A Letter To My 35-Year-Old Self

A Letter To My 35-Year-Old Self

A letter to myself, a (hopefully) thirty, flirty, and thriving version of myself



Dear me, 


What’s the world like in 2031? 


I’m writing from the living room in the year 2022, still in my pajamas even though it’s way past noon. By the time you read this, nine years will have passed—and considering how your memory’s always been a little spotty, you’re likely in need of a refresher. 


It’s early March, just a few days shy of the Philippines’ lockdown anniversary. Things have been so wildly different since COVID took over, and I hope that by now, the world has completely moved on from it. It feels like we (us in the present, that is) have gone through hell and back trying to shake it off. The case numbers have improved drastically and life feels more normal than it has in the last two years. I’m perpetually masked, still, and always find myself fearing another pandemic plot twist in the form of another variant.



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It’s pretty early on in 2022, but I’m positive that this is going to be one of those pivotal years. For me, because my internship is about to begin. My savings, because the internship is unpaid (so much for escaping free labor, right?). For my career, because I promised myself I’d commit to earning myself more worthwhile bylines this year. For the Philippines, because the presidential election is coming up. We’re just shy of 60 days now. I’m extremely anxious about what’s to come. Do you still feel this way sometimes? 


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There’s something I’m curious about. Where are you now? Have you decided to stay in Toronto? Or did you move back home to Manila? If you’re anything like me now, it’s highly possible that you could be in neither of those places. It’s been six months since I moved to Canada, and while it’s good most days, I can’t say I feel at home yet. I’ll go ahead and say it, I feel homesick. Heck, I’ve got a video of someone walking through Megamall on loop because I miss life back home. I hope by now, you’re a little less lonely.



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(Also, let me just park this rant here: winter sucks. I know, you’re probably immune to the cold now, but not all of us have lived through years’ worth of snowstorms. I’m new to this place, remember? I thought I was getting used to the colder weather, but today the temperature dropped below zero again and prove that I am, in fact, still conditioned for the tropics.)


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In case you’ve forgotten, I (or should I say we?) always expected my thirties to be my prime. Perhaps it’s my love for 13 Going On 30 talking, but I’ve always romanticized the idea of turning 30. By then, I should have it figured out. I should be at the top of the editorial food chain. I should be thirty, flirty and thriving a la Jenna Rink.


But if my twenties have taught me anything, it’s that all I really desire is to live happily. So, are you?


At the risk of sounding cliché, it’s okay if you aren’t. I thought my twenties would be spent traveling and climbing my way up the publishing ladder back home, yet here I am, living out of her sister’s basement in a different continent. Just in case you need a reminder, let a younger you impart some words of wisdom: you’ll make it just fine.


P.S. If you’re still in your pajamas, for the love of god, get changed. 


Warmly (despite the weather),




Art Matthew Ian Fetalver

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