Last week, I wrote a letter to my future self, and today, I am sharing it here for anybody who would like to read.
A letter to my future self
Dear Future Self,
I don’t know if mankind has perfected flying cars yet or figured out a way to combat climate change, but I hope you’ve learnt how not to spend all your salary within two weeks. Honestly, it’s not that hard. Just stop ordering in food. Please.
I know for a fact that there’s a massive pile of books just waiting to be read. Don’t wait for the weekend. Just pick one and go at it. Stop procrastinating on Instagram. No, you don’t have any new likes on the aesthetic windowpane picture you uploaded seven hours ago. Never give up reading, okay? The books you’ve read so far have all played a role in making you the person that you are, and you must keep reading in order to blossom further. As long you have books to read, you won’t ever really be alone. I hope you haven’t stopped occasionally reading aloud to yourself and your friends. Remember that one lazy afternoon in college when you sat outside the open air theatre and read aloud while your friends sat drawing circles in the dust, smiling and sighing as the story progressed? I think that’s one of my fondest memories from college so far. I wonder what yours is.
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Are you still overworking yourself? Knowing you, you probably are. I know how important your work must be for you, it is for me too. But remember to take a breather once in a while, okay? You deserve it. I know how satisfying it feels to come back home after a day of hard work; I also know about those days when nothing seems to go right, and no matter how hard you try, it’s never enough. You end up feeling useless, like you’re not trying hard enough. But trust me, you are. You’re doing your best and giving your all, and no one has the right to make you feel otherwise. Not even yourself. Be kind to yourself, please. Almost every person you interact with on this planet is going to put you down, the least you can do is not add yourself to that list.
Are you still afraid that you’ll end up making the same mistakes in your life as your mother did? I don’t really know what words of advice to offer you except that Mamma has raised you to be a fighter. You are not weak. She has raised you to be kind and fierce and patient and respectful of other human beings; and no matter what mistakes you make in life, she and I are always rooting for you. Mamma is the most wonderful and strongest woman I’ve met on the planet, and being able to live through even half of what she faced in life, would honestly be your greatest victory. Be proud of your mother and the life she lived.
Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License
Are your friends doing okay? I know how important friendships are in your life, but sometimes you do forget to check up on them. I agree that friendship ought to be easy and effortless like breathing, but sometimes you do need to actively ensure that it runs smoothly. Your friends miss you more than you think they do. Also, while we’re on this subject, if something has been bothering you for a while in any of your relationships, this is the sign for you to go and talk to that person about it. Bottling up feelings has never been successful in the past, even though it is obviously the more convenient option. Just talk to them! Stop being so afraid of the consequences.
Have you been sleeping well? I wonder if you still stay up till 4 in the morning listening to sad music and thinking about life. Or has the constant lethargy of adult life finally caught up you, knocking you out by 11:30 p.m. every night?
You know how much I hate the concept of growing up, right? Adults who spend all their life earning money and complaining about everything are one of my worst nightmares. Promise me you will never end up like that? I want you to be successful in your career, but please never turn into a lifeless corporate robot? There’s so much more to life and all I want is for you to remember that. Even when you’re 40 and struggling with work and bringing up children simultaneously, I hope that you still stop to pick up that dead leaf stuck on the wet grass and stick it in your scrapbook. I hope that you still eat ice cream the way I do now- like an absolute mess. I hope that you never stop getting excited about your birthday from a week before. I hope good food continues to be a source of unprecedented happiness in your dull days. I hope you never grow old, bitter and unappreciative of the life you’re living.
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I’m turning 21 in a few days and it’s a little terrifying, to be frank. I have this feeling that I’m running out of time and I have a lot of decisions to make and I’m scared that I’m going to mess it all up. I’m guessing this only gets worse as I grow older? I’m calming myself down by listening to Daughter. I think you should try the same if you’re feeling that way. “You could still be/ what you want to/ what you said you were/ when you met me.” Always be grateful for the music your friends share with you; they’ll be there to comfort you even when your friends aren’t.
I hope you have learned to stop being so hard on yourself all the time. I also hope you have learned how to cook. Frying an egg doesn’t count, I’m sorry. You’ve finally grown old enough to cook whatever you want to without Mamma having to worry about you burning the kitchen and yourself, so make use of this opportunity! I hope you’re still making art. It doesn’t matter if it’s just flowers. It still counts. Always stock up on paint, you never know when inspiration will hit.
Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License
I’d tell you something about writing too, but there’s nothing I can tell you that you don’t already know. “I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right,” isn’t that what Liesel Meminger said in The Book Thief? That’s all I can hope for too. I hope that you and I have done right by the words we have uttered and penned down. And I hope we learn to have more faith in our words instead of letting them die premature deaths for fear of injustice.
Do you still feel awkward when you’re around new people? Or does social anxiety get better with age? Have you gone out for a movie or a meal by yourself like you kept telling yourself you would someday? I’m actually learning to enjoy my own company in public places, and not just at home. I’ve recently started loving all the bus journeys I take by myself- they’ve become my most favorite and relaxing part of the day. I plug in my earphones and pretend I’m in a movie about a woman who’s set out on a journey of introspection and self-discovery. Sometimes I actually end up doing a little bit of both on those bus rides. On other days, I’m sandwiched between two other women with exceptionally large bags, hoping I’m not flung on to either side by the sheer force of the brakes.
Remember that being grateful is a virtue that needs a bit of practice. Be grateful for at least one thing every single day. Even on the days when life seems to suck. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with how many things there are for us to be grateful about. Don’t be apologetic for who you are. If people think you’re weird and annoying because you constantly tell them to stop littering, then you have the full right to throw a shoe at them because why would anyone in their right mind want to litter? If people think your feminist views are overwhelming, then you go ahead and overwhelm them further until they have fully grasped the concept. If someone calls you out for munching on your chips too loudly, then the most logical thing to do would be to munch even louder until you have drowned out their stupidity by the masculine sound of your canines crushing the chips.
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Call Mamma more often. You know she gets lonely and sad often. Call your two childhood best friends too. Just like you did every evening when you were kids. Call people to wish them on their birthdays; texting isn’t nearly as intimate. Remember to wish people who matter on their birthdays. You’d want them to do the same on yours.
Don’t stop playing badminton during winter! It’s fun and the only form of physical activity you come even close to participating. Don’t get too cocky if you play well in a game, you’re going to miss the next shot. As a rule, try not to mess with Karma. The universe has an impeccable mechanism of maintaining its balance, never stop believing in that. And in yourself.
It’s okay if you choose yourself over something/someone else. It’s okay if you choose to spend your time alone with yourself and miss out on parties or adventures with friends, it won’t lessen your bond in any way. It’s okay to skip work one day just so you can sleep in till noon. It’s okay to want to cry even when you can’t figure out the cause of your tears. Just let it all go. Saying no to something you’re not comfortable with does not make you a bad person.
It’s okay. And even if it isn’t, know that it will be.
Your Past Self
Featured image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License