Sunday, September 6, 2015

To The Past Self

All my life, I have always wanted to be an adult. I have been choosing chick lit over teen lit (and adult fiction over young-adult novels) since high school, started watching Desperate Housewives when I was 15 (I know how terrible it sounds), always think more like an adult, prefer talking to my aunts than playing with my younger cousins, and I'm happy if someone mistake me for a person who is a few years older (based on my behavior, though, not how I look or dress). Well, I could think of several justifications behind those inclinations - I am the first child, I was raised to be mature and responsible, I studied psychology, most of my close friends are at least 2 years older than me, and so forth.

Although now that I'm an adult (the future me might laugh to read that a 21-year-old me gullibly thought she was an adult), I'm actually a bit scared. It's getting real. The pressure is real. The pressure to get a job, to get married, to raise beautiful and smart children, to make a change, to do meaningful things. And I'm still far, far away from what I aspire to be. On my way there, I hope, but still nowhere near.

The thing about being the oldest one in the family is, no one is going to tell you how the world really works and guide you to the "right" way. There could be some discrepancies between what your parents told you to do and what everyone else is doing, and no one would tell you what to do.

If only I could tell my younger, naive self a few things, I'd tell her not to worry so much about being an adult. I'm grateful to have the chance to start college two and a half years earlier than I was supposed to, but life is not just about putting a tick on your to-achieve list. So I would tell the teenage-me to enjoy the present more. Break some rules, make some mistakes, and learn from them. Be friends with a lot of people, even those who didn't meet your criteria of a nice person. There is always something that you can learn from everyone, after all. You, however, still need to always follow your conscience (which sometimes has the exact same voice as your mom's or dad's) to prevent yourself from doing stupid things you might regret.

Found on Tumblr.

I would also tell her to never stop reading. Books can be expensive and movies can be so tempting, but you, my dear, should never stop reading. Be it novels or nonfiction books about anything, they will open your mind. Now that I'm (finally) into reading again, I sometimes stumble upon a few books and thought, "why didn't I read this earlier?". And yes, I would also tell myself to start reading English books earlier. It could be intimidating and difficult at first, but once you're used to it, girl, it could lead you to a whole new world! Your brain would definitely thank you later.

I would tell her to be less afraid to try new things as well. Seriously, do something you're not really comfortable with, but you know could benefit you in some way. And don't give up or get bored so easily. Be more persistent, for your own sake. You will irrefutably regret all the things that everyone does yet you don't because you couldn't (like swimming or riding a bike), so pull yourself together and keep trying until you can.

But I'm not getting any younger, and so I would also tell my future self: Try your best to keep doing all the things I have mentioned earlier. You'll be alright, as you always are. You're loved, you're blessed, you're happy. A few years ago, you old self was praying to get the things you now have (and probably you take for granted). And for that, you should really be grateful.

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