And here come my thoughts in italic:
Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’99, if I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be
it. Here is the speaker, apparently facing a gym full of graduates. It is not implied that the speaker is a member of the faculty or even an alumnus of the school, so we might forgive if the advice turns out to be on sunscreen.
The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. This. And this. This too. Seriously, don’t ever think all science is absolute. Very little of it is.
I will dispense this advice now. I thought it was only the sunscreen?
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. This is the best and most dignified admission of old age I have seen. But power? beauty? Tell that to Mr. Volcano in the back row, the one with the very large mortarboard hiding his humongous zits. Tell that to Miss Sweetycakes, 16 years old. She’s in the hospital, pregnant from a baby sired by her own demon father.
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.
You’re not as fat as you imagine. If you didn’t eat so much of McDonalds and Jollibee.
Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. Sometimes it works. Have you ever heard of intuition?
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday. The practical troubles, my dear. The coming rent with no money to show for it and the payday a week away, what to feed Miss Sweetycakes’ unborn child, they are as real as the beating of your own heart.
Do one thing everyday that scares you. And be scared everyday. Great.
Sing. If you sing well, good. If not, advertise where you are going to be ahead of time, especially to people who might not take your singing in stride. Or you can just pack an mp3 player on the train and listen, if you must have your “music.”
Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.
Floss. Do Filipinos know how to?
Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself. It’s envy, not jealousy. Get your sins right.
Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how. Practice what you preach, sinner!
Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements. So when the sheriff hauls you in to court for estafa, show the judge the juicy details of your lovelife, but leave the sex videos at home. You might be slammed for contempt.
Stretch. How about compress?
Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t. No comment. Hahahahahaha!
Get plenty of calcium. Eat chalk.
Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone. When they’re gone, you’d be walking like your cheap, lead-laden, Made-in-China plastic soldiers.
Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children,maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary, what ever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s. Banish the thought. Have fun! But don’t be too disappointed when you fail. (Not “if,” expect to fail. But fail with dignity.)
Enjoy your body, use it every way you can…don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own. An instrument of doom, device for the salvation of the world, cog in the machine, or a tool of Divine Sexy Time.
Dance…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room. You can also dance horizontally. It is the most performed, but not universally acknowledged; enjoyable even without music, awesome when it is; most intimate, but not exclusive; dance in history.
Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them. Look intelligent, even if you are not. Then run for public office. Not reading directions but following them anyway nets one a good tour of duty in the military.
Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly. Are beauty magazines supposed to be read?
Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good.
Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Not too tightly on the neck or balls.
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young. Travel to both Ayala Avenue and Payatas, eat Haagen-Daz’s then learn what PSP means. If you plan on being a writer you will have a lot of material.
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Am I the only person who thinks this is an innuendo for digestion problems?
Travel. Do not forget to pay the customs officer.
Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders. Escape cynicism if you can. Or write a blog or diary if you can’t.
Respect your elders. Respect if different from utter subservience. And forget about “pabaon.”
Don’t expect anyone else to support you.
Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.
Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you’re 40, it will look 85. Sometimes, I hope that it will.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Like I have been patient with you.
Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.
But trust me on the sunscreen. F*%k!