Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Letter to the future

Dear 25-year-old me,

How are you? I hope you're doing fine, I hope you're happy, because the 21 year old version of you is quite in a good place and she's looking ahead and she's counting on you for her future well-being. So don't disappoint her. Here are a few tips:

1. In 4 years, try to not be single. A lot of your friends claim you intimidate boys but I think you're just not girlfriend material. Plain and simple. If you can, make some adjustments, try to move some stuff around, but don't compromise yourself please, I beg of you.

2. That said, you can try opening up to people a little bit. I also think you're oftentimes emotionally unavailable. Try to break your exclusivity complex. Get out of the house more often, it will be good for you, plus, it can get you acquainted with a lot of things, which, to be honest, you are severely lacking considering it is your job to know things. Do it for your craft, and enjoy in the process.

3. As for work, I think you're on the right track. But frankly, you're still a slave of your vain agendas. Admit it, you initially craved to get your name out there. Now that you (sort of) have, you can now focus on doing stories that mean more to you, stories which will make a difference in people's lives, and not something you just can be smug about. Please don't be a sell out. I will kill you.

4. I gave you until 23 to have a piece published on Inquirer's Young Blood. You first tried at 17 and never tried again. This, you have to do. For yourself, you owe this to the girl who was heartbroken in Grade School for not being picked out as staff of the newspaper.

5. I know I set out for you to drink more, but let's face it, you can't and more importantly you don't want to. You hate the taste of alcohol and even more the idea of getting drunk. Huwag mo ng ipilit, you're a straight-up chic and I'm fine with that.

6. You have to have had more serious purchases by then. I'd settle for an iPad or an iPhone that came straight out of your pocket. Or maybe you could be paying for your house. 25 ka na nun, you can't let your mom continue paying your rent, mahiya ka naman. And to achieve that, here's a tip to the 22, 23, and 24 year old versions of you: You are not rich, stop spending like one.

7. How to save? Learn to cook meals. Yes, food is divine and yes you love it I know but you can't continue living off take outs. You had a phase of cooking pasta and it was a good phase, you were decent. Why can't you go back to that? And another: Stop buying books. You have so many in your shelf you have not read yet. You're only excused for when your favorite authors publish a new title.

8. And anyway, the Brontes are pissed with you. Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights have been sitting on that shelf for a year now but then you keep on buying new ones and reading those instead. There's not a single classic that you've read, not even To Kill a Mockingbird, not even Pride and Prejudice; you take pride in knowing Moby Dick's first line yet you can't even buy a copy. It's about P200 at NBS, you schizo. You are a walking shame. Please prioritize reading a classic.

When you were 18, someone told you, "you're only 18" and you answered him back: "I'm ALREADY 18." But you gotta realize that at some point, you'll reach an age where you will be definitely "already" and not anymore "only." I pray that by that time, you have done enough not to have any regrets. I think you're sensible to know there are some goals that need to be hit, I'm just worried you're taking yourself too seriously. You gotta be able to say "hey I'm only 25" because at 21 I think I'm already old and running out of time.


You and I have a dream of changing the world. But face it, you can't at 25, so if you can't change the world, I hope that by that time you would have at least already changed yours. And some others'. Self-belief is the key, and I sincerely hope you pick out some of that along the way.

No pressure. Good luck!


your 21 year old self


  1. Nice letter! Our goals are uncannily similar, like i was reading a note from present myself to my 28-year-old self (God, that's old.)

    I agree with the book-buying hiatus. There are tons of unread books in my shelf, the sole purpose of which is to accumulate cobwebs. I don't like reading the classics that much because some of them, I just don't plain like the way they were written. I tried to read the Canterbury Tales (which was in verse form) and my head just ached. I couldn't understand a thing with all the 'twence, twine, twitter, twatter' interjected in every line.

    If ever you DO go back to book hoarding, one piece of advice: don't waste your P300 on Love in The Time of Cholera. I bought one and I dropped it like a spider after three chapters. Every damn character had long-ass COMPLETE names like Leandro Amor Soleven, or Juan Antonio Fajardo y Santos. I couldn't keep track of anything that was going on, and the narrative was painfully long.

    Anyway, I hope that five years from now, you'll be able to do everything that is in that letter. Don't ever lose track of your dream to change things, because it's the only constant worth pursuing.

  2. Hi Emil,

    I didn't go back to book hoarding, I just never seem to have enough money for it. I'll take your word on Cholera cos I've been thinking of that book for some time now. Mainly just to make myself feel smart. (Imagine a conversation, "what are you reading right now?" "oh, love in the time of cholera" hahaha babaw) But I did buy mockingbird, haven't read it yet though.

    Funny in our early 20s that we always feel the need to set goals. I realized one thing though, that we only get to be, in my case, 21 just once in life. That instead of setting goals for the future, we need to be setting goals for the present, plans for the weekend, for next week, for next month. To make sure, what we should be doing, we could do NOW.

    Good luck on your plans too, no doubt about your future :) Thanks for reading! I feel giddy you read my blog cos I read yours all the time hehe.