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From Where We Sit

An open letter to my younger self

Dear 20-year-old self, Congratulations!

You accomplished a lot in such a short time. What you’ve been through and will go through will define the kind of person you’ll be 30 years from now. Savor the journey and enjoy every moment. The frustrations you’ll face will reach a point that you can no longer bear it. You’ll feel it’s not worth it.

Persevere as these same frustrations will always come as you continue your journey. Your heart will be broken not just once but several times. You’ll feel love over and over again. No matter how painful it was, you’ll never lose faith in love. Whatever you’ve accomplished so far will be nothing compared to what is yet to come.

Don’t be bashful. You are but a fraction of the whole scheme of things. If you think the world owes you something, think again. You are nothing. The sooner you accept that you are nothing but a tiny figment, the better because it will lead you to become someone from nothing.

Contrary to what you believe in now, you only have one shot at anything. That’s it, one shot, no second chances. Thus, you need to give it your best shot every time, all the time. Do not hurt people. If you can’t avoid it, minimize it. A person hurt will hurt another person consciously or unconsciously. If you hurt someone, you’ll help making this world a sad place.

The people you’ll meet are sent to you for a reason. Either you learn a lesson from them or they learn from you.

You need to cherish each encounter and serve each other’s purpose given the limited time you have for each other. While people will come and go in your life, there will be those who will be with you for the long haul. Make sure you keep a staple of these individuals in your life from whom you will draw strengths and inspiration.

While it is good to listen to criticism, do not let the noise of others define who you truly are. The opinions of others about you will only matter if you allow them to influence you. No one will ever stop creating an opinion of you and if you listen and allow each opinion to affect you, you’ll not become the best version of yourself.

You’ll die. You need to accept that as early as you can. The body that seems so strong will eventually wither and grow old. You will feel physical pain you never thought you were capable of feeling. You need to take care of our body and make sure that when it is my time to have it, I can still do things I want to do like jogging, trying extreme sports, travelling, and going on long walks.

You will grow old so spend time with the people you love. Don’t let years quickly pass by without taking time to experience life with every person who truly matters to you.

Your priorities will change. As a matter of fact, they’ll frequently change. Get a hold of yourself. Be conscious of these changes. As your priorities change, you’ll have to be aware of what or who you’ll lose along the way. You can never take anything and anyone back. It’s a decision you need to make. As long as you will not have any regrets, go on and jump from one priority to another.

None of the things you think matter now will matter when you reach where I am. Believe me. Nonetheless, we still need to go through all the stories and drama we have been through. Keep in mind that it’s not the destination that’s important. It’s the journey that truly matters. If you get a chance to read this before we reach 50, I will probably be a different me and will perhaps write a different letter to you.

But who cares really? We had a good run.

Your 50-year-old self

Obet Cruz is a senior managing consultant of the Advisory Services Division of P&A Grant Thornton. P&A Grant Thornton is one of the leading Audit, Tax, Advisory, and Outsourcing firms in the Philippines with 21 Partners and over 900 staff members. For comments, please email or Visit our 
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As published in The Manila Times, dated 13 June 2018