For my first ever guest post, I chose to ask my husband, Moe, to write about his experiences because well, he’s kinda obligated by law to support my endeavors- so I know he won’t say no or ask me to pay him for his troubles.
Seriously though, Moe is one of the most inspiring, most hardworking people I know. He’s also probably one of the few Gen-X-borderline-Millennial guys who is successfully living his passion. There are others who are probably richer and more accomplished sure, but he’s one of the rare fulfilled ones who has made a living doing exactly what he loves doing.
As someone who has witnessed the struggles that he had to go through, it’s great to see him live his dream.
This dream came with a price though. While we were talking about could-have-beens one night, I asked him; if he had an opportunity to write to his twenty-year old self, what would he say? This letter was a product of that particular conversation:
Hello. This is your thirty-four year old self.
Sit down for a minute and read what I have to say. I know you’re in a rush, like you always are, but believe me, this is worth slowing down for a little bit. You have class you say? Don’t be a douchebag dude – I’m sure cutting your physical education class on table tennis won’t scar you for life.
First of all, you’re wearing a shirt that’s too large for you – enclosed is some cash, go get yourself the right size.
Great, now that’s out of the way, just a few things you might want to consider from your thirty-four year old self:
- You are not your hair.
I hate to break it to you buddy, but you’re going to go bald. Well, not really super bald, but that tiny patch of thinning hair you keep obsessing on every morning, it’s going to get worse man. And in 2012, before it gets any worse, you’re going to shave it all off – para lang hindi halata.
Not only that, but all that gym work you’re doing now? That’s eventually going to taper off, before you inevitably become a chump that pays gym membership that you don’t use. And sorry, but the metabolism you’re so proud of will slow down as well. Anyway, point is, you will gain weight. A lot of it. Oh, you’ll control it eventually – but sorry, at one point, the option of extra rice will just be a fond memory.
And that late onset adult growth spurt you were hoping for? Not going to happen. To put it bluntly, you’ll be Napoleonic all your life.
Don’t deny it – these are external things that you are obsessing over now, because they seem to matter. They won’t. You will eventually be able to do the things you’ve always wanted to do as an adult – even if you’re bald, even if you’ve gained some (or a lot of) weight, and even if you’re short all your life. So don’t worry about externals too much, yeah?
There’s an India Arie song in 2006 called “I Am Not My Hair”. You will laugh so hard at it that you will not listen to the lyrics. Then some time around 2008, about four years before you shave it all off, you will listen to it for the first time with fresh ears and will instantly get it. Don’t waste time, appreciate it sooner:
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am not your expectations
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am a soul that lives within
2. Hang the f*ck out.
It wouldn’t be a letter written by Moe if there wasn’t a swear word or two tucked in somewhere, right?
Seriously though, hang out with your friends, man.
Play basketball with Mitch and Vince when they invite you. They will never tire inviting you by the way, even if you never go. But starting out earlier will not only assure that you can still ball when you’re older, more importantly, you’ll get to spend time with them unhindered by work, and kids, and all other adult responsibilities. Doesn’t have to be basketball. It can be for a drink (while Mitch still can), or for coffee, or for dinner. And it doesn’t have to be just Mitch and Vince. Any friend you intend to keep who invites you, say yes. Point is, hang out.
In 2004, you will join the Aquila Legis Fraternity. It will demand that you spend time hanging out at a designated table in the Professional Schools cafeteria every weekday afternoon. Somehow, you will sweet talk every officer of the frat to excuse you from having to go. Don’t do it. Make the time, study earlier in the morning or at night, free up your schedule, buy the overpriced kaldereta and sit at the damn table. Sooner or later, you will miss hanging with the brods, who will all be too occupied with their families and careers to sit down with you an hour each day to talk about nothing at all.
And most of all, spend time with your family. When Dad passes away in 2012, you will promise him to take care of the family. Problem is, by then, you would have forgotten how to hang out with them – so fulfilling that promise will prove difficult. By the time 2013 rolls around, it will be almost like you’ve lost some of your heart – simply because you thought, and don’t deny it, hanging out, whether with friends or family, was a waste of time.
Around 2012, there will a popular internet site called Pinterest which serves as an anonymous photo sharing facility. You will use it initially to post quotes. One of the quotes you will post (which, by the way, will be falsely attributed to Buddha – kudos to us, you will know immediately it’s fake) will say, “The trouble is, you think you have time.” You don’t Moe. Hang out.
LETTER TO BE CONTINUED IN NEXT POST…..