Dearest Young One,

Hi. Because of some circumstances in the past few days and weeks, I thought of penning you a letter. This is not to reprimand you but to share some life lessons learned from my many years in life.

Do not be so impatient to be part of the daily grind and be in an adult’s professional world. It’s cool to earn your own money, learn new skills in the company, and start working while you’re in school. But remember that you are only young once. Take this time now to focus on your studies while allotting time for your hobbies and extra-curricular activities.

While there are merits to doing the opposite and it may be necessary for some because of economic reasons, remember that there is a proper time for doing things. Now is the time to focus on your education where you can learn knowledge and build your skills for your future responsibilities at work and in your personal life. Do not be bogged down thinking of “responsibilities.”

Also, understand that people have various personalities. The different people that you meet in life teach you lessons—that kind, old lady; that arrogant b*****; that insecure person who always finds faults; that carefree, whatever-happens-I’m-good friend; the constantly problematic acquaintance who whines about everything every time; the overconfident, talkative, energetic office mate; the quiet, withdrawn, don’t-mind-me-just-go-on-with-your-life person; and so on.

Thus, having the awareness of these differences, you may be more understanding of people’s behavior. But, learn to set boundaries too. When the person constantly displays disrespect and toxic behavior, then either move away or learn to ignore them. No one has the right to destroy your peace.

Know too that feelings are fleeting. That person who’s so enamored with you? That person whose face and voice you constantly look for every minute? It feels to thrilling right now, isn’t it? Yes, so enjoy the moment. But be aware that it may pass. If that happens, it may hurt so bad for a while. But then, you’ll get up and move on.

There are those blessed with finding the love of their lives and keeping the flame inside them burning. That’s good too. Listen to your heart while your feet are on the ground.

Love your body by eating properly, getting enough sleep, and having a bit of exercise every day. Take note that your body will let you enjoy life by travelling to places old and new, sampling different cuisines, and bonding with loved ones. Appreciate every curve and every muscle. Your body is your temple so take care of it.

Take care of your mind too. Do not worry too much. Try your best today. Go the extra mile when necessary but do your tasks out of appreciation for them and awareness of knowledge learned, not just for the sake of doing things. Find time to fill your mind with practical knowledge. At the same time, welcome opportunities to immerse yourself in the things you love, be it literature, sports, sightseeing or even shopping. (Because, why not?)

There are days when it takes more effort to feel lovable. There are days when things don’t even make sense. You’ll ask yourself, “Why am I even doing this?” “Why me?” But life is a journey with its twists and turns. Embrace life, both its beauty and ugliness, both its wonder and mundanity.

Bahagi ka ng unibersong ito. Totoo, patuloy lang ang pag-ikot ng mundo. Ngunit hindi ito kumpleto kung wala ka. Kaya magpatuloy ka lang. Sabi nga sa kanta ng Apo Hiking Society,

“Batang bata ka pa at marami ka pang, kailangang malaman at intindihin sa mundo, ‘yan ang totoo.”

Kung nadidipisilan, magpadagos sana sa buhay. Maagi man sana iyan. Sarong aldaw, pagmata mo, magiging maayos man ang gabos. Mamata ka na magayon ang langit, maginhawa ang pagmate, asin may ulok sa saimong ngimot asin mga mata.

Love,

From a Not-So-Young-But-Not-Yet-Old Person

Author’s Notes:

On the Language:

You may be unfamiliar with the two other languages used aside from English. One is Filipino, the national language of the Philippines. The other is Bikol, my mother tongue, spoken in Region V in the Philippines.

In the Philippines, an archipelago where there are almost 200 languages spoken, it is common for many people to be fluent in 3-4 languages.

On the Content:

In the digital world, a handwritten letter has become a precious thing. However, I still chose the digital letter this time to reach more people. What started as a note for someone dear to me became a longer letter, that I hope will give a bit of wisdom and warmth to someone who might need to read these words.

I will also take this opportunity to endorse Give…a Few Words. Through this organization, I have sent not a few letters for almost two (2) years now to anonymous recipients (assigned by the organization). I hope that through my words, I was able to bring a ray of sunshine, a big smile, and a warm hug to someone who needs them.

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