A Letter From My 19-Year Old Self

September 1, 2015

I was fixing the books and notebooks (mostly empty) I have in my room the other day when a piece of paper, the words written on it almost dissolving or something of that sort. That itself was a sure sign that the ink has been spilled there for years. Now, it was not new for me since I almost always find bits of what I’ve written in the past inserted in a book or notebook somewhere. But this. This one was different.

Reading on, I realized that this was an unfinished letter I wrote for myself on October 22, 2011 (basing on the first sentence) for my 21st birthday (which I never got to finish because of reasons I don’t really remember). I never got to finish it on time and I never got to read it in 2013. It was supposed to be something to cross out from my bucketlist – which was to write a letter to my 21-year-old self – but I had to change it to 30 because I never finished it. I want to share it because now I see and feel HOW MUCH I’ve changed and matured from that naive 19-year-old I was then.

Dear Rej,

Here’s your 19-year old self talking to you, two years before your 21st birthday. Right now, things are not at their best. Right now, you’re bruised and trying to make yourself whole. Right now, you are not sure of yourself.

I hope by the time you get to read this, you have already learned to decide and be brave. I wish that you’ve already let go of people who do not want you as much as you want them in your life. Never be afraid of letting go of the people who can’t treat you right – you deserve better. I know for the past two years you’ve been more fragile than ever. You were too weak to decide. Too dependent on what the people you love think and want you to do. I hope by the time you read this, you’ve already learned how to be brave.

I do think that sometimes, I wish I could let myself meet you in the future or right now. Just so I know what decisions to make and what not to, what paths to take and what not to. But I do believe that there’s a thrill in not knowing what will happen and that in it I’ll learn.

Those three paragraphs resonate so much pain and sadness because I can remember I was going through a lot (and I mean A LOOOT) of problems in different aspects of my life. My academic standing was fairly okay but I lost the drive to become a Dean’s Lister plus I had a subject I almost failed because of a project, I slacked off on my Christian responsibilities (which I think was the very main reason why I had a hard time coping up), I had problems with my family, unsettled issues with myself, my fragile heart was so unguarded – the list just goes on and on and on. I won’t go on defending all the wrong choices I’ve made but if there’s one thing I like to dwell on it is the fact that I learned, no matter how bruised and undeniably difficult the experiences made me. I now fully understand that everything that happened was in order for the best paths to unfold, only by God.

It was never easy (well, nothing really is). But I had to go on with my life. Looking back, I remember making a few (maybe a lot) more mistakes before I became who I am now. Now, if I were to write a quick response to my 19-year-old self, I would say this.

Dear Rej,

Here’s your 22-year-old self (turning 23 in less than two months) writing in response to a letter you wrote four years ago. I want to tell you that right now, things are at their best. Right now, you’re happy and you’ve finally realized that in Christ, you’ve become whole. Right now, you are sure of yourself.

You have learned, within four years, to be braver than ever. You were able to realize that decisions are not to be made in spontaneity but by weighing whatever the consequences it may bring. You are now allowed to decide on the major things in your life and you’ve found your voice. You now handle things more maturely and that’s one thing I’m really proud of! I’m glad to tell you that you’ve finally let the toxic people in your life go – those who pretended to care, those who were never sincere, and even the most ingenuine people – those who were never there when you were always available for them. You got hurt even after the year you wrote the letter, but now, in 2015 you’re still in touch with people who deserve to stay in your life. Those who know how to treat you right. You are being loved by a man who you never thought you’ll end up with but I swear, Rej, he’s the only one who managed to let you feel how worth it you are and how you deserve the best kind of love. Ever.

You owe everything to God. Deciding to recommit to Him in 2012 was one of the best decisions you’ve ever made (second only to accepting Him as your Savior). Had we met that night that you wished we did, I think things would have gone differently. So I’m glad that the last sentence in your unfinished letter was the one thing I could still agree on four years later. Maybe in the next few months, I’ll be writing a letter to our 30-year-old self and I just want you to know that I have all the plans in the world to finish it this time. For us both.


Your 22-year-old self


Have you ever read a letter you wrote for yourself from way back?


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  • Reply Nathalie Llanto September 1, 2015 at 11:05 am

    I can feel the roller coaster of emotions from your 19-year old self. ? I’m 19 and I think I’d also like to write a letter for myself to see if I can be better when I turn 20 or 20 something…

    • Reply Rej Relova September 1, 2015 at 11:18 am

      I was in too much pain! HAHA. Sobrang sakit kaya basahin. Try it, Nathalie! Then keep it away where you won’t be tempted to read it before 20 something. 😉

  • Reply Nathalie Llanto September 1, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Hahaha. Sige ittry ko yan. ?

  • Reply Pam de Guzman September 2, 2015 at 10:18 am

    I also always find random stuff that I’ve written for myself (or for other people which were never really sent to them HAHA) and it’s always a bittersweet feeling reading them! Parang you remember exactly how you were feeling that time but at the same time, it’s a great feeling that you’re over it already and that you’ve grown so much from who you were before 🙂

    • Reply Rej Relova September 2, 2015 at 10:25 am

      Sobra! Reading the letter, I remember I felt so helpless eh. I was so confused with a lot of stuff because all the problems were there on the same time. And I really remember a lot of things that’s why it was hard for me before. Yes, I agree. Here’s to growing up. Thank you, Pam! 🙂

  • Reply ariane September 2, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    wow! i planned on doing tis back when I graduated highschool. I’m glad you have achieved so much despite what happened. :>


    • Reply Rej Relova September 3, 2015 at 12:15 pm

      Thanks, Ariane. That means a lot 🙂

  • Reply Alyssa Panghulan September 3, 2015 at 3:52 am

    I wrote a letter similar to this but I was talking to my 30-year old self and I think I wrote it when I was 20. I am so tempted to re-read the letter and make a response too but I want to stand by my decision not to read it before I’m 30. I have 8 more years left for that. Woot. Anyway, this is a really great post, Rej! 🙂 I like the feeling of getting to know more about people through their blogs because of the genuinity of emotions by the way it’s written. 🙂 I hope I’m making sense. God bless you! 🙂

    • Reply Rej Relova September 3, 2015 at 12:16 pm

      Hey Alyssa! Thanks. I’m going to write my 30-year old self a letter one of these days. 🙂

  • Reply Ana Jireh Bañares September 14, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Whoah! I want to try this too. I imagine how amazing it is to talk to your future self and vice versa. Thanks for this awesome post! Well, I must say. your 19 year old self is definitely happy how your life went through. Congrats, Rej! Such a brave heart!

    • Reply Rej Relova September 14, 2015 at 10:09 am

      Hey Ana! Thanks a lot. I think if my 19-year old self were to see how I am now, I think she’ll be really, really happy. :

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