Sunday Essays: A letter to my future self

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

I AM going to skip all the pleasantries and proceed to the main question. Does your blanket smell like fabric conditioner?

That was a joke. If you don’t get it, then your 18-year-old self would be very disappointed and think that your life probably sucks.

You might be a National Geographic photographer like you always wished you would be but you are so used to your work and treat it as something that you should do in order to have money rather than view it as a wonderful adventure in which you can acquire new knowledge.

If you find yourself this way, remember what you were like when you were five years old. Yes, the little girl with tight pigtails, pink hairclips and a missing front tooth. Remember how your heart clenched when your mom told you that she bought you a new pair of shoes.

Even if your lighting shoes with retractable skates already turned into ankle boots or sky high heels, you still have a right to be excited about little things. There’s so much life has to offer you and if you just sit and think that you don’t have to experience new things because you are already an expert, then you’ll miss out on a lot.

Another thing you have to bear in mind is that everyone fails at one point or another. You are not an exemption. Your boss might think that the subject of your photo essay is irrelevant, or he might not understand why you think that a feature that you did on Kalinga’s traditional tattoo artist deserves to be the cover story.

The trick in succeeding is never to question whether you should stand up again no matter how many times you’ve been kicked to the ground. Do not lose hope if your superior thinks poorly of your work. Use the criticism to improve it. Life will hand you lemons so you might as well master how to make lemonade.

Next, learn to value your solitude. If you cannot survive an hour without checking your phone or laptop for your friends’ status updates and tweets, something is not right.

You should be the type of person who can sit comfortably in her couch and do nothing but enjoy the peace that lie in the empty spaces between your thoughts.

Lastly, learn to accept inevitable things. Maybe your first date would be great, maybe it won’t. Maybe you’ll find a good husband to marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children and see them grow, maybe you won’t. Love yourself regardless.

When you’ve read this letter, write another one, and then write another one after, the list is endless. Nobody else will understand you as you understand yourself. (Mary Joy de Castro)

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<>i> Sunday Essays are articles by students of Ateneo de Davao University for their journalism subject.

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