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'My Life Was Put On Hold When You Were Born, But I Have No Regrets'
  • Noelle Hilario is an entrepreneur, artist, designer, and most importantly, mother to her son, Kai. Her businesses, Flow Retreats, Hillside Cafe & Juice Bar, Brown Belly Swimwear, and Makai Bowls are all borne out of her passions for travel, surf, design, and healthy eating. She spends her weekends surfing in La Union. Here is a letter she wrote for her son when he was 8 years old.

    My dearest Kai,

    I want you to know that you have brought constant joy to my life. You are such a ball of energy and sunshine! I love it when you give me your warm hugs and kisses or whenever you show off a new song you learned to play on the recorder in school. That instantly brightens up my mood. You are growing up to be a smart and confident boy, and I am amazed at how you choose to go beyond your comfort zone and overcome your fears. It makes me proud knowing that you have that strength within you.

    As you go through life, there will be days when you feel happy about how everything is going right. But there will also be times when you’re struggling and the whole world seems to be conspiring against you. Pain, rejection, and failure are all part of life’s experiences that teach us valuable lessons so we can become better people.

    When things are tough, allow yourself to feel the pain or any emotion you are going through, but eventually, move on and more importantly, learn from what happened. Do what is right in every situation even when it is hard for you to do so, and always be the bigger person. You will never regret your actions when you do what is good, and it will only lead you to more blessings.

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    Make time for family trips, dinners, birthdays, and important occasions. Despite the fights and arguments, your family will always be there to love you and will be your greatest support system.

    Remember that self-pity or negativity will not get you anywhere. Stay positive and patient as good things take time. I find that surrounding yourself with people who love and support you and doing things that make you happy help you get past these hardships. Keep your chin up and smile despite the difficulties you face — that is an act of true strength. With darkness comes light, and eventually, things will work out for the better. Trust in what the universe has in store for you. It will always lead you to the right path.

    A part of every parent’s dream is for their child to be happy and successful in life. But keep in mind that success does not always mean having a high paying job or owning fancy clothing or the latest gadgets. When you are pursuing your dreams, when you feel content with what you have, that in itself is success. Go out there and try different things that interest you. Find your passions, embrace your uniqueness, and combine these to make a meaningful living. Carve your own path and know that I support your every endeavor. I am here to guide you and help you accomplish your goals.

    Moreover, the biggest success you will ever have in life is family. This is one of the most valuable lessons I have learned from my parents (your grandparents), which I am passing on to you. Always keep family your top priority—it should always come first in your life. Make time for family trips, dinners, birthdays, and important occasions. Despite the fights and arguments, your family will always be there to love you and will be your greatest support system. That is a gem you must hold close to your heart.

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    With gratitude comes a life of abundance and happiness.

    Take time to enjoy life. We only have so much time in this world, so make it count! Sure, hard work is important, but don’t forget to have fun. Go on outdoor adventures, treat yourself to a massage, and spend quality time with family and friends. When situations don’t go your way, don’t let the little things that annoy you take over your life. Breathe in, let it go, and stop worrying. Live in the moment. As clichéd as it may sound, it holds a lot of truth in it. Holding on to the past or feeling anxious about the future are things beyond our control. Be grateful for what you have in your life right now and always be thankful for accomplishments or blessings no matter how little or big they may be. With gratitude comes a life of abundance and happiness.

    From being your mom, I have learned the greatest lesson which is to unconditionally love beyond the self. Since you were born, all my decisions — big or small — have revolved around you and what is best for you. There was a time when a part of my life was put on hold because I was too focused on you. I missed out on some work opportunities, out-of-town trips with friends, and even stopped surfing for more than a year, but all those I did not regret. Being a mom to you is such a great blessing which I am truly grateful for. I love watching you grow and learn new things. I love being there to witness your milestones.


    I am here to help and guide you to be the best person you can possibly be. I pray you live a life filled with love, magic, and adventure, and that you follow what your heart truly beats for.

    Love always and forever,

    This letter was originally published in the book Letters to My Children, a compilation of heartwarming notes penned by public figures and celebrities for their kids. The book is published by Summit Books.

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