Dear 16 year old Cham

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Photos by: Aiah Di

Dear Cham circa 2010, relax. I’m no grandma yet so I have no wisdom to pass on but please try not to worry too much and stop overthinking. I am writing this now from the future and I want you to know how great life is here and how happy you will be. Though it may cost you to experience heartbreaks, struggles, tears, I hope you will never trade this away from any comfort you may encounter along the way because I tell you, everything will be so worth it. Every step of your dream is worth following. You will eventually acquire the things you desire when time comes and those pieces of puzzle will eventually reveal themselves so just continue to be patient.

All things considered, you did a fairly good job of being a teenager β€” and by that I mean you navigated the snake pit of high school without killing yourself. Seriously, that’s commendable.

I know you’re anxious enough to be concerned how you will become me. As much as I wanna gaze your future and control it, which could’ve given us a smooth sail ride but no. I’d still choose to let you cry, make a lot of mistakes and do the things you want. In the end, experience fostered the strong woman in me now. Thanks to you!

I want you to know one important thing however, that here in the future, I don’t trust anyone anymore. I hope you would as well. I’m completely aware how clingy and sweet you are but not everyone is gonna like you so please try to reserve your heart to the people who actually deserve it. However, love them anyway even when they can nearly convince you that they don’t love you back. Be kind, always. But don’t give out everything.

I hope you don’t mind but please stop thinking you need to gain weight because just so you know, that is your best body phase. How in the world you’d ever wished to be fat? I’m dealing the karma you prayed for. Do you know how hard it is to stare photos of you now with that bandage dress on without worrying flabs and cellulites? Com’on!

That silver clutch, that chunky pair of heels, those are all out of trend by now. Stop saving all your money for shopping and start investing for your needs instead, a few bucks a day will be a great help.

Thanks to all the grades you worked so hard for but surprise, it doesn’t matter now. I mean, I’ve worked with both geniuses and jerks and they’re all fair the same. Stop worrying too much about those figures because the only things you can brag on are your will and experience so keep earning those instead.

Your road to becoming me will never be easy, but not impossible either. Stop stressing over plans not turning into reality. I want you to realize how living a moment feels better than overthinking. Plans are just suggestions and in crucial moments, luck and improvisation are your saviors.

Anyone’s opinion won’t make any sense so keep that fire burning and don’t let anyone steal that spirit away from you.

Goodluck!

-Cham

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