A message from the 15-year-old me

Posted 27 December, 2015 by Surely
in Opinion

A friend informed me of ICQ application on the app store.
Piqued, I went on to login to my old ICQ account.
Yes, somehow I managed to recall my old password.

This was the Whatsapp of our times.

This was the Whatsapp of our times.

My old memories came flooding back.
Ah … all the quirky nicknames, teenage angst and youthful cynicism
Amongst them, I saw a quote that I had concocted in my younger days.
It still rings true today.

Nobody is fearless.
A self-proclaimed fearless person fears having fear.
– Surely

This is quintessentially a 15-year-old me, leaving a message to myself.

Fear is inevitable; no one is truly fearless.
One must not let fear dictate your life.

Why did the teenage me conceive such a quote?
An adolescent me had a hard time coping with growing up.
The need to take on responsibility had me paralysed by fear.
It was a sort of instinctive reflex that I had to come up with, so that I can carry on with my life.

Now we know that this is the fight or flight reaction to fear.
The pubescent me was sick of flight and was looking for a way to fight back.
I had to find a way to accept fear as normalcy, and not as something I may simply avoid.
Hence, I came up with that to assure myself that it was perfectly okay to have jitters because everyone in this world has the some sort of phobia anyway.

Naturally the next question will be whether I have lived my life as what my 15-years-old self has envisaged for me.
The answer is expectedly both yes and no.
After all, there is no singular answer to a life question.

The Early Years

Despite his bravado in front of his friends and schoolmates, he had his own quiet fears.
Usual schoolboy insecurities really – not able to make the grade, inability to impress his crush and whether he can make it into the starters of his soccer team.

He managed to graduate from secondary school.
Oh yes, he trained daily to improve his soccer skills and became the 1st choice right midfielder like his idol, David Beckham.
Sadly, this was not a perfect story – he was single in all of his schooling days.
Hey, 2 out of 3 is still not too shabby.

No, he couldn't bend it like Becks

No, he couldn’t bend it like Becks

The Later Years

The lesson learnt in the early years seems to have faded with each passing year.
Out of school, he approached adulthood with trepidation.
Unease about fitting in, worry about job security and the cold feet when around the one lady that he fancied are some but not all the fears that he had to face with.

While he is happily married with The One now, he have not done well with the rest of his fears.
He averted important issues and procrastinated all the time.
He simply chose to avoid them and not deal with them.
Flight sequence became his modus operandi.

Of course I would run away !

Of course I would run away !

Along the way, there are little wins.
He was always worried about not able to leave some money behind for his family as he was an average worker with little fortune. Life insurance managed to help him with that concern.
However, the small victories are simply not enough to change the overall picture.
He did not live a life, that was expected from his younger self.


Fear is a powerful primal instinct that is existent in everyone.
It is both good and bad.
Not touching a boiling kettle is a positive effect of fear; anxiety disorder is not a good consequence.
Fear is okay at a healthy dosage.

Every time you encounter and conquer fear successfully, you have one less fear to deal with.
Conversely if you let every failure affect you so much that you go into avoidance, you shall never be able to learn anything from it and live a life, dictated by fear.
Therefore, how you deal with and learn from fear will figure greatly into your life’s choices and eventually life itself.

How are you going to drive your life today?

How are you going to drive your life today?

It is easier said than done.

It is obvious from my own personal experience that lessons learnt in the past are often forgotten.
The natural instinct to fear is always to go back to your comfort zone.
Problems arise when you refuse to come out again and face life head-on.

Therefore, we just need to stop, review our life occasionally and live our lives with a little more courage and conviction.
On this note, I leave you with a food-for-thought.
What do you think a 15-year-old you will say to you if he/she sees you today?


www.ClearlySurely.com aims to eradicate the knowledge gap between consumers and Life Insurance. Our Vision is that one day, every Man, Woman, and Child will be properly insured.

Leave a Reply