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SS Potu: be good to yourself (Letter #3).

An open letter to a specific person, with a broader audience in mind.

Dear SS Potu,

Unlike the previous letters I’ve sent, I’m confident this letter will reach your eyes. Therefore, I will be a bit more discreet, perhaps a bit more exuberant.

We were close friends the first year we met during our first year in high school. That was nine years ago, and we’re 22/23 years old now. Since then, we’ve drifted apart – from surface level conversations through the rest of high school, to random text messages or technological engagements post-high school. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen you since high school.

Despite some of my attempts to reconnect with you to see how we’ve transformed, those plans fell through like sand in hand. However, I’ve been able to loosely follow your life whereabouts through your social media presence. I’d like to dispense some of my thoughts about you, to you.

If you think you are happy right now, you may stop reading here as the contents would be irrelevant.


Focus on yourself more. No, really. Focus on building yourself more. From what I see, you invest far too much into the opposite sex. You are self destructive with smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. You’re out late doing the same old things with the same old people. Variety is the spice of life, and that variety will help you grow.

[The reason why I was so enthusiastic to take up your offer of visiting Berkeley was to take you away from some of those aforementioned routines. There’s something quintessential about traveling, particularly when out of your comfort zone. I had scheduled free parking for you and was ready to show you a whole new world called the Bay Area, something I’ve done for five different parties over the year. That opportunity has now slipped.]

Drop some of your connections. If you desire more meaningful life, be it work, friendship, intellect, romance, and future prospects, I urge you to distance yourself from the same people you get intoxicated with and stay out late with on a weekly basis. I’ve been there and done that – I woke up one day realizing it was the same ‘ol thing with substituted people. It’s pricey, time consuming, and unproductive. My closest friends today are people I rarely see – we’re off doing our own things and actively challenging ourselves, be it on the opposite side of the state, country, or even the world. When it comes to holidays, or when time permits, we pay respective dues.

Treat your physical self better. Your lungs may not hurt now, but your entire body will if you ever get lung, throat, or mouth cancer. Your body may feel young right now, which it should, but it might not be when your liver is collapsing, your blood pressure is high, and your energy levels are low. You only have one body, and you’re stuck with it for a long time.

Stimulate yourself through leisure reading. I remember you never read the book I lent you in high school; I’ve found that I almost never pick up books on my own, but always read (and never regret) recommendations from friends. Not only is it entertaining, I usually learn something about myself, am able to relate to the book recommender more, and add to my overall knowledge of any schema.

Treat your emotions better. Nobody will care if you weigh 128 pounds instead of 110 pounds, or even 146 instead of 140 pounds. Those who do care do not deserve your attention. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Smiling genuinely. Don’t evince yourself so much through social media; divulge it instead to a caring friend.

I don’t mean to sound so condescending, and I assure you that I come with the best of intentions, but these were just some things I wanted to say to you.


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