Things I Wish I Could Tell My Twenty-Year-Old Self

Looking at a portrait of my 20-year-old self while doing an update of an old blog post, I couldn't help but wish to tell her things I know now.

Unfortunately for me, I have to figure life by myself. I don't have someone guiding me the principles of victorious living nor do I have someone informing me of the challenges that lie ahead.

This is not to say I'm condemning the ugly parts of my past when there are good things that happened too.

We become due to the decisions and choices we make in life.

Whether good or bad or ugly these are the elements that comprise existence. This is what it means to be human.

Honestly, I'm reluctant to write my story but this is my truth and I want it to be out there so I could be of encouragement to someone who is going through the same or to my children when they're old enough to navigate their way through life.

So here are the Things I Wish I Could Tell My Twenty Year Old Self. Scroll down.

Things I Wish I Could Tell My Twenty-Year-Old Self

#1. Value Yourself.

My father died 10 days after I turned 7. It goes without saying, my mom needs to be out from home, going out early and coming in late, to provide for our family of 3. I'm the eldest and my brother is 3 at that time.

I salute my mom. She's a real-life hero for putting us both in college. The two of us completed our degrees in flying colors. (Not to brag about our achievements but inform you how proud she is for her kids.) What she's done for us is a huge challenge and she did it as a single mother.

Due to these life circumstances, I grew up clueless about my worth. I thought I could find it in relationships or having more money. In fact, I don't see it's significance at that point in time or why it is needed in the first place.

The voices on my head say you're invaluable because you're poor. No one loves you. You're trash! This happened unconsciously on my head and I was blind to it all!

Due to this, I've allowed an ugly experience to befall me confirming the deceptions buzzing on my head.

I don't blame anyone for it. This is no one's fault but me. I've allowed it to happen. I didn't have boundaries to protect myself. The experience I went through taught me an invaluable lesson about my worth as an individual.

What I'd tell myself...

If you're at this stage of life, still figuring things out for yourself, please know that you are worth it! You matter!

You are someone valuable and even if you feel like no one is there to love you, there is a loving in Father in heaven who does. Seek Him. Call out to Him and He will show you your true worth just like how He has unveiled it to me.

#2. Have a Goal

I didn't have big dreams growing up. You could say I'm grounded, I know my place. We don't have money therefore, I limit the things I dream of to things within reach.

What do I mean by 'grounded'? Earn a Bachelor's degree, have my own income, start a family, travel from time to time, live to a ripe old age seeing my children's children and then exit the world of the living minus the pomp.

Seriously, it looks like a mold cut out from the next-door neighbor's memoir!

Before you'd raise your eyebrow, yes, I agree these are good things to aspire to however you and I know there is more to life than this!

That is to make a difference to someone else's or leave a legacy to the generations after. That one day our children would tell us, "Thank you, mom or dad, for fighting for your dreams!"

Have I known the power of goal making back then, I could have shifted my fixation on boys and experiencing heartaches to achieving goals.

What I'd tell myself...

Don't waste time on relationships that lead nowhere. Have a goal. Make it SMART. Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Realistic. Timely.

Dream big -- really big. You are capable. You are able. You are qualified. You are competent. Acquire the skills you need by learning. Read books or put yourself into organizations or institutions of learning.

What sets you apart from achievers is knowledge - start from there and then put in the effort. You can do it just as others have done it!

#3. Stop Obsessing with Your Look. It's Not About You But What You Can Give.

I confess to having bouts of vainglory. Don't we all? To some extent, yes.

I believe being an eye-candy will gain me a ticket out of poverty-ville.


In the Philippines, where I was born, most teenagers or young adults aspire to be a celebrity. This is one way of making it big in life. You could only imagine the number of competition you'd face getting there!

I hate looking the way I did, my height as the biggest offender because I wouldn't cut it in showbiz. Haha.

This is how the inferiority complex reared its ugly head. Everywhere I look, I'm reminded of not being good enough. I don't have what it takes. That I fall short. (Like literally! Haha.)

Later on, I've come to realize it's not about me or the way I look but what I can give. How can I better serve others with my talents, skills or abilities?

Actors act. Singers sing. Entrepreneurs offer services or products that make people's lives better. There's always something placed before the table.

Had I known this simple truth back then, I wouldn't have pulled myself down or perpetually brainwash my poor self about the things I don't possess.

What I'd tell myself...

Focus on learning new skills. Try various ones until you find something you could give yourself to. Pray. Ask the Lord's wisdom for your life's purpose.

Ask questions. How can I better serve others? How can my time here on earth be of value? How can my life be an encouragement to others and to the generations after me?

Lastly... A Message to my Twenty-Year-Old Self

Thank you for being such a good girl overall. You've made mistakes, yeah, lots of them, but you've succeeded to show yourself up in school and earn a Bachelor's Degree.

You took a risk applying for a job abroad and resolved to find love once again believing that someone out there is going to respect you and love you just the way you are.

Above all, the most important part of all, thank you for accepting the Lord Jesus Christ in your life as your Lord and Saviour.

I am where I am today because of the life choices and decisions you've made. Thank you! You are worth it!


There you go, friend. I hope the story I've shared above inspired your own walk in this journey called life.

If you could tell your twenty-year-old self things you know now what would it be?

You have an awesome day then! Talk to you soon. ;)

Things I Wish I Could Tell My Twenty-Year-Old Self