Around Brunei

Letters To My Younger Self With Shirley Sikun
March 28, 2020

Dear 8-year-old me,

Tomorrow, you will be singing Que Sera Sera at a talent competition. You are in it to win shopping vouchers so you can finally buy that Play Doh set that you’ve had your eye on for the longest time. The lyrics to that song were just words to you. Words to be sung in tune:

When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother, what would I be?
Will be I pretty? Will I be rich?
Here’s what she said to me.
Que Sera Sera, whatever will be, will be. The future’s not ours to see.
Que sera sera.

“What would I be?” is a question you will ask yourself as you chase traditional metrics of success, aiming for good grades, taking part in competitions and getting ahead. You should realize these do not equate to certainty.

Through a book by Arianna Huffington, you will redefine success and think about creating the life of well being, wisdom and wonder. Keep those 3Ws at the forefront, Shirley.

A future first lady called Michele Obama will make you realize that asking children what they want to be when they grow up sends the wrong message, as if “…growing up is finite. As if at some point you become something and that’s the end”

So in the journey self-discovery, remain curious about yourself but equally about others because along the way you will have great conversations, sometimes at the most random of places, some with people you may never meet again but offer the gift of listening and you will walk away with a pearl of wisdom.

As you grow professionally and start earning your own salary, set aside some money and learn a new thing every year. It does not always have to serve your career because when you step out of your comfort zone, you will realise what your strengths are.

Every experience, good or not-so-good is to an opportunity to reflect, so keep blogging privately about them because you are indeed a closet writer and one day, you will have the opportunity to share these reflections in a magazine.

As you step on that stage, take a deep breath, smile and remember: Que Que Sera young Shirley, the future is not ours to see. Go on now, enjoy the present moment.


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