So here’s the continuation of Moe’s letter. In this part, he dedicates one whole section to his shining beacon of goodness: ME! And I didn’t even have to coerce or bribe him to write it! (Ok, fine. There was emotional blackmail involved. :P). Seriously, really good stuff! Make sure you read until the end! 😛
- When you pray for rain, you have to deal with the mud.
As early as you possibly can, start accepting that not only do you not always get what you want out of life – that even when you do get what you want, you may end up having to deal with the difficulties that come with it. That when you’re #blessed (annoying ain’t it? Just wait till 2014) – to some degree, you will also be #cursed.
Sometime soon, you will attend birthday parties, baptisms and weddings feeling deeply melancholic that although you’re always welcome in your circles, you will feel somewhat distant.
You will experience all these things because you put work first. And naturally, work will be good to you – like you’ve always wanted and prayed for. People will tend to consider you as responsible, dependable and resourceful. You will love this feeling, and want more.
But in the process you will sacrifice everything else. And when you’re near my age, you will lift your head from your desk and realize what exactly you sacrificed for the skills.
Point is, everything you want in life will unavoidably carry with it things you don’t want. Like the disillusionment that comes from working in government. Like the heartbreak that comes from trying to make things better – including yourself. That’s what you have to learn – that with success comes pain, that with blessings comes banes. Can’t be avoided.
Remember that TV show Mom loved when we were kids – the Equalizer? Well in 2014, Denzel Washington will make a movie version of the show with the same name. Without necessarily spoiling the movie for you (which you will love by the way – must be a hereditary thing), during a conversation with a Russian mob big shot, the main character, Mr. McCall, will say, “You pray for rain, you gotta deal with the mud too.”
Why so serious. (Batman reference? No? Ah teka, sa 2008 pa pala yon. You’ll get it eventually.)
Let’s lighten it up a bit.
Around a year or two from now, you will sit at the Starbucks Katipunan, look up at a wall and see the words “Take your time, the work will wait.” The words will mean something to you for a while, but you’ll forget it eventually. Relax Moe.
When you join Aquila, brods will notice that you’re a bit too serious. A fellow named Gino Cuison, who will be your Pops (you’ll get the concept eventually), will call you “Migraine Boy” out of some morbid affection and advise you that to survive in law school, you’ll have to chill out. Your batchmates in the frat will tell you to do the same. Ultimately though, you will ignore them all and just do it your way, like you always do. You shouldn’t. Relax Moe.
Eventually, when you hit your 30s, you will discover that your health has deteriorated precisely because you keep the stress locked in instead of learning to let it go. Finally, after so much strife and wasted beautiful moments you will finally heed the advice that was first whispered to you and then eventually screamed at you – Relax Moe.
You don’t know it yet, but your inability to relax comes from your unwillingness to trust. Yup, no shit Sherlock, you have trust issues. Because you don’t trust the universe has the best intentions for you, you feel you have to take, otherwise you will never be given. Trust more. It will make a lot of difference.
You will read about the writer John Steinbeck in 2014 and will come across a quote that will help you trust the process of life a bit more:
And don’t worry about losing.
If it is right, it happens –
The main thing is not to hurry.
Nothing good gets away.
5. Someone already loves you – don’t screw it up.
In 2001 you will meet Pia Dysangco, a very pretty girl with a unique combination of spunk, intellect, care and intuition. Despite yourself, you will instantly click and she will be deeply in love with you.
Buddy, you’ll discover soon enough, your only job is to not screw it up after that. Through her you will see the world differently. You will learn to appreciate people – not just despite their faults, but precisely because of their faults. You will learn that emotions are to be felt and appreciated, not shunned and buried. You will learn about loyalty, forgiveness, and love. The lines of a Beach Boys song will best sum up your feelings – “God only knows what I’d be without you.”
There is a well-known quote attributed to Pedro Arrupe, SJ:
Nothing is more practical than finding God, than falling love in a quite absolute final way.
What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination will affect everything. It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how you spend
your weekends, what you read, whom you know, what breaks your heart and what amazes
you with joy & gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.
You have probably read this before. If not, you will. You will tend to ignore the portion however that talks about finding God. You will underestimate its significance because it will take more than a decade before you better understand what finding God means. In 2015, you will understand this quote fully because among everybody you’ve met in your life – you’ve experienced God thru Pia.
So believe me when I say – don’t screw it up. If you’re going to forget this correspondence, remember that – don’t screw it up.
One more thing. You’ll find soon enough that the things I’ve told you are but a fraction of the things you’ll learn in the next fourteen years. That’s ok. Just go out there and be courageous man. And most of all, enjoy the ride.
Start Where You Are.
Use What You Have
Do What You Can.
Very Truly Yours,