19; of initials, lessons and gratitude

In honor of turning 19, I think this would be a good send off to my 18 year old self. This was inspired by a video series on Twitter by someone for her 23rd birthday where she showed clips of people in her life and talked about her relationship with them + the lessons she got from them.

Here’s my spin on that series. Though there are a lot of bad in this world, I am overwhelmed because the universe has conspired me to meet the few of the good ones left. Here they are the 19 people who made their mark in my life. These are all of their initials because I want them to assume it’s them (para naman may thrill lolin)

(Listen to Stay Alive by José Gonzalez for this part for full effect.)

YD (2010), 

No matter where you end up, you’ll always be my reminder. A reminder of strength and courage. A reminder to always shock the world by standing in the middle of a storm. — I learned how to be brave amidst the bad things happening. 


KC (2010),

I created a new drinking game for us. For every “no” you said and will say in the future, we’d take a shot. “No” makes me fight more to get the thing I want (i.e, harry styles) — Sometimes some ideas aren’t meant to come true. Accept it, no matter how cool it sounded.


MD (2011),

You were there through thick and thin, through the ugliest and to the best eyebrows. I hope someday I also get to break someone’s shell in order for them to fly. — Encourage people to face their fears. Let them know that exhilarating feeling when they step out of their comfort zone.


VD (2011), 

Choosing not to buy food after school has been our thing but conspiracy theories, Youtube videos and the desire of escaping really helped bury our rift in the past. — Forgive and forget. Better times are ahead.


AR (2011),

Though we’re not as close as we were a few years ago, we remained good friends and updated each other whether it was about life or a good TV show. I hope I see the day when you no longer have to third wheel. (Hahahaha) – Third wheeling is alright. You get to know the do’s and don’ts on a relationship without having one. HAHAHAHAHA 1/2 jk 


RP (2012), 

 Someday, if I find out that someone has a crush on me and I do not plan on reciprocating the feelings, I’ll still give them their High School Musical moment just like what you did for me. — Do nice, small gestures for others. They will remember you for it.


BM (2012),

For being a strong willed lady like you, I now know why we fought plenty of times back in the day. The power of peksman should never be broken. — Keep your word to keep the friendship.


KA (2012),

On monotonous days, your crazy adventures serve as a reminder on how I should have a sense of spontaneity in life. On low days your strong faith serves as a reminder on how I should believe in Him.  – Constantly remind people about their faith. Especially in dark times.


JE (2013), 

You are the only one on this list who I haven’t met personally. We don’t know each other, or at least not yet. But you make me want to go and see the world, too. I hope one day I get to finally meet you and we can go somewhere new preferably one with a view. But until then, I’m stocking up on some exciting stories you might want to hear. — Someday and somewhere can be right now and right here. I am just waiting for the Universe to decide.


MD (2014), 

You always understand, or at least try to understand the people around you. When you finally do, you treat them as family. With the amount of patience, love and understanding you have, I will always look up to you. — People will always complicated. Get to know them, learn how to adapt and adjust. 


SB (2014),

You were my first lunch buddy during my freshman year. I will always remember how friendly and welcoming you are. Thank you for letting me in your group of friends. – Be that kid who lets people in without any questions. Welcome them and treat them well. 


KC (2015),

For opening up and letting me hear exclusive stories from your childhood to your current awkward adulthood beginnings, I can truly say you are a good person who deserves better. — Sharing your stories to other people is one thing, people sharing their stories to you is another. Prefer the latter.  


JN (2015),

I always whine and complain about how tired I am to you but never did I hear you complain when you were as tired as I was. The only thing I heard from you was a prayer. — Complaining will not get you anywhere. Prayers, silent or out loud, will get you somewhere. Seek Him.


JG (2015), 

Law and PE classes wouldn’t be as fun without you. I am fond of you because you remind me of an earlier version of myself; the one who believed that books and movies are the best form of escape. – Life can be pretty overwhelming, it’s nice to know how to escape from it without leaving it completely.


RM (2015),

I have never met anyone as contented with her life as you. You always see the good in people.  PS. The next time you hear Breaking Free I hope you think of the time I won our karaoke battle. – It’s normal to want things. Contentment is still key though. 


TP (2015),

You shared latest 9Gag memes and your personal stories to me (like that one time your lost phone went to Japan and back to the PH), my wish for you is to find everlasting love hahahaha – Be the fun one with all the great stories. 


KP (2016),

For tolerating me and for that one time you made sure that I got home safe so you and our friend got in a cab with me to drop me off, I am extremely grateful. We need more people like you in this world. – Your humility has changed me and everyone else you’ve worked with. Continue to keep your feet on the ground.


AG (2016),

You were my lunch buddy throughout the first half of Junior Year, and you sided with me when I ranted about evil people. I will always remember you when I eat unsanitary Sisig and drink cheap milk tea. I admire your simple dreams for you and your family. – It’s important to have dreams for you. It’s also important to have dreams for the people you love too. 


LA (2016),

It was that October morning when I told you how sad I was and how tired I was of life. I’m not quite sure if you understood but you still listened to me and I will always be thankful. My advice for you is to get out of toxic relationships, platonic or not. This will help you in the long run. –Listen to people, it doesn’t matter if you understood them or not. The important thing is you let them vent out. 


🎂 🎂 🎂

For this part, listen to Young Blood by Noah Kahan

I wrote the first half of this post weeks before my birthday. I read The Little Prince again after a long time a few days before my birthday because I felt like I needed some inspiration to finish this post and also some guidance on how I should live my 19th year.

My takeaways from doing these in preparation for my birthday?

From doing this post, I learned how to look back and just laugh about all the bad times. I fully accept that I don’t really talk to most of these people on a daily basis, I’m glad I had so many good moments with them and I’m wishing for many more new ones. But if time and fate doesn’t allow us, my heart has a special place for all the moments we had.

From reading The Little Prince, my takeaway would be that I don’t want to fail as an adult. I don’t want to end up like most of them. I don’t want to end up like one of those grownups the little prince met. I want to be as kind as I am on my 18th year, even kinder. I want to be better.

I wrote this last part just now. I just got home last night from a birthday trip to Manila. Despite the rain and traffic, it was nice to get my fix of pollution and shopping.

I don’t know how many “this is your last teen year” lines I’ve received/heard on my birthday. You know what? I’m not even sad about it being the last. I’m quite excited for the next era. The 20’s. But that’s still in the future. Right now I just really want to take in every moment of my 19th year. I want to be a better version of Erika this year. I want to live and experience a lot more things that would be great to tell some young girl when I’m older and she’ll be in awe of how much I lived. I hope I don’t waste this year just like I wasted some of the others.

(Belated) Happy birthday, self. May you keep your time, keep your mind, keep it humble. Remind yourself that what is for you will not pass you. Please don’t be sad about growing up.  It’s a beautiful thing to do and changing  for the better is a nice thing. You made me so proud. It’s time to climb and get to another mountain. To so many more sunsets, good times, plane rides and city skylines.

For anotha one, thank You 👆 My heart is full.

That is aall xx