Dear 2016 me,
1. Taking care of yourself will always be your no. 1 priority. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually. They are all as important, and taking the time to just be with yourself will be so beneficial for your wellbeing in the long run.
2. Shit may happen in your life, but it’s you who decides what you do with it. If you ask me, the word ‘failure’ doesn’t exist. Just because the path you designed did not happen accordingly doesn’t mean that the alternatives are the wrong path. Later, you may realize that the latter was actually the better fit for you, and that you needed to ‘fail’ in order to see that.
3. You are stronger than you think. We all are. When something particularly harsh in life hits you hard, all you want to do is crawl back from where you came from, and pretend it never happened. But each experience makes you stronger. You don’t really see the silver lining until the dark cloud comes, and when it does – you are gonna be so ready.
4. Your family will always have your back. (They have to, lol) No matter how bad things get, they are always there for you, regardless of where they physically are.
5. School does not determine your life. It was particularly hard for you this year – socially – because you were doing something that none of your friends were doing. Everybody else was at school or at college, and they all seemed to be solidly moving along in their lives, while you felt stuck in the void in your gap year. But, guess what? You did learn stuff this year, and you did grow into a more nurtured and knowledgeable person in 2016. You may have gone off track, but your time did not go to waste. College will not change where you are ultimately meant to be.
6. You’re Asian, but you don’t need to be defined by it. It doesn’t determine how you feel on the inside, and it doesn’t determine what other people make of you. Embrace your race proudly, but also unleash your beautiful identity.
7. Learning takes place anywhere and everywhere. Regardless of whether you’re at school, playing, working, or just laying around, you’re absorbing all kinds of new information that, over time, will accumulate to help you become even wiser. You used to believe that most of your education would take place at school, college and at work – but having this year away from your typical lifestyle has taught you better. The real learning cannot take place in a class with a teacher guiding you. The real learning happens when you fail and pick yourself up on your own account.
8. You need a few close friends. No matter how many friends you have, without your closest friends to rely your feelings, trust and silly conversations with, you would not be as happy as you are right now.
9. It’s okay to let go of some people. It doesn’t always mean that you stop caring about them. It just means that it didn’t work out for now. Don’t ponder too much about why they didn’t work out, and please don’t dwell on them.
10. Books are your greatest mentors. Reading is such a seemingly passive and relaxing activity, but when your delve into a good book, fireworks actually go off in your head. You become more creative, are able to think more critically, and learn so much – all of that happening inside your head. Books are also one of the cheapest and most efficient resources for self-learning that we oftentimes take for granted today.
11. Social media is really not that important. You love the virtual interaction that technology offers today, but you also know that it won’t really give you the satisfaction that you genuinely desire. It’s okay if you want to make your Instagram look aesthetically pleasing, but it’s pointless to obsess over it. It’s okay if you use Facebook, Tumblr, and other social sites regularly, but not if you keep comparing myself to people who post flawless self-portraits. Having a pretty life online is just another mask that you don’t truly need.
12. You are a social introvert. You love doing things on your own, such as reading, writing, exercising, learning (pretty much everything, to be honest), but you also love traveling, learning from others and experiencing new cultures. You shine from the synergy of these two, and you should continue striving to have a healthy balance of both.
13. Money can distort reality. Buying materialistic things makes you be such person. Try not to buy more than what you need. But buying experiences, or things that create experiences, is totally worth it (like traveling).
14. Life without passion is existing without living. There’s no better motivator than getting up in the morning knowing that you have a passionate purpose to work and fight for. Passion is your biggest intrinsic motivation, and it’s what will get you through even when everything else seems dark. After all, with passion comes action, and with action comes change.
15. You’re actually a rebel ;). (Gurrl) Not in a bad way – you’re not that kind of rebellious. But you are actually starting to stand for what you believe in, instead of going along with what others believe is best for you.
16. You’re gonna die. Eventually. It’s the honest truth, and we can try to hide it as much as we can – exercising, using beauty products, becoming a monk, etc. But you’re gonna die, anyway. And who knows what will happen when it happens. So live your effing life.