A Letter to My Younger Self

Thursday, July 14, 2016



"The invention of the teenager was a mistake. Once you identify a period of life in which people get to stay out late but don’t have to pay taxes — naturally, no one wants to live any other way." 
— Judith Martin

Dear Younger Me,

I know what you are doing right now - baffled at the sight of this letter, you are scrolling down first to see who has signed it. Well surprise, it is me, I mean you! But an older you! Much is going to change in the ensuing years, so saddle up! Here's older you with heads up on a few things!!

So, here I am congratulating you for even making it this far!!! Remember how future appeared to you as a dark empty space whenever asked where you saw yourself in the years to come. Everyone else had an answer; you were the only one trying to sneak out of the classroom. Your forehead would curl up with the concern to decipher an outline into a milky haze of the future, meanwhile your classmates gave confident answers and you would break into a silent state of panic. You were hardly ever edgy but you did think you were out of place due to the 'lack of plan'. But all I can say now is don't be addled. No plans needed; you will do pretty OK without one.

You are young, and life has yet to take its toll on you. It would not take long enough for it to throw despairs, heartbreaks, loneliness and struggles on your face, but the best part of your age is that you haven't yet been worn down by long hours of thankless work, by the slings and arrows of everyday grind. For this, you should be grateful about the present. You are at a worry-free phase of your life. You have wonderful times coming ahead, but they are not without their costs and perils. As you grow older, you'll realize you are better than many, so take a minute to be thankful !!!

Well, futures cannot be predicted! If we could even have the slightest inkling of what is coming up ahead, we would avoid certain situations and persons but as that would allow us smooth sailing it would also prevent us from growing up in the real sense and would eventually kill the purpose of the whole process. So, it is great to experience life through all its thick and thin and learn lessons as they come by.

Friendships and relationships fluctuate. Sometimes those you expect would stay around forever, might leave and the ones you think would leave might linger on for good and stand by you. So don't be so quick in judging people; it is a tricky business and you will take some time to wrap your head around it but ultimately you will. The older you get, the fewer friends you will keep, so don't focus much on 'how' many friends you have, all that matters is 'whom' have you befriended.  Take time out to rekindle with people who matter and strengthen your bond. Life and time can be cruel. Hold on to people you know you can trust and never let it go. The results will only make you happier. Oh yes !!! Don't feel bad about having few friends on Orkut. To tell you the truth it is not here to stay. It would mean nothing in the coming years, so take a chill pill!!

Much of the anxiety and disappointment you will face in these years and those to come will stem from the feeling of giving more but receiving less in return. This could be frustrating to the point of collapsing but know that it is not a sign of weakness to love and care and it does not matter what others think. However, don't let anyone treat you with disrespect; just walk away if you ever get that feeling. Know your worth and let others know it too! Keep your head up; let no one insult you. Respect and love yourself and love and respect others too. Start giving yourself a little more credit; you're not even half as bad as you think you maybe. Forgiveness is good; it just takes the burden off your chest, so never stop forgiving quickly and wholeheartedly.

There will always be people belittling your efforts and underestimating your ability to do something remarkable; let them give you what they have to offer. It should go in one ear and out the other. There is nothing that you cannot do!!!

Sorry to break this to you but I have never really wished to go back to being your age, however, I do miss your idealism and pure faith. How even at the verge of losing a cricket match, you still had faith that tables will somehow turn in our favor. You had that pure faith which made you believe that everything will work itself out. Try not to lose much on that !!

By the way, rest easy on the zits; they'll leave some blemishes and stop appearing at one point in time. Yes!! They will stop appearing!! Also, ease up on math at school, you will have to deal with something known as 'accounting' in the future and you'll do surprisingly well. 

You are naïve to think that treating everyone as an equal means putting up with their all sorts of remarks and suggestions even when they make you uncomfortable. You will learn with time that it doesn't really matter what people think or say about you. So, learn to be assertive. All these years and you still need some tweaking there. So, can't give you much on that.

As much as you feel like your parents are out there to make your life miserable, when you look back, you'll see they are the ones who truly love you. They were naturally concerned you might end up making wrong choices and all they wanted was to protect you, not control you. Their protection will help you internalize their values. And know that it's OK to be a middle child; you were never neglected, always loved the same way as your siblings. So amp down - you were NOT adopted. Oh yes, stop rolling your eyes!!!

Ten plus years from now, you will still not have it “all”. You will still be insecure and fearful, wandering through life, making blunders and doubtful choices. You may not even be close enough to having your life together, but you will start to revel living through life's struggles. You'll love your job, follow your passion, have an incredible family, and friends so genuine you can bank on them anytime. You don’t have it all. But you have enough. Your biggest achievement - Amidst all the excruciating lessons, you'll learn how to pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and continue to move forward through life. Thumbs up, me !!!

Here's to life !!!

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6 comments

  1. So true - letter to younger me as well and oddly gives perspective to me today, too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah I guess, it's more or less the same for everyone.

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  2. Hey dear, so true :-) but I wish I had stayed younger 😉 there were more roses in life's bed 😉 at least that is what it seemed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, there were less things to worry about...but this age gives more meaning and value to life. Back then, we were less independent and more stupid :D

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  3. so true...beautifully said ...atleast same of my perspective..

    ReplyDelete

Amna's Goodreads Bookshelf

To Kill a Mockingbird
Animal Farm
Of Mice and Men
The Alchemist
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Romeo and Juliet
Lord of the Flies
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Odyssey
A Tale of Two Cities
Frankenstein
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale
Les Misérables
Eat, Pray, Love
The Poisonwood Bible
The Joy Luck Club
Middlesex
The Memory Keeper's Daughter
Lolita
Under the Tuscan Sun


Amna Tariq Shah's favorite books »