There are a few interviews that I have watched or read where guests are asked what their older self would have told their younger self. So I was inspired to write a letter to my younger self with some of the key lessons that have stood out for me over the years. This could quite easily have become a mini-thesis so I kept it like a woman’s skirt – long enough to cover the subject but short enough to keep it interesting.
Dear Younger Precious,
Where do I even begin? I mean, you’ve had your fair share of the ups and downs that come with youth – which are all part of growing pains. With this letter, I hope to give you a few pointers that might help make the process less distressing.
More often than not, you wish you were like your school peers: spoilt for choice with the latest gadgets and apparel. I know that it can feel like the pits sometimes knowing quite well that for you, those things are virtually unattainable. You can’t help but feel a little left out because you don’t have a Tamagotchi or a pink Motorola Razr like those other girls. You’ve probably heard this many times before but… chin up! Focus on excelling in your schoolwork and at what you do best. Those are the things that matter and the tools you are going to need to open the doors that lie ahead. Trust me, not only do those Dinkie Dino’s and Heely’s pretty much not exist anymore but they sure as anything won’t help you get to where you need to be.
Not everything is as it seems, and this applies to the friendships you form as well. When you get older, it goes far beyond who can or can’t sit with who at break time or who didn’t get invited to the sleepover at Kelsey’s house next week. Through trial and error, you will learn to be very cautious of the people around you and who you flock with. Surround yourself with mates who share the same ideals and mentality as you as it will become that much easier to channel your mind and energy in the right direction.
Relationships. Yikes. This topic alone needs an editor, publisher and printer because I might as well write a book. A part of me feels like you could have made wiser decisions and trusted your intuition more. It might sound overly dramatic but I firmly believe that it was crucial for you to see just how “unpleasant” the people in this world can be. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is thinking that everyone has the same heart and intention as you. The tears will be a hard but necessary way of shedding that naivety away.
You’re going to enter competitive spaces where the people around you feel and act like they have a point to prove. To who? I’m still trying to figure that one out myself. These spaces will be a true test of your resilience, emotional intelligence and maturity. Those individuals won’t make your life a walk in the park and you might even question if maybe there’s something wrong with you. Well, don’t. There is, in fact, everything right with you and it’s your amazing aura and ambition bringing out the insecurities in them. As tempting as it may be to sink to their level of malice, don’t reduce yourself to that. It’s not worth it and if it’s not in your nature to be like that, not only do you lose focus but you end up with so much emotional and psychological conflict. Know when to gracefully stand your ground but also know when you let them be their own worst enemy.
In closing, know that you are indeed different and that is your power. Don’t ever feel like you need to assimilate to fit into spaces not meant for you or to make others around you feel comfortable. The people and places meant for you will seamlessly form a part of your life and those that aren’t will naturally fall away. As confusing and maybe upsetting as it might be when it happens, it’s not a process you should never dispute. Your faith, self-confidence and intelligence will be the greatest weapons you can use to fight through whatever challenges come your way. You are destined for much greater things than you think and everything you have been confronted with – good and bad – is your stepping stone to getting there.
Well done baby girl, you’re doing great so far.
Lots of love,
Older, Wiser Precious