At 13 years old, it was a rough life for me. Inspired by Simple Dollar’s Trent, today I write about what I wish I knew ten years ago.
Today you are 23 years old. You’re leaving the US after five years of building a life there, worked and saved the most you’ve ever made in your life, and engaged to marry your life partner of almost a decade. Right now might be hard to imagine that this was all possible, so I’ll just pop in a few suggestions to guide you along.
Right now, take your scrapbook and diary and write with full honesty. Your dream now is to become the best Filipina golfer. But there are other things you should write about too – your favorite things, friends, hurts, lessons and places. In this lifetime you will travel and move so many times, your one regret is that you did not document deservedly.
Do not be afraid. For those many years of going to bed in fear — failing in golf, disappointing sponsors, hearing criticism from other golfers or their parents — all this will become irrelevant in due time. In fact, not even your parents will bear weigh in your direction. It’s your life. And only your own spirit and creation will propel you to a life you deserve.
Save money. As a woman, it’s the single thing that will root your independence and freedom. When you are free as you wish to spend on things you deem important, that confidence will spread in every area of your life. You’d be able to plan for the long-term. You will never see men as a free ticket; instead, your relationships will become equal in power and autonomy. Practice self-control, discipline, minimalism and ingenuity in creating value.
Lastly, this is the most important thing that will clarify many things for you: master your authentic voice. Media, backstabbers and clutter are distractions. When you fluctuate in weight until you find the perfect medium, accept that that’s a process you have to take. The abuse you will see and experience in your life is a reflection of the aggressor’s hurt — not yours. It’s okay to be weird, frugal, addicted to reading and exercise, to cry about rape stories, and care deeply about color and nature. After being who you are, everything else is noise. Soon enough, you will meet a guy who will love, trust and support you fiercely more than you can. He will respect you for being real.
Amid the noise, you’ll discover what will perpetually matter: family, independence, love, reading and writing, and a growing list of organic goals. It’s golf for you right now, but in the future, it might be a burning desire to see Cape Town, South Africa. In 10 years it really won’t get easier, but continue to trust that it will unfold beautifully as you do your best everyday.
Your 23-year Old Self