I know it’s weird receiving a letter from someone who's trying to tell you how to live your life, especially because you hate listening to anyone except yourself. I agree. You and I are so similar. We’re practically the same people! If you’re thinking you want to skip this preachy-letter from some woman with a quarter-life crisis who thinks she knows the world, stop!
It’s me. You, but older and wiser.
I know life feels tough and you can’t wait to grow up. Trust me, I can’t wait to grow old and sit on the porch of my beach house either. But since I’m technically writing from the future, there are some things I want you to know. Life can get hard, and I just want little me to have a little cheat-sheet of her own.
So, here are eight things I want you to know. You will stumble across them sooner or later, but hey, I’m just looking out for you, kiddo.
First, I know you can’t wait to grow up and have a job, a house, a car, and an adult’s life. You’ll have it all. Not as soon as you hope, but just in time. Even if you miss two marks on your math test, don’t beat yourself up about it. I didn’t use Pythagoras theorem in the many days I’ve worked at my office (but it helps that I know it).
So, while you’re still at school, make the most of your time. You’re a better sponge than Spongebob Squarepants was. Learn everything you’re taught, but give up the pressure. We’ll eventually land where life is supposed to take us.
Second, your body is perfect the way it is. Stop waging a war against your love handles because they bulge out a little more than your cousins’. I know you hate it when you’re asked to shop at the women’s section instead of the girl’s. But trust me, you have better choices than Barbie dresses and unicorn tops.
Your smile is precious, and it’s going to win and break so many hearts!
You don’t have to hate your body – it nourishes you and takes you through every day. You don’t have to love it either because you saw some influencer on Instagram say it. Just take care of it. You grow up to be a beautiful, young woman (just like you’re a beautiful kid right now). These changes that are troubling you right now? You’ll love them all (trust me, we are gorgeous!)
Third, it’s okay if you’re not a part of the most popular group at school. We grow up to have many, many friends. Those three friends who share their lunch with you, keep them close. You’ll dance at one of their weddings with the others (and it’ll be a blast).
Make as many friends as you like, but look out for real bonds. Like mama says, quality over quantity. Turns out, she was right about it after all. Love your friends, and respect them for who they are.
Fourth, stop fighting your brother. When we grow up, he’s going to be one of our closest compadres. He can be annoying sometimes (a trait he refuses to give up when he grows up too), but he loves you. He’s been by your side through that scholar-badge you won and through that debate you lost. He checks in with mama about how you’re doing when you fight with your best friend at school.
Keep him close. He’s a gem. He might not say it right now, but he looks up to you. One day he’ll tell you what gave him the courage to earn a scholar-badge at school, and you’ll be proud.
Fifth, I know you’re too scared to tell your crush how it feels. Gosh, do we have a type! But whether you tell him or not, you’re not allowed to feel you’re not good enough for him. You’re smart, you’re intelligent, and you’re amazing. He might not notice you right now, but he’ll be in your DMs every second week. And surprise surprise, you won’t exactly want him then.
You grow up and have better choices. You find men who like you for exactly who you are. Men you won’t be afraid to tell how you feel. Men who will put you above everything else. Between you and me, there is a man we think might be the one. That’s all you need to know right now.
Sixth, I know you love pleasing people. I know why you want to become a doctor. I also know that you’d rather become a journalist or a writer. Don’t worry, mama-papa know exactly what you want.
Stop being scared of writing. Yes, you’re better at it than a lot of your friends. So, don’t be wary of showing it off. It’s okay some people are intimidated by your vocabulary; they’re just hiding their insecurity by calling you out for being “prudish”. You know your words, and they are magic. They’ll give you a wonderful life, a wonderful career, and so much satisfaction. Not many people have a skill like that. Cherish it. Nurture it. Grow it.
Seventh, work on your self-esteem. I know everyone thinks we have this scintillating confidence. And we do. But work on your self-esteem. Stop letting people and situations undermine you. You’ve done so much, and you’ll do so much more. You’ll grow up to be liked and loved by everyone, especially yourself. While the former matters, it’s the latter that really counts.
Trust yourself and work on building yourself up. I know you hold yourself back in class, at the basketball ground, in debates, and even among your friends. Stop that. You’re fab, and let the world know that.
Eighth, live in the now. Dear me, you’re such an overthinker. Stop analysing everything. Stop thinking and rethinking it all. Trust your instincts and the decisions you make. The past is gone, and the future remains unchanged no matter how much you think about it. Start being present, in the present.
Your habit of reliving your highs and lows right before sleep doesn’t change. It’s okay. Life gets so much better on the days you stop running in your own head.
This is all the gyaan I want you to have. We love doing that, don’t we? I hope this helps.
Kiddo, I hope you love yourself as much as the world loves you. I know I do.
Older, but just as fab