There are times when life hits us and shoots us with thoughts we can’t seem to handle. So many questions pile up our minds and tear up our eyes. And, at times, we won’t find all the answers. Well, I guess that’s how life works. That’s how life on earth is.
If I had only known how my life will end up twenty plus years after, then I might have dealt with my past differently. But, there’s no going back.
And if you’re young and happen to read this, you don’t have to go through the same course I went through. Don’t wait for yourself to grow up and realize the years you’ve lost along the way. Look at life differently.
I can’t talk to my younger self and give her the big picture of what our life will be twenty years after. But, if I could, I have a lot of things I wish I should have told her. So …
To the young one I once was,
When I look at old pictures, I tear up and remember you. You might be feeling anxious of what the future may bring you. You might be unsure of yourself and still figure out who and what you want to be; but, you don’t need to have it all figured out yet. The future isn’t going anywhere.
First and foremost, you are loved.
Even when you don’t feel like it, know that you are loved. You may think that your parents don’t love you because they don’t have time for you, but they sincerely do. They love you in ways you won’t ever imagine. Remind yourself that someone loves you and it will change your life greatly. You will also find different kinds of love elsewhere, but there’s only one love that would satisfy you. It’s that of God’s.
It’s okay not to be okay all the time.
There’s no such thing as a perfect life. A life of highs and lows can only stop you if you allow it to. Keep on. If you’re upset and broken, cry your heart out. Crying is never a sign of weakness. Write your feelings down if you need to. Be vulnerable with the right people. Life won’t always be the way you imagined it to be. But, you’ll be sent people who would make you feel you were never alone. Keep them.
Don’t conform. Be yourself, always.
You will meet people who will make you doubt and question who you are. At times, you may feel different. But, later in life, you will realize that you are you for a reason – weaknesses and all. Don’t dare try to be other than how you were created. Also, don’t be defined and limited by labels people make. You are a unique kind. You are fearfully and wonderfully made – handcrafted with love.
Not all the people you’ll meet will stay.
You will cry over the friends you will lose along the way. Or, maybe feel low because of the people you thought will stay but left you hanging. You will get your heart-broken even by people you’ll deem special. Twenty years later, you’ll realize that it happens. It’s a poignant truth that normally happens in the real world. But, there’s someone who promises to never leave you and forsake you – God.
You can’t always trust your heart.
The heart can be deceitful. Your emotions can change through time. As you listen to what your heart says, bring your brain with you. Deciding on things purely with emotions can be dangerous. You can’t just do things because you feel like it. You won’t always love the things you once loved. Beware of making decisions when you’re emotional. But if you do and you fail, pick yourself up and start again.
Learn how to number your days.
You wouldn’t notice how fast time will go. Make the most out of your childhood. Play around. Be carefree. But, do the right things. Pursue your talents and gifts. Love yourself. Collect memories; because if you don’t, you will be faced by regrets and have no chance to start all over again. Remind yourself that your days are limited and it will change your perspective. Live life as if it’s about to end soon.
Live the Y.O.L.O principle differently.
You’ll only live once. Yes, that is true. But, it doesn’t mean doing all the crazy things, breaking all the rules, and collecting earthly treasures to be cool. It is pursuing the things in life that matters most and with eternal value. Know when and when not to say “yes” to everything. Fill your life with memories worth looking forward to. Determine your life’s purpose and figure out how to make it happen.
* * *
I wish I could tell these things to my younger self. But, no. There’s no such truth to time machines. We only get one shot at our lives. There’s no magic door to go back to the past. But, there’s only one thing we can and must start doing.
It is to look at life with anticipation and pursue the future versions we are to become. It’s time to move forward. And, it’s our chance and privilege to help the young ones of the present be better than the “young ones we once were.”