Life in the Fast Lane


Note to Self

By 10:53 AM , , , ,

Inspired by today's Twitter trending topic, #tweetyour16yearoldself:


Dear Sixteen-Year-Old Tin,

I imagine you reading this a day after you turned the big One-Six, shocked because of all the pink and silver balloons that CLINCR scattered all over the house after throwing you that surprise 16th birthday dinner at TGIFriday's. I can also imagine you deciding what to do with all of these balloons. (And since I know what happened, I'd like to say that I'm proud of the fact that you took all of these balloons to the nearby orphanage. You made so many kids smile. Good job, Tin.)

But I'd like to tell you things that I wish I knew at sixteen. Things that I've experienced and learned more than a decade later.

One: My goodness, stop being so darn shy. You were blessed with a loud voice. Too loud, in fact, that you never needed a megaphone to call people when it was time for cheerleading practices after school. Use that voice wisely. Don't be afraid to speak up and let your opinions be known. I know that feeling left out or used are big issues with you. So start talking. Tell your friends that you hate it when you're not invited to certain events or when you can't relate. You can also use your voice to say NO when you feel that your niceness is being abused.

Two: Don't stop being active. Years from now (on your first year of employment, to be specific), you will be at your heaviest. And that's because your first year of working will be spent in front of the computer for 10-12 hours a day, eating bowls of chips during shoots and forgetting that the village pool exists. Continue being fit and don't get tired of it. One of my biggest regrets, in fact, is not joining the swimming varsity in college. For heaven's sake, please don't use "the tryout dates conflict with the schedule" as an excuse.

Three: Don't stop reading. I don't care if we're talking chick lit (though please don't make this genre a staple in your bookshelf) or historical fiction. One day, you will realize the importance of words and the use of imagination. Especially when you start working as a writer of an advertising agency.

Four: You are not a fan of change and I understand that. But don't be afraid of it. Don't palpitate at the thought of your first day of college because you feel that you'll be all alone. You'll make friends and meet some of the best people who've ever graced your life. You will also need to go on retreats someday and rekindle your relationship with God. These retreats will be life-changing and amazing, if you attend them.

Five: Don't ever wear a cap (backwards!) again. When you were thirteen, it was acceptable given the Mighty Ducks era. The caps that you do have, burn them while you can. Or sell them at a garage sale. And while you're at it, please get rid of those hideous silver platforms. You are tall enough as it is. You don't need to conform to that horrific Spice Girls trend.

Six: Relish your statuesque and reed thin frame. One day, you will discover that you actually have hips as a result of genetics. And that your waistline will expand. While you can afford to flaunt your bony figure and flat stomach, work it, girl!

Seven: Cherish being sixteen. Laugh because the biggest thing in your life is Leonardo DiCaprio and Titanic. Or the arrival (in a few months!) of your first Labrador Retriever named Ashley. Soon enough, it'll be time to grow up and face that world called Adulthood. The memories you make today will last a lifetime. Don't be in a hurry to want to have a boyfriend, or to go out on "gimmicks" at night just because everyone else is doing it. There will be plenty of time to do those, believe me.

Eight: Keep on setting a good example for Chuck, Cooky and CJ and being the responsible eldest of Dad and Mom. One day, you will realize just how important family is and you will be blessed.

Nine: Set high standards for yourself, but don't be disappointed if things turn out differently. The "timeline" that you wrote once upon a time (i.e. work at 22, be married by 25, have kids by 27) won't necessarily be what God has in store for you. Pray for His will in your life and know that He will give you just that.

Ten: Have fun! Don't be too serious. You have a tendency to overthink. Life is and will be good. I promise.


The Tin of 2010

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