We will all reach that age when everything is just uncertain. I hope I reach the age of 50 (or beyond) and be able to read this with the hopes that things have changed for the better.
Dear Future Self,
You wrote this when you were a confused 28 year old adult. In a couple of weeks, you are not 28 anymore. I hope you are reading this while you are in a happy place, sipping on a glass of ice-cold Moscato by your balcony, or chilling with a bottle of beer by the beach. To be honest, I am so proud of you because at this age, you still have your goals intact and you are still pursuing it so keep it up! At the time you wrote this, you just got home from Sydney, and you realized that “home” will never ever be the same when you first left. Today is Valentine’s Day of 2018 and for the first time in so many years, you celebrated Valentine’s Day by yourself (with your dog Dewey). Despite that fact, you never felt so complete before. You were surrounded with your loving family and to you, nothing means more than that. In the past couple of months, you experienced so much in every aspect of your life. You had your ups and downs. But here you are, still standing and smashing it.
At the moment, you are thinking “where should I start?” It seems like your entire life is a total wreck right now, but you are still trying to put your sh*t together. Back in Sydney, you rented the best apartment in the middle of the city, and you had to let it go. There’s this point when you will doubt your choices in life, but in the end you still have to make those choices. There is NOTHING WRONG with FALLING APART. But there’s also this concept called STARTING OVER. In your 28 years of existence, you have learned that when life hits you, it hits you hard. It’s up to you how you will recover. “Adulting” is never easy. On normal instances, you have to finish school, work your ass off, pay your bills, balance your career and relationships, and try to build your social network all in one go. But you my dear, at 28… You have gone through so much in a span of 12 months.
At 27, you decided to live abroad to pursue your passion in Patisserie, and that’s beyond brave. Living alone in a whole new environment with no one but yourself is a leap of faith. Looking back, everything was unfamiliar but you survived. You’ve experienced being a chef/kitchen-hand at a Lebanese Cafe. Do you remember the amount of pots and pans you had to clean while plating all those French Toasts and Burgers and Lebanese Sausages? You also tried your luck in the cleaning business where you had to clean this entire warehouse of expensive cars at Villawood in a span of 4 hours. Don’t forget your experience in sales for Doctors Without Borders where you had to go door-to-door asking for a recurring donation for the organization. That was almost 100 doors in a day. Thank God it was winter. And of course, your favorite part was being a full-pledged Pastry Chef at an Italian Fine Dining at Rhodes. That was the hype of your career aside from The Royal Chimney which you built when you were younger. It was helluvah ride for you, and on top of that… let’s not forget you were also a FULL-TIME student aiming to ace your grades. You finished school (for the 3rd time) with passing grades. Hurrah! Your entire 2017 was a balancing act and you finished it as a Level 4 Certified Pastry Chef. Wow!
But of course, despite the blooming career, life will always throw something at you. There comes your marriage issue. For a lot of reasons, you thought you can put the relationship back together, but then you asked yourself and prayed… “Is it worth it?”, and God gave you your answers. He left, just like that. He did not have the confidence to say it straight to your face. It stings at first, just like a band-aid being pulled off from your wound. It will hurt, but when it’s over you will feel relieved. However, it will always leave a scar. You will be numb at some point, but when you see that scar, it will remind you of all the bitterness of how you tripped over.
Let me just say, it’s not a failed marriage on your part because you tried. It takes two hands to clap, so never regret that fact that you tried. You will heal and move on. In the right time, you might be able to meet the right person who will be ready to plan the future with you and actually fulfill it. You just have to learn how to love yourself first before you can love others.
The future might be overwhelming and terrifying. It’s OK to cry. Sometimes, your tears will give you a better view of what lies ahead. Allow yourself to take a clearer glance. You have your own future and everything lies in your own hands. Do not be afraid to fail because there is always time to stand again. If in your lifetime, you don’t meet “THE ONE”… That’s OK. There is absolutely nothing wrong with living alone. You just have to learn to be contented with the people you are with. They will come and go and that’s life, but the people who values you the most will always make an excuse to stay. Just live in the moment, no matter how painful or confusing. One day, you will be strong and happy and “right now” will only be just a memory.
Aiming high for your future is not a sin. There is nothing wrong with taking risks and going out of your comfort zone. Always remember, those that support you all throughout your journey are the people who truly cares so allow them to be there for you. Do not close your door to anyone who wants to know you at a closer distance.
At 28, you’ve had your fair share of hospital visits. I hope you are taking good care of your health now. Your GP in Sydney suspects Multiple Sclerosis because of your symptoms, and your physio therapist agrees with him. You’ve been patient with your nerve therapies for the past couple of months, and I’ve never seen you that persistent. You’ve been delaying your Neurologist check-up since December though and everyone is worried about you. I am glad you finally made that call and booked that appointment. Hon, I know you are scared. But the only solution to your sudden headaches and numbness is the advice you will get from your Neurologist. I hope you don’t miss your appointment. You’ve gone through life-threatening surgeries. This is nothing. Be brave.
Wherever you are right now, I hope you are doing OK, alive and kicking, and still slaying. Are you in Tasmania, managing an ice cream shop with your BFF? Are you in Greece? Living with your rescue dogs just along side the beach? Or are you traveling the world while remotely managing your E-Commerce shops? Did you live by your goal of being rich at 33? Hahaha. It may sound hilarious, but knowing you… You have the ability of making your dreams come true as long as you focus on it. Being called a “chef” was just your idea of adding some letters before your name (because you can’t be an Engr., or an Atty. or a Dr., or an Arch. because Maatthhhh), but to hell with it. You became a chef at 21 because you wanted it. Building a cafe was just your dream, and you did it at 24. You traveled the Philippines, explored Asia, and you actually wrote about your travels for a living at the age of 26. Living in Sydney was just your “future plans”, but you did it at 27. So your goal of making it big at 33… I believe in you. I just hope you don’t give up on whatever that motivates you.
“I believe in you 100%” someone so dear to you once told you that. It makes a big difference when others start believing in your abilities aside from yourself. Cherish those people. You will only meet them once.
In your lifetime, there will come a point when you will ask yourself… “Am I not a likeable person?”, “Will anybody be able to accept who I am as a person?”, “Am I not worth fighting for?”, “Am I not worth a try?”, “Am I not worth the risk?” My dear, YOU ARE WORTH EVERY DAMN FEELS. But only the right people will see that worth. You do not need validation from anyone. Just be yourself. Be whoever you want to be. Not everyone will have the same thinking as yours and not everyone will give the same effort as you give them. For that, you have to ask yourself again. Are they worth it?
But if in your lifetime you are able to find the people who will choose you over so many things that may be thrown at them, embrace these people. They are yours. You have the power to also choose them.
I hope by the time you are reading this in the future, you have learned your lessons. You are stronger and wiser. I know you won’t allow yourself to stumble on the same mistakes of the past. You are braver than you ever were. You know that heartaches are just temporary and you will heal eventually. Recovery is a tough process, and you have to go through it. Kinaya mo nga mag-isa sa Sydney eh. Kaya mo yan!
Just continue traveling and moving forward. Just allow yourself to meet new people and be open for opportunities that might come your way. Allow them to take you to places, but never put yourself in a situation that will push you beyond your limits. You got this! You’ve come this far. Ngayon ka pa ba susuko kung kailan ang layo na ng narating mo? Push lang ng push!
And as you always say when you were younger… GO WHERE YOUR DREAMS TAKE YOU. I hope you are still going to where you really want to be. Keep up the faith.
I love you always and 5-ever.
BOBBIE (Your 28 Year Old Self)