To my 21 year old self

I am trying to remember how you were. Celebrating your 21st birthday while on 5th year college, going about your way trying to pass quizzes and exams, and eventually graduating on the March target date. Reviewing for your ECE Board Exam WHILE starting your 1st job in Alcatel with Carlo and Ferdie, your college batchmates. Eventually passing the board in Oct (or was it Nov?) of 1995. Salary was pretty above average for a first job compared to your other batchmates and you were quietly proud about it. Work was just a 10minute jeepney ride away and you got to go around the country installing switches. I think the only thing you got stressed about was STILL not having a girlfriend at 21.

If by some cosmic chance you, my 21 year old self, get to read this, I would like to say that you will face a LOT of challenges along the way as you reach me, your 42 year old self.

Don't fret too much about how your neighborhood childhood crush preferred going out with that motorbike-riding cool dude over you, a jeepney-commuting 95-lb dark skinned torpe. Don't worry about not having to meet ANY (and I mean ANY) girl of your type in Alcatel. Through a major decision that you'll make in 2 years' time, you will eventually meet her. And then, her. :)

Don't worry about being single for so long as you will later on get married and have 2 handsome and loving kids along with a very patient and loving wife. They will become your daily source of love, happiness, and comfort.

Don't worry about being in what seems to be a dead-end contractual job as that will just mark your career path for greater things to come. Through your courage and God's grace, your career will flourish and you'll play a very important role in a big company in years to come.

Believe it or not, you WILL struggle to lose weight later on. Yes, that very fit 95-lb body will eventually balloon and will need to go thru a lifestyle change, exercise-wise, as you'll discover running and cycling.....and doing both in races, or duathlons as they call it.

What you're going through now? Well, that's peanuts compared to future situations that you'll be in.

Never cease praying. For God will continually bless You and guide You especially in the toughest of times that lie ahead.

Keep your chin up, kid.

---Your 42 year old self

P.S. Get a passport. You will use later on, more often than you think. ;-)