by Dr. ET
A spirited letter I sent to myself, telling me what I need to change this New Year.
Please don’t read this until you’ve finished writing it.
Hello again, Doc. It seems like almost 14 minutes since we last talked, and I don’t think I can stand another minute of being too detached and lost in a flurry of regrets.
You know what it is today? That’s right, it’s January 3, 2012 (or at least I hope this letter arrives within today, I mean you know how slow your train of thought is during vacations like these).
Anyway, January 3 means you have been working on Serge for half-a-year now, and you’ve been working on Making Things Happen for a year and three months.
That’s 21 months all together. Let me spell it out for you (even though the campus copyreaders say it’s wrong to do so): twenty-one. And have you finished anything? No.
Come on, Doc, I know you too well. You promised Jude that you’d show him the finished books before graduation, but you keep on procrastinating, even though I know you have the willingness to continue them.
Stop being lazy or idle, Diego. I’m telling you because if I don’t, then who will? People can tell you to work and do, but it’s still up to me to decide if you’ll follow.
Also, I saw that Tweet you made to Rob Paulsen. Don’t hide it, Diego; I know how big a fan we are. I know that was the only way you could send him a greeting, but, please, you were supposed to be working then.
Don’t forget that being a pretend member of the Animaniacs cast and crew comes in second to being the Editor-in-Chief of the campus newspaper. People are counting on you, and yet you put them at the bottom of your priorities.
I know how much you want to change that, and I’m all for it too. This year, in the words of your pen pal, Jimmy Cartriever, start with “what’s really important.”
When you last spoke to Jimmy, I remember you were talking about writing. He said he was proud that you got at least 27 pages of Serge done, and he said you “should keep writing” because “you knew your story well.”
WELL, even if that wasn't true, always remember that replying to Jimmy is more important than writing your novel. Like at school, you don’t write in class unless the lesson is over because you know your duties.
You seem to be forgetting that your duty and responsibility come before your recreation. And the sad thing is, if you forget then so do I. Stop giving yourself amnesia, you have a very good memory. Keep it that way.
Granted that, I’m sure you’ll remember what you put on your Deviant Art account last night. When you get this letter, write it down on the blank: I try as hard as I can to do impressions of my favorite characters.
I have no doubt that you wrote down exactly what we were thinking.
Anyway, you said you try as hard as you can. Really? Do you? Hindi, eh, Diego. Hindi. (You don’t, Diego. You don’t.)
You used to sleep at eight-thirty in the evening (actually, seven-fifty, since your clock used to be 40 minutes advanced) and wake up at four-ten (really, three-thirty) to watch the re-runs of Phineas and Ferb and Storyline, then draw and write to our heart’s desire and practice voice acting as long as everyone else was asleep.
What happened to you? We used to be a morning person, but now, morning is when you go to sleep. Don’t you remember what made the summer of 2010 so memorable? Of course we do: the days felt so long because you got up early.
And you seriously want to be a voice actor when you grow up. But you can’t do that if you don’t practice, and you can’t practice if you’re not whole-hearted, and you can’t be whole-hearted if you’re conscious about people around you.
And there are only two ways not to be conscious of them: lose your shyness, or practice when they’re all asleep.
And knowing (and being) you, I’m sure you’d prefer the second choice. So look back on your 2009 New Year’s resolution, “to sleep on time and wake up early” and do it again.
Don’t sleep at midnight, sleep at eight like you used to…even though this goes against what our favorite cartoon character, Yakko Warner, says: “Early to rise and early to bed makes a man healthy, but socially dead.”
I’m not socially dead.
Speaking of socially, I totally saw what you did at St. Peter’s two weeks ago. Just “innocently saying ‘Hi’ to a friend.”
Come on now, Diego, I know you have a serious crush on Liza. I know you want to ask her, *clears throat*, “the question” that will change your life. But if you want even a chance at her answer being “yes”, then you’d better tell her more than what you’ve been telling her last year.
Sure, you greet her in the hall and hug her and ask her what she’s up to. But you can’t just assume that she likes you back. Affection is your strong spot, Diego, if nothing else.
And of course, I don’t even have to tell you this because I know you know it well (but the readers and judges need to be filled in), but here it is: “If it doesn’t work out, then move on.”
Wait a minute, “work out”, that reminds me…
How heavy were we the last time we weighed in? 120 pounds, right? (Actually, I’m sure it’s 120 pounds; I just like to believe it’s heavier.)
I know where you are when you’re reading (and typing) this, so look under your feet now, Diego. Go on, look. What do you see?
The barbells? That’s right. How long has it been since we’ve lifted them for real? Four months? That’s right again.
Remember you said in I Wonder If Rob Paulsen is Dreaming Too, that your other dream (beside becoming a creative artist on a TV show) is to become stronger.
You know that the dancing you do every week isn’t enough, so why do you keep ignoring these barbells that are right under your feet, right beside your bag and inexplicably close to the chair you sit down on every time you come home?
I don’t want to have to give you the “are you really trying as hard as you can” bit I just said earlier (because that would waste my 2000 word limit), so I just need to remind you again, simply.
Your arms will not flex themselves anymore than these barbells will lift themselves. You are a doer, a man of action, for the love of the Good Lord, stop being lazy!
When we calculated our BMI and computed our daily physical activity, it said that we should gain about 10 pounds by the end of the year. And that’s assuming you sleep on time to let your body rest.
Y’see? All these things add up together. Sleep early, wake up and have a lot of time to do things. Don’t be lazy, and you’ll be able to do a lot.
You’re blessed because you weren’t a victim of Typhoon Sendong (internationally, it’s known as “Washi” [hey, is that a rhyme?]). When you wake up, all you’re tasked to do is fix the bed, eat breakfast, wash your plate, clean the table, take care of your siblings if necessary, and stay out of trouble.
You have more than enough time left to edit articles, write your column, practice Pinky’s voice, watch Rango, furnish your Home Economics project, go to Writing.com and join a contest, do three sets of barbell rows and still be able to relax.
So don’t waste it on nothing. You said so yourself in She Loves Me Too, “no moment happens twice.”
Like Phineas and Ferb always say: “You can do anything”, just don’t procrastinate and don’t laze around. You have the opportunity.
Just remember how that song goes:
“As soon as you wake up you gotta make your move
Don’t miss the beat, just get into the groove
The sun is shining, there’s a lot that you can do
There’s a world of possibilities outside your door
Don’t settle for a little; you can get much more
Don’t need an invitation; everyday is new
Yes it’s true…
Summer belongs to you!”
Okay, that last line doesn’t really apply, since summer here in the Philippines is still two months away.
But we don’t have to wait two months to change. Let’s change now. That’s going to be your last resolution this year: to do the right thing immediately, right here. No intermissions or interruptions. If it’s going to be done right, it’s got to be done now.
And just like my morning responsibilities, this letter is done now.
From your greatest critic,
“Word Count: 1489”
P.S. Are the words, “word count” included in the word count? And this postscript, is it included too?
Heh, I’m just messing with you. Happy New Year.
REAL word count: 1521