Note to my 19-Year-Old Self


I wrote this blog entry when I was an angsty 19-year-old, too eager to belong in a serious relationship. I had so much to learn back then about boys and dating, just like any other teenage girl who felt “not too young and not too old.”

There are times when I want to be single—unattached, tied to nobody, not having to update to someone where I am and who I’m with and what my plans for the day are.  But there are times when I want to be in an official relationship—bringing my guy to lunch-outs with the family, having a “couple album” in my hard drive, proudly being “In a Relationship” (or must things get mushier, “Married”) in all of my online accounts, setting our favorite “couple photo” as primary. Sometimes I’d like to be the girl who makes her closest guy friends torpe over her. The one who actually has a selection of boys but opts not to choose anyone at all. The girl whose life revolves around friends and family and work and school. The power girl who doesn’t have any time at all for a boyfriend, or even just a crush. The girl whose value appreciates directly proportional to the number of guys she’s turned down and ignored. The free spirit whom nobody just can’t have. But sometimes I’d like to be the girl who helps her boyfriend’s mom cook his favorite meal on his birthday. The one who’d always have someone who’d pick her up after work or school. The one who’d join her guy’s family on out of town trips and the one who’d bring her guy along on her own family outings. The one the boys would best want for him because she’s always game and her corny jokes actually sell. I could be either of the two, actually. My Friendster account would proudly say either “Single” or “In a Relationship”. I would be happy and content either way. But here’s the painful truth: I am definitely unhappy and discontent right now being in between. Just in between.

Dear 19-year-old Ches and all other 19-year-old hopefuls,

I want you to know that you will get what you wish for — Single Blessedness and that relationship you’ve been “dreaming” about. Single Blessedness will be fun: you will have all the time in the world for yourself and you will pursue things you’ve always wanted to without anything to hold you back. You will meet a few boys and figure them out and realize you are too much to handle; no one can tie you down that free spirit of yours. But you will find yourself someday in the most awkward situation with the guy you’ve misjudged for the longest time. He will hand you a bouquet of roses on the car ride to a party and he will tell you about his intentions of courting you even if he does not believe in courtship. You will spend the night slowdancing to party music in deep conversation and you will realize he does not deserve the hating you’ve been giving him for the past two years. And yes, he will be that first legit boyfriend who will will actually embrace commitment when the time is right.

Your parents were right when they said, “You will get there. Not just now.” We don’t have it easy all the time. The only way to be wise is to figure things out on your own. Sometimes you have to take a few wrong turns, miss a few streets, and waste a considerable amount of time and effort. This is so you learn to be sharper and more careful with decision-making. So you learn which paths never to take (again). So you gain the maturity to kill or tame down that instant gratification recklessness can give.

The wait may be long, but it’s freaking worth it. Wait it out, hot shot. You’ll be glad you did.


You, 5 years later


3 thoughts on “Note to my 19-Year-Old Self

  1. Hi Ate Chesca,
    I really admire you and you’ve been such an inspiration. You’re such an epitome of true beauty and brains. I may be a stranger to you but I’ve been looking up to you since you won second place in the NSPC back in your senior year in high school. (I am from Divine Word by the way,and also did Editorial writing.) :)

      • Yey! You replied. I’m sooo kilig! Hehe. I was a freshman then but I only started joining Editorial Writing in my junior year. I could still remember the speaker that time “challenging” us on who will be the next to win in the NSPC after your sweet victory. Sayang I wasn’t able to make it to the NSPC but at least I was able to experience it. :))

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