We Grow By Age and Experience
A Letter To My 30-Year Old Self
If you still remember, I was scribbling this when you were 70 days-shy of your 30th birth anniversary. So by the time you read this, congratulate yourself for making it to this day. So how are you feeling now, little fella?
You see, there are so many things that we need to talk about—goals, work, dreams, people, feelings—life, in general. But where should I start?
In 30 years, I’ve seen your ups and downs. I’ve witnessed you rejoiced in your successes and cried with you when you faltered. Darn, if you’ll get a counter to keep those moments counted, I’ll have nothing else to do other than watch the figure ticks. I was there celebrating with you (silently) when you get to hit beyond your target. I wailed and howled with you in the dark corners of your room when you got it ten days before Christmas in 2011. I was there when no one else can be there all the time. While you find hands to hold you from falling, I scoured the world for reasons to keep fighting.
The choices you made through the years had got you where you are now. Truthfully speaking, you’ve not moved quite far from where you started. Knowing how you like to tread another path instead of the one you are painstakingly heading is one heck of a battle, I know. But I am proud, nonetheless. Why? Because regardless of what you do and how these endeavors made you feel right now, you always look for the brighter side to your every struggle. You always find the heart to be grateful for every new beginning and the inevitable endings that came along. But most of all, because you respect the truth that people are people. Riches, power and glory will fade, but people will always be people. You like them. You treasured them. In fact, a lot of them. You kept them in a special place, just like every lessons you learned in life. Some may have challenged your convictions, but you know deep inside, when the dark sinks in, we all are the same breed of creatures— we laugh; we cry; we dream unimaginable things; we aspire for a chance to wake up the following day to see the light. While some would curse the heavens because of a sudden misfortune, some would close their eyes and thank God for the storm. That’s how unique people are made. What we see as flaws in others are front to hide their broken selves. And you respect that truth. Even if sometimes they became subjects to your unceasing rants, when you close your eyes at night, you say a little prayer for them with all hopes for an enlightened heart in the days ahead.
You don’t have material things to brag about, but you find your most-priced possessions in the bond you made with everyone who crossed your life. That is why for you, memories are priceless. The same reason why you keep walking down memory lane to relive lost moments. You fear that letting go of memories necessitates getting rid of the people who had been a part of it as well. And you know you cannot do that. Well, I would like to tell you that it doesn’t have to mean that way. You see, there are countless wars worth fighting in life, but there are some when the loss are more satisfying than the victory itself. You must learn to determine which war requires the need of your strongest battalion and armory. And the lost ones? Learn from them. Forgive yourself and then move on. Even if your life is flawed, it is still too beautiful not to be lived fully.
In life, you get too many complaints about how you seem so distant at people, why you always kept away from the crowd. Some people may not understand why you seem to shut people out and refrain them from getting pass to the door of your life. Well, I know why. It is not that you intend to estranged from the rest of the civilization on purpose, it is just, you were designed that way. If people would only look intently, they’ll see that you love observing and learning from them. You are born that way. You love looking at people’s eyes. And everytime you do that, you tried to read and reveal their very soul with every random glances they do, the blank stares at the open spaces they are subconsciously making or the fake happy eyes that conceal hurts hidden deep within. Actions, mannerisms, body languages, gestures, facial and eye expressions, you are subconsciously drawn to it just as how you were drawn to the mystery of the universe. You are easy to empathize. Whilst happy people makes you happy, lonely people makes you as well, terribly lonely. You take joy in silence, in serenity. You are drained by noise, by clutter. You loved seeing happy faces that is why you always take time to smile at people, even at random strangers. And you take emotions too seriously. That is why you are most of the times, a cry baby. It’s fine. Cry if you must, but always be thankful for the reasons of your shedding. In the end, it will make you stronger.
Lately, I was quite disturbed by how you were feeling— physically and emotionally. I know you are fighting and I am always proud of that. Despite how you like teasing people about something they don’t wanna talk about, you kept telling them anyway. Because since the beginning of time, you have embraced a fact that which others tried to shy away from. And you laugh at it when people cringe or spank you or even hit you for saying those. Because at the back of your mind, you are in return, doing them a favor. They may not understand it now but in time, they will. There were moments when I saw you slumped at a corner crying over some things you were not sure exactly why you had to. You must know, I cried with you in silence. As a loner, I have witnessed you befriending solitude in exchange for peace. I have seen how fragile you have been all this years. But still, keep fighting the good fight, fella—the Good Lord is with you.
So now that you’re reaching this stage, I could see how your hopes had skyrocketed. Bravo fella! I know it did not wane actually, you were just waiting for the right moment to come. On behalf of your broken-to-a-gazzillion-little-pieces-self, let me thank some fellows for rekindling the warmth you thought was lost. You must know that you drowned her. But she was drowned in the best way possible. Unlike before, it no longer scares her if she gets to be thrown in a throng of strangers because she knows she won’t be lost. Someone will come looking for her eventually. And she is always found. She is for the third time putting hers on the line. She knew the risks but she’s open to everything. She knew how it feels to be wounded in the battlefield so what else would scare her now? She had once seen the love fading into nothingness walking past studs in that ground where she first and last saw him. She waited eight years for it to vanish. It did. It’s true, time is a magical healer. I remember that day fully well til now. And then that fateful day again when she had to leave to let someone live his life. That was the moment when I am proudest at her. She broke down for months but she get to let lose a battle which defeat is clear in the end, even if she gets to win officially. Despite the harrowing consequences that transpired thereafter, she was able to fight her demons and defeated them. Again, congratulations. Not everyone may understand this now, but say it anyway.
Things are now slowly converging into something you have dreamt for so long. Well, I could sense some excitement in the air, you know. It might not be the exact dream of lying in a rolling hill in Batanes under the night sky while listening to the gush of Pacific waves whistling from a distance or the dream to walk above the clouds one sunrise on top of Mt. Pulag. But it’s equally overwhelming. God really has His own way of revealing the truths of your existence in the most unexpected of ways. Gotta love that, fella. You have been waiting for the rain to come and now it has started to pour down rainshowers of long-awaited wishes. You do not have everything still to be totally happy but you have enough of everything to keep the joy in your heart, now and always—family and kins, friends and acquaintances, work that never ceases to drain your mental juice and challenge your growth, feelings of content and gratitude for every life who have come at the crossroads of your life. Keep that joy and love in your heart and nothing will tear you down. If in case something will dare hurt you, talk to God about it, as you always do. And everything will be alright… as it always does.
And always remember, no matter where you are in the world right now or wherever you are at the moment, always remind yourself that in the greater scheme of things, you are just a tiny speck of dust in this ginormous universe. The world will not revolve around you but how you live your life right now will affect at how the world will spin…at any given moment. Try to do good each day and the world will be a happier place to live.
And never forget to love unceasingly and unconditionally…
Keep loving no matter how pained you are. Keep smiling because that’s the least thing you can do to lift a hurting stranger. Keep extending your hands even if others had rejected it. Always keep your ears open to hear out people. And trust that your little acts of love can do great wonders in the lives of those who most need it.
Here’s always hearing you out today and the rest of your life,
Your 30-year Old Self
This was a letter I wrote to remind myself that despite every shortcoming and imperfection I had, life is still sooo worth living. It still is and will always be.