Dear 15 year old me,
I know the idea of this letter to you from the future will fill you with a great sense of hope and expectation. That was how I remember you anyways, based on the diary you wrote at every chance that you got, filled with teenage whimsy, fears, fangirling and most importantly, a certain level of optimism.
I also knew you kept a lot of your secret thoughts to yourself. Like how you had hoped to be in a relationship and on your way to a dream career by 25. This was why on the first day when 25 year old us woke up, she didn’t rejoice at all. She burst into tears.
“I’ve failed” was all she could think of. At the time, I blamed no one but myself for the failures I’ve faced. The struggles in my career, the brokenness of my family, my average body and horrible personality for the lack of love life.
15 year old me, I know you’re hopeful for your future, and because you’re so young the troubles you’ll face in your coming years will feel tremendous, and you will be unprepared for it all. You will feel like all is lost, everything you did was a waste and that life is telling you to give up. Your mind will play tricks on you, convince you that you are incapable of anything, and that your failures defines you.
I just want to tell you that all that optimism and hopefulness you have isn’t going to waste. True, it will lead to so many disappointments in life, but there will be a point where you will be hanging on to your last strands, clinging on to life as you plan the moment to end it all, and yet you’ll find yourself thinking that there is always that glimmer of hope.
That you will be beautiful, that you will be loved, and most importantly…
That you are stronger than you think.
So here’s what you really need to know. Rather than having that dream job and dream boy in your grasp, I want you to know that you’ve achieved more than you could possibly imagine:
- You will learn to love that body of yours, and you will also learn that your body has always loved and cared for you even when you hated it the most.
- You will learn that your mind can be the source of all evil in your life, but as long as you can set yourself apart from it, you will also learn your mind is capable of stringing poetic words, building characters and worlds that will have you remembered in a small little community you will adore.
- You will learn that your talents are beautiful, and that your gifts are there not to make money or attract attention, but to make yourself happy.
- You will learn to put yourself first, and this will be hard because I know you believe that being there for others is more important. I am not saying you will be selfish, rather you will find ways to be more in tune with yourself and your needs and believing in it, even if it comes with a heavy price.
- You will learn to love again. I’m sorry to tell you that your experiences with love will be terribly tainted and broken, and it will put you off love for years ahead. But someone out there will love you, even if the one you love isn’t packaged the way you dream.
- You will learn to face your fears, and decide whether to defeat them or accept them as who you are. It’s a part of life no anime or book will show you in detail, because you can make a choice to save someone or be there for others, but fears like “being alone” cannot be simply solved by deciding to have more people surround you. There’s a deeper fear, and I am proud to say you faced them all despite your tears and cries of respite.
I know what you’re thinking. All this is nice and all, but you’re still wondering if I got that dream career and man. And I will admit that at this point, those dreams haven’t been achieved quite yet. But there’s a reason you’re born with dreams, 15 year old me. You just have to realise that every road is different and your time isn’t as limited as you think. Your viewpoints will change and you will accept it wholeheartedly. Your journey may be filled with pain and sorrow, but along with it are experiences that you can use to enrich not just yourself but others later on in your life.
15 year old me, you didn’t gain success after turning 25. You gain the strength to live a life beyond even your own expectations.
So keep dreaming, keep hoping for greater things. Because once you’ve broken through obstacles and silenced doubt and fears, those dreams will shine brighter than anything you’ve ever seen.
With so much love,
27 year old you