A letter to My 18-year-old Self
I am quite the daydreamer and often think of how much I have changed since my teens. I don't think I know the teenage me anymore. Of course, I could blame it on maturity, ageing, and life. But I wish I could meet her aka my teenage self, and tell that it's okay. She will make it, survive and find her niche. That, it's okay if she isn't the best. Not everyone can be that. People need to be average too, but they need to be really good at being average.
Yes, you will hear this version of your name more often, thanks to the 'now' husband.
Now don't panic. Things are really okay, good even. You have achieved a few things, lost many but you have survived. As I write to you, I hope you read this piece at least twice over as things may not sound like the stuff you'd planned to do. Nope, there has been no murder yet though the temptation is strong. You haven't been implicated in any crime too. Congratulations on that 😉!
Jokes apart, let's discuss the serious stuff. You are 18. It's a beautiful time. I love the fact that you are in a place that's going to shape your future even though you have no clue right now. It is going to make you stronger, more resilient, and super bitchy. Yes, these are the magic ingredients that are going to help you sail through the turbulent 20s. The reality is that not many people are going to like you, and this is okay. As long as you learn to make peace with this fact (will take a long time coming), everything will be fine. You have always been intuitive and stick to this-this is your golden snitch. It is this intuition that's going to keep you sane and help you make the right decision even with a lot of opposition. Stick to your gun always. Go by your gut instinct and always believe in yourself.
Life is what you make of it. People will advise, especially the parents. The mothership will try, probe, and even emotionally blackmail. But no, don't give in. At 33, I pride myself to have made a life without listening to what my mother says, and it's safe to say, I have carved my own niche.
Right now, you may think you are in love, but it is far from it. The current idiot you are dating doesn't deserve you from miles away. Don't fall for his crocodile tears or for the lack of them. He is dumb, and you are not. If you think this is the end of the road, yeah, it is for this relationship. But there are other roads to explore!
A word of caution – you can cry as loud as you want. Stomp your feet. Break things. Shout. But never settle for anything less than you deserve (especially this boy). Each time you have to make a decision, you are going to doubt yourself. It is fine. Self-doubt is good. It also means that you gotta do what you gotta do. Continue to read books, buy them for yourself. Buy as many shoes as you want. Dress up; wear that lipstick, flaunt those legs. You are who you want to be. Most importantly, speak your mind. I cannot tell you how much lighter I feel now when I say what I say and how I say it.
And if you can't bring yourself to trust anyone right now, it is cool. In a few years, you'll meet someone who loves you for your craziness. He will want you as you are – weird, wild, vagabond. That's the guy you want to spend your life with!
Be fiercely loyal to your few friends. It doesn't matter if you are not in touch or if they seem different to you right now. They have your back. All it takes is a phone call, and yes, you will have to make the first call. Take risks, change jobs. Experience everything. Drink, get drunk. Dance the night away. In your many years until 33, there are hardships, lots of tears, loss of life, lots of love, travel, upheavals, sleepless nights, fights, and so much more. But you are going to survive it all. And the best part, you are going to learn from all of it!
So, at 18, if you think you are lost, it is okay. We all are. What's even the fun of arriving at your said destiny so soon? Trust me (like you have any other option 😐), the struggles make it all the more worthy. As I pen my last few words to you, I'll say – hang in there. The answers will come to you. You have got to have your own back. Love wholeheartedly, hate fiercely too. Guard your heart and protect your friends. You are good hands – Yours!