Late post, gaaah!
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, swimming would be it. Swim with a life vest on, swim without it. Jump into the Pacific Ocean even if you really dropped swimming class in college. Snorkel without your contacts on, you’d still find life underwater in High Definition.
Spend Valentine’s Day with your single lady friends. You’ll never know if next year is going to be the same for all of you.
Go to work and leave alone the passing time. You can count with your fingers the people you know who are being paid to do what they love to do. So stay in love. You can forget about the paycheck, you can forget about the long hours, but never forget that when you write you have to be mad enough, and to edit, be badass mad.
Limit yourself to making new friends only if there are no interesting people around. But if you find some, have lunches with them or walk with them from one end of Ayala to the other. You’ll learn a lot even by listening to them troll about, but it will help that you speak out so they can also learn something from you.
Ride a bike. Travel. Keep moving forward.
Visit Philippine tourist spots and observe. There’s a bazillion of small deeds that people do for their families and community. Appreciate these by buying pearl jewelry from the mothers in Balicasag. Stay in a hotel where the audio-impaired are given opportunities to earn a living.
Keep a blog. It will help oil the creative wheel and keep you running. Here you can write without the pressure of a Pulitzer Prize. But don’t indulge yourself too much. Play Old Nick’s voice in your head: There are no hack writing jobs, only hack writers.
Don’t take climate change for granted.
Do not let 24 years of waiting for your soul mate end up in vain. Wait some more, but that’s not all that you do. You can do the dishes but you have to know how to cook, too. Also, there are some things that should not go down the drain as you wait for the guy who will sing Grow Old With You. Refine your character and anchor yourself to principles. You have what it takes to love and be loved. Your backbone and heart came into this world with you.
Catch up with the radicals, those young people who are making a difference in this nation. They are neither in the limelight nor do they have funds for their advocacies, but they help people in their offices, schools, and communities progress in life so that they can positively contribute to society.
Cut through the cliché. Be free.
Live as if you’re dying.
And trust me on the swimming.
Inspired by her version.
The original lyrics.