A Letter of Love For My 26-year-old Self
A letter for myself, by myself.
Hi Gelyka. Hmm.. Weird. It has been a while since I call you your full first name. Not Lalay (which was given to you by your Mamang Loring). Not what your family members and your close friends call you–Gely. Not Gel, as you are fondly called by colleagues. And not even Ge, as your partner calls you.
You are now 26. Lots have changed but never your heart. It is still as pure and as passionate as ever. If Mamang Loring is still alive, she’ll say you’re still that cheerful, dreamer girl from Burgos. You never changed.
I am so proud of what you have become. You quit your job at age 25. You prefer working as a freelancer, traveling, meeting people, beating deadlines in between, and spending time with your family. You know that path is not a smooth one, but you are up for it.
Challenges will come. That is for sure. Financially, that’s the thing. But know that at your very core is on fire. The flame is never disappearing. It will keep burning passionately.
I am happy that you are now slowly setting your priorities straight. You met the one you are sure to spend the rest of your life with. And together, you are dreaming, and believing, and making things happen. I am thankful to God for letting you be in a relationship which lets you grow independently together.
It has been a roller coaster ride, girl.
Let’s look back.
Your 20-year-old self was that dreamer lady, but she does not know where to go. All she want was to fit in.
Your 21 and 22-year-old self were a little lost. You know what I am talking about, you remember every details of it. These years are what you call your dark years. And I am sure as hell you like to keep them buried.
But I am not judging them. Not blaming them either. They are all part of who you are right now. They molded you. They might have fell back, but it is their experiences that lead you to where you are right now. I am glad that throughout the years, you are learning that the sense of belongingness needs to come from you. The moment you learn to accept and love yourself, is where you start realizing that you can be anywhere by just being you.
I am happy you are building your own house and making plans for your business with your partner. You are incredible.
Remember when you were a kid, back in Burgos, Pangasinan. You were accompanying Mamang Loring in selling her rice cakes up to lunch time. You were that little girl, who’s very cheerful, who loves her Mamang and Papang so dearly, who regularly have a long distance phone call to her Mama in Manila, and who promised to keep going back.
Remember the moment you promised yourself someday, you will give your Mamang the best things in life. I know. The time when you were slowly earning and having a career, it was the time Mamang left you and the family. You weren’t able to give her and Papang all the best things in life, like what you have dreamed and prayed for. But things do happen for a reason. I am glad your faith in God is stronger than before. And amidst the pain you opt to keep the faith and hold on.
Now, you know that regret, as what an author says, is the most lonesome of all companions. And you do not want that to happen. I love how you make time for your family, even when you are currently living in the city, away from them. I love how you go home, spend time with your Papa, Mama, Ate, and Baby Kean and Tintin. They are your strength. Thankyou too, for always coming back home to Burgos. You never stop on giving back. You never forget Mamang and Papang. Lots have changed already but your love for the place, and for the people and memories there remains the same.
Thankyou for knowing how to be strong. You are now learning to say “No” to things you are not comfortable. You have set your limits. You are a “yes” person but you now know when things should not be the way it is. I love your spirit. You are a fighter. Thankyou for not giving up. You know life’s hardships and yet you say “Bring it on!”
A hustler of life, yes you are. And I love how you go for the goal. In everything you do, though there may be some hindrances, you know how to reach it.
Take it slow, my dear. You are in your primes. I am happy for you. For all the you have been through, you surpassed them all. The heartaches, the dark days where you did not know what you are doing.
Make time for your friends too. They are treasures. I love how we learned that friendship turns into gold in time. You love your friends. They are quite a few, yes–from highschool and college, but they are all God’s gift. And you shall treasure them even when you grow old and you are apart.
Please take care of yourself too. You neglected your body for the past couple of years. But please, this time, make time to nourish your health. Think of the future. Think of the family you are about to build, you know you want to be in the pink of health for them.
Keep loving. Keep believing. Keep knowing that you have a place in this world, and that place is what you are creating right now.
Trust God, always. Like what you have been doing in the past years. You are 26. You are strong and you can make it.