If only I knew then what I know now, I would have saved myself from so much wasted anxiety and so much unnecessary stress.
And in five years from now, I would say the exact same thing to my present self today.
Here is an open letter to remind my younger self that life has its own peculiar ways of throwing us headfirst into a current of deep water. But the waves will never be dangerous enough to drown us because we are much, much stronger than what we give ourselves credit for.
To my younger self, I hope you know that the trials and tribulations you are being tested for are trivial in the grander scheme of things. I hope you know that the uphill battles you are currently fighting seem harder with every step and the slope seems to be unforgiving, but know that you are so close to reaching its peak and basking in the glory of the Sun atop the mountains. Know this because I have reached the top and I have seen the Sun. I have been kissed by its warm rays, and I know how difficult it seems not knowing how much further you have to go.
To my younger self, I hope you know that heartache isn’t forever, nor will this be the last of it. Heartache is like a cloak draping over our heavy shoulders, one which we must learn to shed when it has taught us the lessons we need to grow. Heartache is how we know there are real things in this world; things that are so beautiful and raw and so close to our heart that it leaves a scar so deep when it leaves us. If it doesn’t hurt, then it isn’t real, and in a world where there are so many glossy and superficial mannequins of people and products, we know how genuine gems are so rare to find and hard to come by.
To my younger self, when you feel that life is choking the patience out of you in wanting all too much, all too soon, let this serve as a reminder that there will never be a day where you are fully content with everything that is happening. We are all wired to want what we don’t have, to chase what isn’t ours and to always look towards what is missing. When you feel lost or confused or wishing for the things you are lacking, let me remind you that you are on the right track and you have everything you need to be happy, you just need to find it within yourself to accept these things.
To my younger self, who is crippled with fear and doubt and uncertainty, know that life is only going to get better from here. When you’re in my position, looking back, you’ll question why it had to take hindsight to appreciate everything I had and how I had it so good, yet didn’t have the eyes to realise that. Trust me when I say that the doubt you feel now is not going to get any better with age, or time, or by conquering achievements — that they will increase tenfold to be bigger and more fearful than ever if you let them be. Which is why you need to eliminate these doubts now. Stop questioning yourself and start believing. You need to equip yourself well for what’s to come. Nothing ever gets easier; your armour only grows thicker with time and your weapons only sharpen with continued conditioning.
To my younger self, know that everything will be okay because I am here telling you so. Know that every day is the best thing that can happen to you, and things are unfolding in their own miraculous way in the right direction. Know this and believe this because I am proof that you’ve made it out alive on the other side.