A letter to my 18-year-old self

Posted on September 9, 2011 by


Written by Gail Rae Javier

Dear 18-year-old Gail,

I hope this message finds you well.

I’m writing to you from almost 7 years down the road, from my friends’ apartment somewhere in the central business district. It’s too late to go home now, so I had to stay here until tomorrow morning.

Time is about to hit 2 AM here. You wouldn’t believe how much travelling I’ve done these past few days because of work. Sleep has become a luxury nowadays, but I do not complain. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to sleeping in the unholiest hours of the day because of your deadlines and dreadful term papers and exams back in college. Oh before I forget, sharpen your algebra skills if you don’t want to get a 3.0 in your transcript. But if your professor still gives you the passing mark, wear those laurels still. I know you worked hard for it, and at least you don’t have to repeat that subject again.

Besides, there would be more horrific subjects than that. Just keep calm.

In college, you will deal with one major issue: SURVIVAL. You will have to endure lots of inconsiderate professors who will require you to pass a 500-page writing homework along with your computer programming and economics assignments ON Valentine’s Day.

Your thesis adviser would be kind of cruel too. She’ll insist on you doing a completely different study when you initially planned out on doing a content analysis. You might have to repeat your whole manuscript. But you wouldn’t die. If you died, then no one would write you this letter.

But if I were you, find time to have fun. I regret staying in my apartment for the most of my academic life. I rarely went out, thus my life was kind of boring.

Anyway, you will have friends who will help you get through it, plus some awesome clubbing afterwards. You will meet three amazing people who will eventually become your best friends. Treat them as family. Value them like how you value yourself. Love them wholeheartedly.

Heartwise, I’m hoping you haven’t confessed your feelings yet to your guy best friend. If yes, please do guard your heart in any way possible. It turns out he’s a complete jerk.

On the seventh year of you being in love with him, your friendship will fade away. If you get totally hurt, it’s okay to cry and feel worst about it. Wallow in despair for a good three months and then afterwards, move on and accept that everything’s over.

You might want to consider taking photography classes. It will be handy in your future job. Speaking of your future job, you will find love again in the form of busy shoot schedules and post-production work. You will meet Mochi, a DSLR camera. And together, you will take amazing photos.

I know this line has been used for a thousand times now, but I would still like to remind you to NEVER STOP DREAMING BIG.

Draw. Design. You will make more magic with Photoshop. It will be your edge. And take photos wherever you go.

Weave words in utmost romance. They will eventually grow wings and will take you to many places.

Dare to fly.

Live your life without any regrets. Learn from both your victories and heartaches.

Parting words? I honestly do not know what to say to you. I guess it’s because both of us are still in a pursuit – you, reaching this destination where I am in right now; and me, trying to fix the present so you wouldn’t have to worry about what’s in store for you in the future.

Whatever failures you might encounter in the entirety of this life, keep this letter in your heart. Think of me. Don’t look like someone hopeless now. Smile.

See you when the sky meets the land.