Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Letter to My 18-Year-Old Self.

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Dear 18-year-old self,

As the clock strikes 12, you'll find your phone buzzing with texts wishing you a happy birthday. Most of them are strangers, but they'll turn into a family you cannot cut ties with even if they are continents apart. You have an exam tomorrow and it's the first of the many you'll give, this semester. You must have turned 18 now and you must be thrilled, but listen, you're still not an adult. Take it from your 26-year-old self, you'll always be a child to your family. Your grandfather still frets if you don't return home by 7 PM.

Let me tell you a good story now. Right now, you're pretty psyched about future. You must be planning on giving your CAT in three years and settle for whatever pay you the most. You are hoping you'll graduate with a great job offer on hand. Somewhere between working as an intern at several places and hanging out with your friends discussing your dreams, something will snap inside of you. You'll sense a weariness, a strange restlessness settling at the pit of your stomach. You'll never understand where it began and why it has, and the worst part? You'll not even know if it will ever end. You'll grow to call this anxiety your own and you'll give it its own space in your home.

You are so shy it makes me wonder that I was you. So, yeah, heads up: You'll change. God, you'll change so much that you'll probably not recognize yourself if you wake up at 25 now. You will experience colossal losses, which unfortunately will push you in becoming an adult overnight. Don't freak out. You can handle it.

You'll learn to travel, you'll learn to make the best of your finances. Even if it means you overdo shopping. You'll learn to live without regrets, and you'll learn to let go of people and things that aren't meant for you. Maybe grudgingly so, but you will. You'll learn to step out of your comfort zone, and you'll be surprised at the number of times and how constantly you'll do it. Girl, it'll be chaotic, but it'll be worth it. You'll tell stories and write many. More importantly, you'll live them.

Let me tell you the bad things now. Your selfishness might still remain as intact. You'll find pathetic reasons to hurt the ones who love you and you'll also be hurt by people you care deeply for. Learn not to put people on a pedestal. Accept the fact that they're not perfect even if your love for them makes you don rose-tinted glasses when looking at them. They're flawed and broken and in their battle against themselves, you'll end up being a collateral damage. Be kind to them, but never at the cost of losing yourself. Maybe you won't find what you're searching for and your thoughts will definitely be sullied by that very thing. But hey, it's going to be okay. Everything you lose and fail at will only prepare you for the beautiful mess you'll learn to embrace in the years to come.

You will rise and fall, maybe falling more often than rising, and that's okay. Your life won't be a cakewalk, but let me tell you, it will never be boring. There will be something new each day and you'll not have it any other way. You'll breathe, live, and do everything you'll dream of. Don't let anything bog you down because that's not what you are made for.

Learn, please learn to tell better stories and be a good story for others to tell.


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