To The Child That I was

Posted: March 7, 2013 in My Bald Opinion
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I’m a thirty-something adult now, and every day I keep wishing that someone has warned and equipped me with enough wisdom to help me survive this thing called life. So I am writing this to the child that I was (yep, that 3-year-old seductress in the picture was me!), in the hopes that someone out there could actually benefit from the little knowledge I have learned so far.

Don’t rush growing up. Believe me when I tell you this, nothing could ever surpass the joys of being a child. You are probably feeling so helpless now; feeling responsible for your parents’ troubles and unable to do much about it with your very young and innocent mind. Sweetie, none of these problems was your fault. Their problems were never yours to mind in the first place. You are a child, go and play with your friends – that is what you are supposed to do. Let the grownups do their thing. And if they have failed your expectations in any way, know that they, too, are children sometimes. They could be just as clueless as you are too. Forgive them, for in time you will see that everything happens for a reason. Know that there is a much bigger scheme in this life you have yet to live as you age. Things aren’t always what they seem. But for now, take your time and just be a child. Enjoy your friends, play with your toys, run wild and free on the lawn, laugh like there’s no tomorrow, and I assure you, the rest will follow.

Your parents aren’t always right but they really only want what’s best for you. They try their best and it doesn’t seem that way right now but you will understand everything in time. Please believe me. It’s their job to protect you, care for you and provide for you. And this is not an easy task. When they allow you to play with your friends, out of their sight, you know inside they struggle with so much worry that they won’t be there for you should you hurt yourself while running or should one of your playmates make you cry. They only try to put a brave face on every time, but they worry about you a lot. Trust me when I tell you this: You are their precious little thing. You have to acknowledge that they are not perfect people. They will disappoint you time and time again. They might even hurt you, intentionally or not. But you will come to know that behind these imperfections lies so much love for you. So love them back. Love them while they are still in your life, while you still have them.

You don’t get to choose your family but remember that blood will always be blood. Sure you may be suffering from a dysfunctional family like more than half of the population do. You may be part of the most tragic family to ever inhibit this planet. But in time, you will learn to embrace this flawed family who have loved and nurtured you in their own strange ways. And so your family should always come first. Yes, first. They should not be next to your friends, and dear god I hope not, next to your boyfriend / girlfriend. Your best of friends will shelter you for a day or two, but on the third day you will notice a sour change. On the fourth or fifth day, your friends will start hinting on kicking you out. Trust me. No one will accept all of you, give the kind of love that’s almost unconditional, and stand by you the way your family would. You only have one, cherish it.

Most of the things you’d need to get through life you won’t learn inside the classrooms, but be that as it may, you still have to study hard. As you grow you will learn that life isn’t as magical as Alice in Wonderland. There will be no magic wand that you can just swing to give you anything you want in life. You will learn that the world doesn’t owe you anything, and so you have to work hard for everything you want in your life. And you will have a better chance in life if you are equipped with an excellent education in seizing every opportunity that comes your way. Please believe me; I have seen many good people deprived of better opportunities in life due to their lack of education. Sometimes, it’s not enough that you are skilled, or that you are good at what you do. Sometimes, this piece of paper called a “Diploma” works wonders. Study hard. Make that diploma happen, and life just might get easier for you.

Do you remember the exhilaration you feel whenever you discover a new toy store, that feeling of pride and joy that comes with exploring a new territory? When you become an adult, please continue discovering new toy stores, this time by travelling. Explore new places, new traditions, new cuisine, new boundaries, and enrich yourself through this. Half of the lessons you will need to get through life, you will learn when you take a journey to places you haven’t yet delved into. It’s an adventure you must take every now and then. Do not confine yourself in the comfort of familiarity; this is when you stop learning (and most times, it’s when you stop actually living too). Discover, explore, and travel a lot.

