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13 year old Joel (far left). Albert right beside him.

13 year old Joel (far left). Albert right beside him.

I was just thinking the other day…what if I had a once in a lifetime chance to write a letter to the 13 year old me?


Dear Joel,

It may sound totally ridiculous but the person behind this letter is actually you. Well, the 13 years older version of you but it’s still you. Actually, I know that you’ll probably go on reading this without me explaining throughly what’s going on cause, I’m you! You’ll just fall for these kinda things. Some things don’t change.

I thought I’d just let you know that high school is going to be an awesome time for you! You’re still too lazy to go exercise and would rather sit at home and watch TV all day, but it’s still going to be super – cause many people will come to you later on asking about TV series back in the 90s and you’ll know all of ’em. Studies as always will be a drag for you and later on your mom will send you to 8 tuitions! Cause they don’t have tuition classes for history and moral. That’s right, run and scream while you can. Oh and when I mentioned exercise, please start doing it while you can! Trust me, it’ll do you good.

And you’ll really love maths tuition, thanks to the tutor – Mr. Chan. You’ll even score at it! So, once you’ve finished high school please get his contact number cause you’ll find out soon that he moved from his old house and you can’t find him anymore today. Can’t blame me if a man wants to move k!

As for PMR and SPM…well…you did the best you could. BUT it is totally cool cause when you’re 23, you’ll graduate as a top student from the top design school, win an award and even get a job offer on the spot from the president of the school himself! You’ll be chosen as valedictorian (check dictionary if you don’t understand) and you’ll be giving a speech at the graduation! Tip: take it all in as you’re giving the speech cause your genius sister got the digital camera recording without the mic on. I know what you’re thinking – don’t be mean.

As for sis, be there for her as much as you can. She will be a successful lawyer one day and you will need her help in different times so give and take k? You guys will still be close and laugh at the same things but it’ll be slightly different from the times in high school cause you’ll grow up ma!

Life will take a dramatic turn when you touch the second half of your 17th year. Mum will “force” you to go for a Christian camp in KL cause you need to look after the younger kids that really wants to be there. But on the third night of the camp, your prayer will be answered. I’m not going to spoil it all for you, where’s the fun in that? But trust me, you’ll be making some mature and hard choices just in this year alone and it will be all worth it.

When you’re 18, you’ll be studying in Taylor’s College and you will meet the most awesome bunch of people that today, they’re closer to you than family. They will support, believe, pray and even walk through fire to get you if they have to. Pr. Kenneth and Pr. Sandra will be one of them. They will practically be your “mum and dad” so don’t ever disappoint them! They will advice, laugh, cry and even scold you at times but trust me, they really love and believe in you and only want the best for you. Vinod’s going to be one of them too; don’t let his size and voice scare you – he’s super awesome and you will even be his grooms men on his wedding day! If you can, pay for every meal possible when you’re with him cause he keeps wanting to pay yours. Joy will be the other one. As whacked out as she can be, she will be one of your closest friend today and you will be there for her in different times. It’s hard to imagine, I know. Then there’s Dave. You meet him in church, don’t really know him that well and he heads to UK to study for 2 years BUT once he’s back, you guys will be awesome buddies. In fact, you’ll be emceeing gigs with him and even have an online TV hosting job with him (Aha! You’ll be one tiny lil insignificant online celebrity…yay?) and you’ll get the chance to meet lots of famous, talented and nice people! Psst…Dave will be the campus pastor of an awesome church but keep this to yourself. 

When you hit 24, there’s good news and there’s bad news. Good news is that you’ll join a wonderful advertising agency, get good position and salary and even win awards. Bad news is that you allowed the “successes” to get into your head and you make some major boo-boos. Not proud at all. So, please please keep your head screwed on tight and be as accountable as you can to your leaders – it’s hard but they genuinely want the best for you (though they laugh at you after that). Be strong k?

The year you turn 26 will be an awesome one. You’ll be quite a jet-setter, own your own company, tour different states sparking a REVOLUTION among the young people, start a t-shirt label and have a new member of the family (he drools, is hungry perpetually and has jet black fur). It will be a seriously fun year, just enjoy it to the max! 

The answer is NO. Just in case you were wondering if you’re married or have a girlfriend. I know you, silly. But keep your head up and continue to be the right man. You’ll learn that by living a life that is surrendered, you’re on the winning side. She’ll come your way pretty soon. 

I can’t promise that life’s going to be all that super awesome. There will be the valleys, choppy seas and quiet seasons; in fact, there’s going to be quite a lot of that. But after all that I’ve written, here’s one piece of advice I can give you…always seek God in all that you do. Get Him involved in every decision that you will make and in every area of your life. Always remember Joel, what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his soul? Everything will be just fine.

Before I leave you; Italy will win the World Cup ’06 and Spain will win Euro ’08. Bet all you have on it and that includes the house that you’ll be moving into! Retire young and comfortable!

Yours truly,




  1. haha..good one! am sure 13 yr old joel will be shocked at first, but as he goes on reading, he’ll be excited & blessed! :)..continue 2 shine! and YES! She’ll come ur way pretty soon! hOhOhO…i’ll sing 4 u both 🙂

    • Dr Vinod Laxmikanth
    • Posted April 16, 2009 at 9:04 am
    • Permalink
    • Reply

    very flattered that you mentioned me in the letter to your 13 year old self man 😉

    very well written.
    Spot on.

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