Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Letter To Myself

Recently someone posted a video on Facebook entitled "Dear 16-year-old Me" about melanoma (skin cancer) survivors sharing their stories. I've also read something similar in someone's blog about that person sharing her experiences through a letter. That got me thinking...what would I tell the teenager that I once was, now that I am 46 and have experienced more of life? 

Dear 16-year-old Me,

Hi! I am you, 30 years down the road. I'm writing you this letter because I think that there are some things you might be curious to know about how life will turn out for you. It's hard for you to imagine yourself at my age, but just to let you know, I haven't changed much except that my face is a little rounder and my boobs sag a little lower, haha. 

I still remember you envisioning the future, about having a career and a wonderful marriage with 2 kids. Don't worry too much about not having a boyfriend even though you see your friends pairing up and being all lovey-dovey. How do you know when the right guy comes along? When you go out with a guy and he doesn't try to impress you with how good he is or what possessions he has. When you can be yourself with him and he loves you for being you. When he cares for others. When he loves God and wants to please Him. And yes, this guy exists and you married him. He and his family love you to bits.

And yes, you will have 2 kids - a boy and a girl - just like you imagined you would. They have been a challenge to raise but I cannot imagine my life without them. The love and joy that they bring is just priceless. And nothing beats being a mom to teenage kids! By the way, your daughter looks like you and she dances ballet, like how you had wanted to but somehow didn't.

Oh yes, one thing I have a hard time getting rid of are the freckles on my cheeks. I wish you would not spend so much time in the sun although I understand that during that era the trend was having tanned skin. Sunblock is now my best friend. However, I must thank you for taking care of your skin with the proper skin care through the years and now people tell me that I look younger than my age. I must confess though, that the love for make up and cosmetics have carried on till this present day. Another thing, you don't need to wish for bigger eyes, your small eyes look fine with proper make up. The lack of height...just got to live with it.

My health is not too bad for a 46-year-old. I still love cakes and pastries, but I try not to give in to temptation - sometimes I succeed, other times I don't. The trend now is healthy eating.

Life will not be a bed of roses but I know you have that 'stubbornness' in you that you will never quit no matter what life throws at you. You have dreams of pursuing your studies overseas and there will come a time after you've completed your matriculation in college that you will see your friends one by one going overseas for their studies...but you will be left behind. Dad will tell you that his business is not doing well and there won't be enough money for you to study overseas. But don't despair, opportunities will open up in other areas and you will find tremendous joy and satisfaction in another career path.  Also, you would not have met your Prince Charming if you had gone overseas, so I am thankful now for the broken dreams back then.

An illness in the family will really test you and force you to grow up real quick. But don't worry, your faith in God will bring you through the difficult times when you have to bear heavy burdens on your young shoulders.
A drastic change to a smaller town later on will seem like an awful hindrance to all your plans, but this will be the time when you discover yourself minus all the trappings of material possessions and big-city life.

So, don't take things too seriously, enjoy the fun moments. Treasure your friends. Some of those girls in school and new friends you find at your future workplace will become lifelong pals. 

Embrace difficult circumstances as opportunities to grow as a person. Trust God and He will show you what He has purposed for you, and bring you from strength to strength. All that I am and have is truly by the grace of God, and for that I am grateful.

Your 46-year-old Self