I wrote my yesteryear’s self a letter and here’s a 6-point advice I’d give him

Dear Xxx-2016,


As I write this letter to you, I feel a little weird and awkward and stroppy. Name them. Why? Because I may need to remind myself of things unnecessary to harken back. What’s even weirder, well, of course- you would consider this message irrelevant because actions aren’t like writing notes with a pencil that you get to correct your mistakes with the tiny eraser atop, no? Sadly, they can’t be retrospectively changed. And you wish they should’ve because that would make life easier but less interesting.

Just a year ago you were a struggle.

You’ve been through a lot of peaks and troughs. You wished to get that very first tattoo. Fast forward now, I got it on my back. You prematurely tendered your resignation letter in order to get your dream job. You miss your colleagues a lot thereafter because you never forget your firsts. You loved someone and you felt crazy over it. Crazily mad in love I must admit. Then you were almost out of your mind because you got dumped… by the same person. And this. And that. So many plot twists.

2016 self, I just got a few points for you. I learned a lot because of your explorations and misadventures:

I. You don’t have to explain yourself.

Somebody should have warned you long before and you should’ve become more cautious.

Remember the rule: No need for explanations because what others think about you is no longer your concern. It’s none of your business. Let them judge but never get bothered. Yes, you can please them. But most of the time you won’t. Let them assume and just care a little less about it. Also, try not to give a single fuck. You owe nobody any explanations. You were turbulently defending yourself for some silly arguments back then. At least most of the time you were on point and I must commend you for that.

Moreso, stop putting yourself in a position where they could understand and appreciate your character. Treat life like a jigsaw puzzle. We attempt to connect everything, piece by piece, to make the picture complete. If it won’t fit, then clearly they aren’t in their right place. You just need to find carefully because in no time you’ll discover it like you are supposed to make it whole. And when that time comes, the image will be excellently wonderful. The deserving will find its way.

II. It’s okay not to be okay.

You’re not someone who will be constantly asked whether you are doing good or not. At times, you’d rather stay silent overthinking about things and being heartbroken, all at the same time. Listening to sad songs made it a lot worse. You liked the sound of melancholia you won’t even talk to anybody. And it’s okay!

Cry when you can no longer hold the tears. Break down. It’s not a sign of being weak because it tells otherwise:

It is for the strong, for the tough that gets going.

It’s okay to get frustrated. The amount of anxiety and stress you have doesn’t make you less of a person. It’s okay if you are broken for it means you feel love. It’s okay if you are hurting for it means you feel all kinds of emotion. It’s okay if you feel confused because just like any other human, you seek for guidance and solutions.

Talk to someone. It’s okay, it’s not just you.

III. You can’t make someone love or commit to you.

It hurts if after all your ambitious efforts in making someone appreciate you, hey presto– you won’t even receive a quarter of love. There will be times you’ll feel like total garbage. Unloved and unappreciated. What hurts even morethey didn’t learn the things you always wanted them to learn about you. It’s like someone is desiring for a certain goal but he never had progressed. That feeling, I despise it as yet.

Stop being selfish. I don’t want to be grateful for being an egoistic jerk. Up to now, I’m having a hard time dealing with this frailty. Plus you’re being possessive, eh? Be that as it may, some of the questions you’ve been asking then remained disconcerted: why don’t others treat me the way I am towards them? Why won’t they love me back? You became someone who is willing to help anybody even without them asking. You were seeking for some love like some kind of beggar- thirsty for it.

Bear in mind that the right person will give that love and appreciation, freely and fully. That right person will accept that selfishness in anyhow.  That right person will love you unconditionally. In the end, we cannot just insist ourselves to someone.

IV. It’s not always quality over quantity.

Some people opt to keep a bunch of folks as their support group. Depending on their personality, there are some who don’t consider any longer the number and feature of their company. Contrary to this, you preferred to be with a small circle because you rely on quality over quantity.

Others may say that preference to stay in the minority is a sign of maturity but it’s not always the case.

It is more likely that their priorities will change as time goes by. Supposing they remain true, they won’t be 100% available to address you and your same old dramas. Worst, the moment you realize they’re not worth it, you start back in square one with nobody. Often times, you misinterpret actions. You give your full trust that easy.

Likewise, maintaining a circle with lesser people have cons such as confinement to their environment, reliance and dependence, being entombed in your comfort zone, etc. Explore. There is power in numbers so take it slow. Time will reveal who are definitely worth it.

V. There are no permanent people in your life.

So stop being attached to the temporary. Halt that cling.

Not all people you meet en route will be with you ‘til you want. Remember when you kept on holding onto the ones you believe would bring out the best in you? Sadly, they’re here today, gone tomorrow. Or they may be with you the whole time, but you cannot just feel it anymore. You no longer feel the same. You tried so hard you’ve missed a lot of fun should you involved yourself with the others.

Some will teach you lessons. Some will support you along the way. Some will initially hate you then love you afterwards and vice versa. There are no permanent friends, no permanent foes. Everyone you meet has their own roles to perform, their own games to play.

VI. Learn how to say no.

I know you don’t want to disappoint them because you’re afraid that when you don’t meet their expectations, they will disregard you thereafter. You don’t want to feel useless after all. Hence, having the choice to always say ‘Yes’ led to problems on how to carry them out in due course. The harm will be inflicted upon yourself and still, you need to look fine on the outside. You need to look undisturbed by your own courtesy.

It shouldn’t be yes at all times. Be true to yourself: say no when you can’t do a favor, say no when it’s against your will. Do not fear to say no just because it’s intimidating. Practice to say “no” more often.


It’s okay if you are broken for it means

you feel love. It’s okay if you are hurting

for it means we feel all kinds of emotion.



Self, just a year ago you were a struggle but I learned a lot because of your explorations and misadventures. Bravo for the superb year.

I want to end this letter by reminding you of your favorite quote by Confucius: “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” Keep rocking, self! I’m proud and fulfilled because you are my own.

All the best,


Response article enables VoicePoints readers to respond to the article published by the author by completing the form below. Under ‘Message’ box, please ensure to include the title of the main article you are responding.

About the Author

Charlos Janssen Cachola
Charlos Janssen CacholaCreative Director
CJ is a Certified Public Accountant working at the Commission on Audit. He is currently assigned as an Audit Team Member in a military command that provides comprehensive quality tertiary health care services. As a travel junkie, his ambition is to sojourn in all the 81 provinces of the Philippine archipelago.