Dear 14-year-old self,
- You have no idea what the fuck you’re doing, so stop being so pretentious. Life isn’t going to follow your carefully outlined plan. Stop, take a deep breath, and learn to wing it.
- It’s okay to find gratification or satisfaction in many Facebook and Instagram likes, so long as you don’t let it solely define your self-worth.
- Exercise regularly and drink lots of water. Your skin will thank you.
- Be polite to security guards, janitors, waiters, clerks, and other such service providers. Always say please and thank you, greet them good morning, and keep a civil, even tone at all times. Your life will be infinitely easier if they like you.
- Stop using your credit card so much.
- Don’t ever let anyone quench your fire. When you get told things like “stop being so angry with the world” or “eh di ikaw na” or “dami mong alam”, don’t listen. There’s a lot to be angry about. There’s a lot to learn. There’s a lot to discover. Don’t let closed-minded people bar you from becoming passionate about inequality and injustice.
- Stop crushing on that pathetic boy who relentlessly bullies you. Ten years later he will be one half of an incredibly toxic and unhealthy relationship. Thank God you dodged that bullet.
- One day, you’re gonna be really, really, really embarrassed that you liked Taylor Swift.
- You won’t achieve your dream of becoming a published author by the age of twenty, but don’t stop writing. You’ll get better, and one day you’ll get published, but only if you practice.
- I know your high school is a fascist hellhole, but one day you and your friends will graduate and head off to university (which will be an infinitely better experience), so just hold on.
- Planners are life, but color-coordinated highlighters and pens, flaglets, and Post-Its are lifer. Be thankful for Pinterest.
- Stop spilling all your secrets out onto Multiply. That’s why Yahoo! Messenger was invented – so you can gush to your friends.
- You will begin questioning your sexuality in your senior year of high school. It’s okay. Tumblr will help you out.
- Quit stressing about love and romance; and quit trying to look for it too. Love will find you, when you’re ready.
- It will take you ten long years, but you’ll learn to accept your natural curls, and you’ll curse yourself for spending over a thousand pesos every six months just to rebond your hair.
- Be yourself on social media. The “you” that is presented on your Facebook and Twitter accounts should be the same “you” that people physically meet.
- The girls you’re slowly getting close to now will be your friends for life. They will be your friends through a whole slew of really shitty hands dealt by life, as well as in triumphs and victories. Take care of them, and keep them close.
- Speaking of girls, quit it with this “I’m not like other girls” bullshit. Get a lid on your internalized misogyny.
- And while we’re at it, check your privilege as well. Don’t worry, you’ll learn.
- You will make your peace with God.
- Turn your mistakes into lessons. Could have, would have, and should have all add up to one thing – didn’t. Use your mistakes as stepping stones to a better you.
- Get some sleep while you can. There’s not a whole lot of time for napping in college, and even less when you’re trying to juggle a full-time job and a graduate degree.
- Never let them see you bleed.
- Always have an escape plan.
Happy birthday, old girl. Here’s to many more years of kicking ass and taking names.
And because I’m still not over how great my Fujifilm X-A10 is, have another photodump!