Dear seventeen year old me,
I hope you’re listening. Because there’s just so much I have to tell you.
You’re probably wondering what lies ahead. The road ahead might seem overwhelming. Scary. Even intimidating. Yet, I will tell you to savor these moments. For the world you have now is the best you can ask for. Years later, when moments of solitude become a rarity, it is in these memories that you will find true solace. Memories of sleepovers, of high school crushes, of whining over pimples, the excitement of your first push-up bra, your first date, even tears shed on your first heartbreak. People will come and go, yet memories remain.
While it may now seem confusing, the next decade is going to be exciting. It is going to take you on this journey of self discovery, where you’re going to evolve in more ways than you’d ever imagined you would. You are going to go out into this beautiful world, and discover what lies beyond the walls of your school and home. You’re going to go to lands far and beyond, and meet people you never though you would. Every experience, good or bad, shall build on to you, and help you grow. And somewhere along this adventure, I hope you discover your purpose. And once you do, I hope you grab it by the horns, protect and preserve it. And if you don’t, I hope you never stop seeking it.
Of course it’s not going to be easy. In a world that constantly judges you, and imposes upon you a set of standards you apparently must adhere to, in order to be accepted. There exists an entire industry, that thrives on your insecurities. The one that constantly shows you fairness creams, and flashy diets. The one that benchmarks you against pre-decided standards of perfection. And if that weren’t enough, there will always be those who will tell you that you don’t fit in. Or that you are too rebellious, or ambitious for your own good. But don’t you let that affect you. Create your definition of perfection, and celebrate it. For every person that hurts you, there will be an army that loves you for who you are. Those are the true keepers. And the ones whose advice you should seek.
I hope you teach yourself, even in the darkest of times, to focus on the tiniest flicker of light. For even in tough times, there things to be grateful for, in leaps and bounds. Practice gratitude, and practice it often. Smile, and smile often. And above everything, I hope you never forget, to be you. Because you’re unique. And irreplaceable. And no one can ever play your role, on the stage that Shakespeare calls a world.
A much older version of yourself.