Gongju Diaries: Letter to My 12-Year Old Self

Dear Elynne,

Hey! How are you doing? What are you doing? 🙂 I want to say hi to you and know what’s going on in your mind because hey, you are me, and I am you, from the future. 😉

First of all, I want to let you know that I am so proud of you. You are such a strong girl. With all the things happening in your life right now, I know you are feeling confused, doubting yourself and feeling a bit lonely. I want you to know that it’s fine. It’s fine to doubt yourself. It’s fine to feel lonely. All your friends and all the people around you might not always understand but that is fine. You’ll get through it darling, believe me. For as long as you can remember, you have been living in the province. Your life revolved around the green grass, coconut trees and rice fields surrounding your house and even your school. You have always been a carefree girl. I loved that about you. I admire your hard work and determination in everything you do. In case nobody told you yet, you are amazing! Graduating on top of your class is such an amazing feat in your life and no matter how insignificant that may be to you and to others in a few more years, to me that will always be amazing. (beyond words) I know how hard it was for you. I know how many nights you’ve cried yourself to sleep because your mom was disappointed in you for not being the Top 1. I understand, you think it is unfair. You had to face everything by yourself because you don’t have an older brother or sister to depend on. In fact, you are whom your brothers depend on. It is fine. I am still proud of you for making it through. Congratulations for graduating as Class Valedictorian, Elynne! 🙂

But what lies ahead of you is what scares you the most, isn’t it? On graduation day, you wanted to stop the time or at least slow it down; because you didn’t want to say goodbye. You didn’t want to leave your lovely school and the wonderful people in it. You wanted to go and hug them all, for the last time, but you can’t. You didn’t. But that’s fine.

Fast forward to a few months later, you find yourself packing your things and preparing to move to the city. You’ve always wondered how different life and the people there would be. Would you have friends? Will studying get hard? Will you make it through? Trust me, you will, with flying colors. 🙂 It definitely took some time before you got used to the buzz, noise, pollution and the fast pace of life in Manila. You sometimes find yourself staring at the distance, thinking to yourself, “What if I didn’t leave?” “What if we didn’t move here?” “What if I stayed where I was comfortable, where I felt safe, where I can be carefree and not be conscious of what others might think of me?” “What if I go back to where I was happier and free?” But those thoughts didn’t last long. Soon you find yourself making friends. It turns out that you are not alone in your struggle. Many others from your class came from the province as well and are still getting used to life in the city. Soon you find yourself having fun. You made good friends and even found your soul sister, your best friend. It felt so nice to have someone by your side and on your side. It felt nice to have a shoulder to cry on. She is awesome and you admired her a lot. Despite not having similar personalities, for some reason your friendship worked out. You couldn’t be happier. Once again you find yourself smiling, happy and content with the life you’re living.

Then you met your first love. It was… indescribable. ❤ You saw him sitting at the end of the staircase and when he stood up and walked past you, you were smitten. ❤ ❤ ❤ Your mind went blank. It was at that moment when you finally knew and understood how love feels like. The movies didn’t lie, (okay, they might just go A LITTLE BIT OVERBOARD sometimes but it was quite similar) love is such a strong feeling and if you weren’t careful, you might fall too hard. And it might be hard to get back up. So you had to stop yourself from falling too hard for him, just yet, because you were afraid. You told your friends about it and even if you felt betrayed when they spread the news to almost everyone, you didn’t actually care. In your mind, you just want to be friends with him. You wanted to get closer to him and get to know him better, but you weren’t able to. Unfortunately, up to this day, you haven’t got past the “acquaintance zone”. Such a pity, but that’s fine. It was still fun though. Following him around, trying to talk to him, trying to look pretty to get his attention (but failing, ultimately) and even asking friends to set you two up and help you get close to him. But alas, they were all in vain. You weren’t sure if he was just blind or if he had ABSOLUTELY no feelings. (AT ALL) Or maybe he just never liked you because you were THAT ugly. Or maybe you were just trying too hard. Maybe. But you didn’t regret it. So did I. Why would we? At least we were honest about our feelings, aye?  It was definitely worth the shot. He was definitely worth it. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to see your worth. I am still proud of you my dear, because you are strong and you fought for your feelings. You were able to survive your first heartbreak. Sadly, it was from an unrequited first love.

But here you are now, attending your first Recognition Day in your new school. I’m so proud that you were still able to snag some awards and be on the Top 10 of your class. You totally deserve it because you worked hard for it. Trust me when I say that your parents are proud of you as well. Their precious daughter has always been their pride. This may mark the end of your twelfth year of existence, of your first year in high school, but you surely have a long way to go. And I will continue to cheer you on. Fighting! ❤


For now, the world may seem so vast my dear,

Full of places you might not know, of things that are unclear.

But slowly it will unravel all its sides to you,

And you’ll get to choose where to go, so you can start anew.


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