Love can wait. There will be times you will feel that it’s now or never. There will be times it will feel like no one could ever love you as much. There will also be a couple of times where you will feel that he / she is The One. Oh, and you will also feel like you can’t go on with life without him / her, and so you’d say you’d rather die. Love is beautiful, but only when it’s the right kind. Listen to me. This is how you’ll know if it’s the wrong one:

  • If it can’t be announced to the whole wide world, no matter the reason, something is definitely wrong. Love is too beautiful to be hidden from anyone, and I mean ANYONE.
  • If it makes you think less of you and more of him / her, something’s not right. You can’t love anyone effectively if you don’t, first, love yourself enough.
  • If it brings out the worse in you (i.e. jealousy, anger, vengefulness, deceit, suicidal tendencies, etc.), this is bound to kill your spirit. Love is supposed to bring out the best in you, make you glow, and add bounce into your steps; it’s not supposed to turn you into a monster.
  • If it makes you put all your dreams and aspirations to a halt, then how healthy can this be?

My dear, love can wait. You don’t have to settle. You deserve so much more and you know it. After all, great things come to those who wait. Keep in mind that you are the prize. Yes, you are.

Never give up your passions. As you grow, you will realize there are things you revel in doing more than anything else. You could be painting, dancing, collecting coins, swimming, playing basketball, or doing anything that makes you feel more alive – hold on to this. It will be nice if you could find a job in the same field; this way you will love what you do even more. Should you end like most of us, where we had to choose a job that puts a meal on the table over the job that is our passion but pays less, don’t let your passions go. Keep them on the side. Find the time to still keep doing / enjoying them. It is always a pity to live through life without having anything you are passionate about. If they make you feel more alive, then they are worth keeping in your life.

Marriage is a bed of roses, thorns included. This is a vow I wish you would take very seriously. It is a commitment you can’t just get out of at the first instance of a complication. Things will not always go your way. Marriage is probably where your maturity is mostly put to the test. You are used to living for yourself, and suddenly you will be living for two; and it multiplies as you have children. You will have to learn the art of compromising, and this is not a walk in the park. I wish I have a special formula to impart; I’m still threading through this thing myself. Relish each moment of the honeymoon stage, these are the memories you will dig up every time you feel like giving up. It’s a partnership, keep this in mind. For the moment you stop being partners in life is the moment you stop being married. It’s a commitment, and it entails hard work. Your marriage will only “work out” when you make an extra effort in actually putting “work” in it. Like love, marriage is just as exquisite. It is bittersweet, an exceptional treat.

Your body is a sanctuary, and it’s the only one you have: love and respect it. When you were told that your health is your wealth, I’m sure you ignored it and probably even laughed at it. I’m telling you now there is so much truth in those words. When you are young, you feel you are unbreakable. You might even think you are invincible, and so you will tend to abuse yourself. Please don’t. Don’t deceive yourself into believing that you will be as strong and as healthy as you are forever. You will be tempted to smoke, to take drugs, and to do unimaginable abuses to your body. It’s all part of growing, but it’s a different story actually giving in to these temptations. Giving in to these tempting abuses isn’t strength but a weakness on your part. And you are so much stronger than this. There will be no point in having all the wonderful dreams and goals in your life if you won’t be having a capable body to help you achieve all these. Love yourself. Love this body you have been blessed with. I want you to live a long and happy life, and the only way to achieve this is by staying healthy.

Lastly, get a dog. It’s the only best friend you can have in this world. There will be a lot of people who will betray you in this lifetime, but your dog will remain loyal to the very end. You will learn patience, responsibility, serenity, and love just by having a dog in your life. Do it as a gift to yourself. And I am telling you, your quest for that elusive unconditional love will cease as soon as you experience a dog’s love. It’s magical.

There. With this I pray you will not be making the same mistakes I did in my life. You will need a lot of faith in yourself, loads of support from loved ones, and tons of luck. Live your life to the fullest. You will be just fine. But for now, you may resume being a child again…

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Comments
  1. Sylvia says:

    Wow! Well said, well said.

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