Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Letter from a decade past

Do you have a favorite age? I think mine so far has been 17. It was my most defining year because it was a time of lots of change. I moved country twice, had my first encounters  with grief, and figured out that no matter what I did in life, I also always want to write.

Today, a decade later, I look back on my 17 year old self and decided to write a letter from that me to today's me. Of course, technically my 17 year old self doesn't exist anymore so how can it write a letter? But that's where memory and imagination come in, I think.

Dear 27-year-old self, 
Remember me? I am the person you used to be, fresh out of high school, aiming to study medicine, and over keen to prove your (my) brilliance to "the world". You wanted to be a doctor and a writer and devoted considerable time to thinking how you would manage the two professions even when you were as yet not part of either one. You loved planning. When you started undergraduate studies, you spent hours figuring out an elaborate course schedule for the entire four years of the degree because you were so keen to study every single course that piqued your interest. No wonder you were so dejected when circumstances forced you to drop out after just a semester and start college afresh in another country. That was a lot of time wasted in planning things that were never meant to be. Hopefully, you are more of a do-er than a planner now.  
Once you moved country for the second time and restarted college, the "plan" to be a doctor was dropped and the writing ambitions intensified manifold. Surely, by 27 you would be the best selling author of the book I first started writing and - of course - planning. :P 
Or maybe you haven't yet realised that ultimate dream and that's okay. I repeat that's O.K. If there's one piece of advice i can give you even though I'm younger - or rather especially because I'm younger and less jaded - it is this: Do not compare yourself to others. No not even to the 23 year old bestselling author or the famous 25 year old YouTube vlpgger and especially not to the young internet millionaires. Everyone has their own unique path in  life and you have to follow yours even though it may mean delayed success or late fulfillment of dreams. What's important is to keep going and Never Give Up. Focus on what you have already achieved. I am sure there are lots of things. At the very least i hope you got a masters degree, lived away from home and traveled a bit. Even if you didn't that's okay too. You must have made the decision that is right for you. I trust you to always do that. Being a teenager was not easy - its not easy for most people, I guess - but i hope the decade that followed has been a redeeming one.
I'll refrain from commenting about romantic experiences because I expect that's still a touchy topic, but do remember what I said about everyone having an individual path in life and don't compare yourself to peers who are "settling down" in life with marriage and children and stable careers. Life is not meant to be "settled" into, you always believed. It's supposed to be governed by independent choices and seeking whatever new experiences excite or fulfill you. I hope you are doing that as you progress toward the peak of adulthood. 27 sounds old but its not that bad, really. At least it's not thirty. :P 

Sending love and birthday wishes from a decade past,
Your 17-year-old self

3 scribbles scribbled back to me:

Ashwini Sane said...

As long all your four limbs,heart and mind are ok then there is nothing more you should want! Good luck. When you reach 30 you will know what it means!

thedevilsbible said...

I got sensible advice from the 17-year old you's letter. :)

Mehak said...

Thank you, Ashwini :)
@thedevilsbible, glad about that!