mind. Nobody ever taught us how to deal with life anyway. It has always been everyone’s constant struggle.

So if ever there comes a time further in the future where the law of physics is defied and I could go back to this linear continuum called ‘time’, this is what I would tell my younger self.

Hi, younger self,

This letter is penned by me, your 24-year old self. I have a lot to say to you…too much that I don’t even know where to start. At 24, I have far more experience. I’m still figuring things out the adult way, but I’ve got something meaningful to say. I hope these words reach you.

I know you’ve got big dreams – plenty of them! You want to achieve great things in life. You want to go to various places. You want to buy all the stuff for your parents…you want to spoil them. You always want more…and be more. I tell you that is awesome but life is not a piece of cake. So to my younger self, be prepared. It’s tough out there. One heck of a battle! After all, nothing worth having comes easy and that’s a fact.

In reality, life is not a bed of roses – a bed of thorns I would say. But to you, my young idealistic self, please don’t feel disheartened. Believe me, you’ll navigate your way through life. You are unique because though your soft heart always cries for the movies and dramas you watch, your core is made of steel. Your grit, your passion, your dedication…I admire them all. Your softness is also your source of strength and your smile and jokes and laughter are sunshine to the world.

To my younger self, I want to give you a heads up though. In the course of life, I saw you cry, got angry, betrayed, and failed. But if it will make you feel better, just know that you managed to get through it all.

A photo of me, my lolo, and my same-age cousin. I will always remember those years as one of my happiest and most carefree moment. At least in this photo, our lolo was still with us, tightly giving us a warm embrace. I miss those years.

What they say is true, people will come and go in our lives and you’ve got a fair share of that. If there is one thing I would like you to remember about friendships and relationships, it is to not easily get attached. Do not ever let someone have power over you. Do not let them control you. Be more discerning. It comes with life experiences but I know in time you’ll be wise.

Though young, you are winning in life, achieving feats and great successes, bagging medals and trophies, getting people’s nods and praises. It’s fine, you’ve worked and fought hard for all that you have. Just a caveat, do not let success get into your head. Do not let people’s validation and admiration get the better of you. At all times, even and especially when it is the hardest, be humble. Be kind.

I know you’ve got a lot of insecurities, too. Even when you don’t let it show, I know you’ve got your moments of low. At times, you are being too hard on yourself. Please don’t do that. Have I not told you that when I asked you to be kind, it includes first and foremost being kind to yourself too? I want to give you a tight hug as well for all those moments that people around you made you feel less than your worth. If nobody ever told you, just know that I love you.

Writing from the future,

24-year old self

PS. I am extremely proud of who you are now and even more of who you’ll become in the future.