Dear younger self,
You just celebrated your 20th birthday in October! You must be wondering who I am. Don’t be surprised; I am just you, but an older and, hopefully, wiser version. However, I think you are more fun – cracking jokes more often than me! And you laugh for every little thing unlike me. I am more serious! You are so full of energy. You take the stairs two or even three at a time, and here I am searching for elevators and escalators!
I am married and the mother of two wonderful kids. My son is 3 years older than you and my daughter is exactly your age! You probably won’t recognize me, I am fatter than you. I know you are less than 50 kilograms and trying hard to put on weight. Don’t worry, you will eventually gain more than 20 kilograms. I am trying hard to reduce my weight now! 🙂
Right now, you are busy preparing for your semester exam. Take it from me, don’t think too much about the marks you score in exams. It’s okay if you don’t get 80% all the time. Find time to read books, not just college textbooks. Since Papa has a huge home library, please take advantage of it and read, read and read. I know Maths is your favourite subject and you have hated History and Geography right from your schooldays. But, you know, I love History and Geography these days, and I can just keep on reading anything on those subjects forever! I wish I was more attentive in those two classes back then.
Try to participate in extracurricular activities like you used to do in your schooldays. Just because your friends are not interested in participating in college events, you need not deprive yourself of those events. Please understand that each person has his/her own path in life. So don’t compare yourself to others. Try to grab each and every chance you get to grow personally and professionally. Opportunity doesn’t knock twice.
Say ‘No’ whenever you want to say so. (But don’t forget to say ‘Thanks’ for asking!) Learn to say it without any sense of guilt whatsoever. Try to come out of your comfort zone and explore life. If you have an opinion about anything, say it even if it is to your teachers and elders. This I learnt from my daughter. She slightly resembles you in looks and has the very same eating habits as you. But she is very confident and courageous unlike you! She is crystal clear about her goals and is full of dreams.
I know that the only modes of communication you have with your friends during holidays are either a telephone (nowadays called land phone) or letters via the postal department (now known as snail mail). You will be shocked to know that no one uses those anymore! All are using what are called ‘mobile’ phones and ‘e’ mail. No one uses inland letters or postal envelopes. I know that most of the time inland letters are not enough for you to accommodate your life happenings and stories and news that you eagerly want to share with your friends, and then you rely on postal envelopes.
Can you imagine, nowadays life has so changed that the same friends and I just exchange good mornings via WhatsApp. Sorry, ‘WhatsApp’ is an application in the mobile phone through which you can send messages and make calls. Even ‘video’ calls are possible, where you can not only hear but also see your friend. Still, I wish I could write those inland letters to my friends now like you do.
Your visits to the kitchen now are only to have food prepared by Mom. You better know that you will be in charge of not just a kitchen but an entire house soon (just 4 more birthdays to go). And then, don’t be surprised that no one else will take the initiative to shoulder household responsibilities besides you!
Though your dream is to have a professional career after your college life, you yourself will decide to postpone that for the sake of family and kids. But don’t worry, you will enjoy the ride fully! Though you want to be in your hometown forever, you will eventually travel to and live in other parts of the country and even other countries like USA, Germany, and so on. And you will be really lucky if you can visit the hometown even once in three months!
Don’t be too confused and anxious about the future. All your hard work and efforts will pay off. You will get a postgraduate degree and you will make more friends. Though a bit late, you will have a wonderful career too. You will have a lovely family, but not like what you see in films. Those very colourful, romantic situations are only in reel life, not in real life. But I am sure you will enjoy it 100%.
Life can be unpredictable at times. People may or may not behave the way you expect. But don’t worry, all the negative experiences will only be stepping stones to success. So relax. Also, don’t think too much about what others may think. Don’t take anything personally and also, don’t assume anything. There is a book called The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. Get a copy and read it. Not once, but twice, thrice, and more!
College days are very precious days in one’s life. Don’t think too much and worry about every assignment and exam. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Enjoy each and every day. Do more of what you love now. After a few more years, you’ll realize that life often comes in the way and you’ll never have enough time for the things you love.
BTW, I am not the woman you expect. I won’t become a chief engineer in a public sector firm in my hometown like Papa, or a CEO in a private corporate firm. I think I am a writer now and I live in another city! I am sure you won’t be too excited knowing this. Rather, you may feel unhappy! But I assure you, once you become me, you will enjoy every bit of it. Trust me! 🙂
Live life to the fullest. It will never be the same again. You will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory! Your favourite quote ‘Whatever happens, happens for the best‘ is still my favourite. Take care!
With lots of love and wishes,
Your much, much, older self!