Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Boiling Waters PH.

This isn’t going to be some witty, artsy post on love and life. This is just me, telling you what I’ve learned for the past three months; not entirely on my own but with the help of someone I now hold dear to my heart. Until now, I’m at a loss for words because I am truly amazed of how the Lord plants people in your life to teach you things you couldn’t seem to learn on your own. Just when you think you’re at the verge of knowing everything, you figure out that you really haven’t; stumbling upon endless possibilities for ideas, beliefs, perspectives unlike your own. To cut the introduction short, here are some of the things I’ve learned from the person who brought a whole new universe at my feet and clashed it with mine:

You don’t have to be anybody but yourself.

This person knows me long enough to see the changes that occurred to me for the past few years. He would often tell me that I’m a great person because I’m Yelle, not anybody else. Through time, I’ve grown to conform with what’s in and trending, letting go of what sets me apart from the rest. And I’ve realized just now that although it wouldn’t harm trying what other people are doing (as long as it doesn’t hurt you in any aspect), it’s important for us to develop an identity of our own. It’s essential to hone our skills and not mind what other people think of us. So what you’re not like them? So what your interests aren’t aligned with theirs? If you keep on following what other people love and do, you’re no good than the rest of them. You’ll just turn out to be an exact copy of them, diminishing the wonderful gift of uniqueness God has given you. As this person has told me over and over, “You don’t have to be everybody’s Yelle.” And that’s true. I don’t have to be an image of what people expect me to be, I just have to be myself. And so do you.

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Surround yourself with the people who matter most. 

For so long, I’ve always been a person who grabs every opportunity to make new friends and foster relationships. Knowing the fact that I have a lot of friends comforts me. It’s a way for me to feel secure and not alone. But little to my knowledge, a thousand friends on Facebook or millions of followers on Instagram and Twitter doesn’t really matter. The likes, favorites, replies and other feedback you get online are meaningless if these people don’t genuinely care about your being. So, as much as having a lot of friends seems satisfying, find a chosen few whom you can actually go to during times of trial and also prosperity. Because, believe me when I say that no matter the number of people that you come across every day, it’s the ones who would stay despite the dilemmas that are always worth waking up and fighting for.

Pain is temporary, but regret is permanent. 

Often times, we retreat from pushing forward with decisions we’re actually happy with because we know that the path we ought to take will be an excruciatingly painful one. But this person made me realize that regretting is far worse than not grabbing the opportunity at all. As he has told me, “There will be times that the hurt you felt will be somewhat worth it. You need to understand that. Pain is temporary. But the time that you lost, the opportunity that you left hanging, and the chance that you let go because you chose to be in your comfort zone when you can do something that may never happen again, it will always be a waste.” And true enough, living with regret of not taking chances will always stay with you if you don’t try to push through the risks and worries. It’s better to set foot on the road of temporary pain than to get stuck in a place of mourning over chances you didn’t take. At the end of the day, we’re all human. We’re bound to make mistakes and learn from the consequences of our indecisiveness. But if some decisions we’ve made brought us the most happiness, isn’t that better than having to live every single day in regret?

Again, this isn’t some witty, artsy post on love and life. It’s just some food for thought. Some pieces of advice that are better to be shared than kept secret for my own benefit. Yes, we all have our insights on how we should live, but it really wouldn’t hurt to take in the ideas of someone else if it’s honestly better than what we already have. That’s also one thing I’ve learned…

Take in the criticism than feeding your ego. In the past, I’ve been constantly told of what I’ve done wrong or needed improvement on. Often enough, I would take these criticisms very strongly as rude and intruding. But this person taught me that in order to learn, we need to take it the hard way for it to really sink in. We all have faults in our beings that we ourselves can’t see but other people can. When we push away the critics, we eliminate chances for taking another look at ourselves and changing what’s wrong. This also paves a way for us to feed our egos that will eventually take a toll on us in the near future. So, instead of taking the criticisms badly, why not look at it as a path to betterment? After all, we’re all here to help each other, not to rebuke. We’re here to lift the other person up than to pull them down, even if we don’t get anything in return.

Four points all from one very significant person. Four lessons learned in a span of three months that feel like so long but is actually just the start of something more than just a learning process.

This isn’t some witty and artsy post. This is an appreciation post for the person who has taught me a lot. Because of you, I’ve developed a new point of view on life that I shall forever hold onto. Thank you for rambling through my mind and imprinting on my soul. And as I embrace infinite tomorrows both of gleaming hope and frightening despair, I’ll always remember how you made even a fraction of my life even more beautiful with your presence… even if it was just for a little while. Thank you, old friend. And good bye.

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