Letter to Self

Just like last year, I am going to write a letter to my future self before I turn a year older. Before I began writing this, I re-read the letter I had written last year and somehow had this warm feeling tingling all over me as I chuckled and smiled whilst reading it. It's a funny feeling, remembering what I used to be and how I have changed. And like last year, I am going to reiterate that this is going to be absolutely tedious to read as well as indigestible unless my future self is reading it so please disregard this post from hereon.

Dear Justine of the Future,

How are you doing in the future? I hope you are doing mighty fine emotionally, physically, mentally and above all, spiritually. I also hope you are sitting down as you read this because trust me, this is going to be one lengthy letter. Now, don’t whine. Just read everything I have to say to you.

College began for you nine months ago. The transition from high school to college hadn’t been very smooth for you. In fact, it had been anything but smooth. In the beginning, you were afraid of practically everything but I came to realize that your biggest fear had been change; change in environment, syllabi and of course, people. Which, come to think of it, translates to ‘everything’. Your first semester in college was probably the roughest but by God’s grace, you survived. I am now in the midst of my third semester in college as I type this and so far, it has been pretty challenging, but I believe that you will survive it, too, like you always do.

College life has been timelessly interesting and immensely educative, non-academically speaking. Your worries, as you found out later, were uncalled for since the beginning because you came to know phenomenal people in college, both the lecturers and students alike, who kept you going each day. And in the past eight and a half months, you have learnt many life lessons, both the grave and the trivial. I hope those lessons are still etched onto your head and heart because you would definitely want to impart your words of wisdom to your daughter once she reaches adolescence.

Your life as a 17-year-old has really been significant and eventful. You missed a scholarship interview. (And laughed about it when you found out. You are one weird human being.) You passed your driving test and got your driving license even though you had sucked big-time at parking. (I hope you don’t suck at it anymore.) You went shopping for the first time without any parental supervision with your cousin sister. You bought slightly feminine blouses -progress, no less- at your own will for the first time. You hit the gym for the first time at your own will and have been going every now and then. (Never thought you’d actually set foot into the gym, huh? So did I.) You attended the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra for the first time (and in a dress, too) and had a grand time. You decided to switch your major from Aeronautical Engineering to Petroleum Engineering to Geological Engineering -OK, cutting to the chase here- to Geology. You song-led in CG for the first time. (I knew you could do it. You just never believed that you could.) Your brother turned 21 and your father turned 60. (God is amazing and ever-giving.) You had the most excruciating tooth surgery; unless you had gotten/are going to get your wisdom tooth out. (In which case, pray and surrender it unto God’s Hands because only His peace can bring you comfort.) You had your first real crush, which you successfully killed into nothingness before you actually did something stupid. (I am proud of you for that.) You almost had to leave your course and start back from square one in another country which scared you terribly although you never admitted that. And you met the person you carved a portion of your life out for, as mentioned in the previous letter. (I’m sure you still remember that day as clear as I do now. Still number one in The Best Days of My Life list, yes?)

And through all that, you made the biggest mistake by losing sight of the things that mattered in your life and focused on the things that didn't. Praise God for intervening before you lost yourself completely. And praise God for your family and friends who kept you grounded. And praise God for the little daily reminders, be it through things or people, that life is a spectacular journey filled with 90% ups and 10% downs. Because you made it to be. And because you believed it to be. So never regret any choice you’ve made regardless of it being a good or bad one as all things in life happen for a reason.

Somehow, I have always had this hunch that you are not a geologist now, as you planned to be. Nor are you a pilot or an author, as you wanted to be. I am not too sure if you are living in the country of your dreams or back at your birth-country. Or in another country. But you know what? I love you no less because wherever you are in life now, God has brought you there. And His plan has always been and will continue to be the best. Just mark my words. The future has been painted by the best Painter there ever is. And it’s mind-boggling to think that your life now (in the future) has already been mapped out by God even as I type this now (in the past). You always promised to step back and let God take control, but never really gave your life up completely. I hope you’ve learned to now that you’re an adult. Because I truly think that once you actually do, He just may surprise you. So, no excuses. Step aside, woman.

You can heave a sigh of relief now because I am going to end soon. Forgive me for all the motherly ranting and admonishing. But some things can’t be left unsaid for that long a time. Remember to work on both your patience and temper; find a way to cure your emotional complex disorder because you are really running low on E.Q.; always make the effort to stay in touch with the people who matter in your life, family above all; and finally, don't stop trying to discover the strength to chase your mediocre-sized dreams as it is never too late. (You know what I’m talking about.)

Stay sane, Justine of the Future! You always had trouble with that. Ha-ha. Just kidding. (I’m sure you knew that. And, uh, I'm also sure you knew that I wasn't really kidding. You are insane at times.) God bless you always and take care of yourself and of your family (if there is one).

Lots of love, Justine of the Past.

If you actually read through that (which I hope you didn't, seriously) without dozing off at least thrice, I commend you. And if you feel weirded out now, I sympathize. Ha-ha.


iki said...

Very nicely written young Justine....

And good you're doing a great job thus far ;)

Li anne`* said...

justineeeee!i love the letter, it's so encouraging to read it as well. Indeed, God is so good and faithful :)
andddd!mystery solved!HEH HEH HEH.

andre said...

OHNOES *omg face* you KILLED your crush David?! *hyperbole expression of disbelief* EEK!

:P Just kidding. Love the way your writing went. :) all the best!

p/s: commend me :D I didn't doze off. Heh.

elisa. said...

killed your first real crush into nothingness. XP

Justine said...

Young Justine cries in mock horror, "You guys weren't supposed to read that!" Hehe.

Ikhsan, thank you. =)

Anne, CIS betul!!! And thanks. We truly worship an Awesome God. :)

Andre, I didn't mean THAT crush! That doesn't even constitute a 'crush'. That, my friend, is called 'TRUE LOVE'. And it will never die. Hehehe. :P And I commend you!!!

Elisa, Elisa, oh, Elisa. :D

natalie said...

hey justine, nat here from adp. i read your letter and i feel really strongly encouraged by your faith in God. when i read that part, 'step aside, woman' i started laughing and laughing because that's probably one of the most important things i needa tell myself. To God be the glory for all the really greeeeaaaat things He has done! (i'm still waiting to open my last year's letter to me.) Happy Birthday Justine =)

Justine said...

Hey, Natalie!!! =) High 5! Writing letters to yourself is such a rewarding thing, no? Thank you for the wish and for dropping a comment. I really appreciate it. :)

Yes, it is often hard to let go and allow God to take control of the situation. But we can never stop trying because whether we like it or not, our Father in Heaven will always win...even if the fight is against us; for our own good. Hehe. Keep the faith! And have a fun time reading your letter to yourself when the time comes. :D