I started last year by boldly challenging the universe “to bring it on.” Well, 2015 definitely brought it. Since I have discovered that challenging the universe does not bode well for me, I’ve decided to welcome 2016 on a happier, peppier note.
Rather than being insolent, I just decided to round up the lessons I learned, not in my own words but in the words of timeless, sage philosophers like Dumbledore, The Little Prince and Dr. Seuss.
Earlier when I started this blog, I mentioned that a lot of the wise principles you need in life, you can find in pages of children’s books. It seemed apt that I end up rounding my personal experiences by quoting some of my favorites.
1. ON LETTING GO OF THE PAST
IN PIA’S WORDS: You gotta let the past go. Yes, you were fulfilled, rich and you even had a respectable thigh gap way back when. But that chapter of your life is over. You gotta move on and accept who you are now. And that goes for the bad things too. You were a b*tch with anger issues. Beating yourself up over the past won’t make things better. It’s time to start fresh.
2. ON STAYING TRUE TO WHO YOU ARE
IN PIA’S WORDS:You are constantly changing, but the essence of you remains the same. You have successfully transformed into a Chanel-wearing, Hermes-loving Tita of Manila, but that Tutuban-haggling college kid who can only afford to go to Mango when there’s a sale will always be a part of you. You can’t escape it. In as much as experiences have the power to change you, they also have the capacity to leave a mark, and forever define you . So embrace and welcome the changes but never forget who you really are and where you came from.
3. ON MAKING DECISIONS
IN PIA’S WORDS: Adulting decisions suck because they are rarely black and white. As you get older, it’s harder to distinguish which choice is the “right” one. Do you stay in your cushy 9 to 5 job, because it pays the bills? Or do you pursue your life-long dream of glass etching? Despite your best efforts, what these choices will eventually lead to can be quite unclear. So you just have to take a leap of faith make the best decision given the information and options that you’re given.
4. ON RELYING ON OURSELVES TO MAKE CHOICES
IN PIA’S WORDS: When making decisions, you can turn to therapists, teachers, books, friends, family or go through all the reruns of Oprah. But at the end of the day, YOU will have to live with the choices you make. So you gotta learn how to trust yourself and trust that you know what’s best for you.
5. ON KNOWING OURSELVES
IN PIA’S WORDS: Part of trusting yourself entails knowing yourself and accepting your weaknesses and capabilities. Sometimes, it’s easier for us to give advice to others than to figure out what to do for ourselves. It’s easier to push your cousin to quit her job and to tell her boss to suck it than it is to resist the temptation to drunk dial your ex. (Were you really checking up on him because he doesn’t have anyone during the holidays, or because you wanted to make sure he doesn’t have anyone during the holidays?? There is a difference). In order to make the best decisions, we need to take the time to know ourselves and our inclinations first.
6. ON LETTING OUR ACTIONS DEFINE US
IN PIA’S WORDS: Our talents and abilities are a double-edged sword that we can either use to do good, or to wreak havoc on the universe. What really matters is how we choose to use these abilities. So do you choose to be a Gryffindor, or do you choose to be a Slytherin? (Or choose to go all double-agent like Snape? It’s very complicated really). The Skywalkers all possessed the same mind bending power (Yeah, yeah. It’s not technically their last name, but George Lucas doesn’t read my blog anyway). Luke (and possibly Rey, we shall see) chose the path of the Jedi, Anakin and Kylo Ren chose the Sith path. It’s the choices that we make that make us who we are.
7. ON SEEING PEOPLE FOR WHO THEY ARE
IN PIA’S WORDS: Just as we are neither black or white, the people around us are also mostly gray. So, yes, it is conceivable for your mysoginistic possibly sociopathic ex to have a soft spot for puppies. People are just people. And the best ones still have the capacity to really, really hurt us. It’s easy to vilify the ones that do us wrong. But the truth is, everyone has their hangups, everyone has their faults, but everyone is also just trying to be the best that they can be.
8. ON SEEING THE BEST IN SITUATIONS
IN PIA’S WORDS: Things happen for a reason is probably the most churned out advice in history. But I’ve always found that it’s annoyingly true. Just as people are neither good nor bad, situations are just that; situations. The sucky experiences that we find ourselves in can quickly turn into the best thing that ever happened to us, depending on what we choose to make of it. Just as Justin Bieber’s series of bitch fits have transformed his music and made it more mature and less grating, our misfortunes can also help us grow and turn into better individuals. We don’t learn when things are awesome, we learn when things are messed up.
In as much as I grew a lot this 2015, I have to say that I haven’t quite mastered the art of being concise. So I still have a bunch of borrowed wisdom to impart (it was a tough year, okay? Don’t judge me) in my next post. I hope you do me a solid and stay tuned. 🙂