I remember in Year 12, we given an exercise to write a letter to ourselves about the year that lay ahead (the final year of high school, for those in other parts of the world), and it was to be read at the end of the year. And you know what? I have no idea what I wrote in that letter and I have no idea what ever happened to it.
Fast forward to 2010 and I wrote myself another letter. A letter to my 17 year-old-self. I posted it on one of my now extinct blogs, but thought I would repost it here for two reasons.
1. Yes, it was a long weekend and I have no blog post prepared for IBOT
2. I was planning to write a letter to my future self next week, so why not preface it with this one!
So here it is, the letter I wrote five years ago, to my 17 year-old-self. It actually gave me goosebumps reading it again.
The following is a letter that I wrote to myself this year after grappling with decisions that I have made. I know that the past is the past and I cannot change it and I must live not for the future, but for the present. Life is not easy, but life is not hard. Life just is.
If I wrote this letter next week, it would be different, and the editor in me is struggling not to go through and correct things. It is what it is. It may touch you, help you through, you may laugh, but I hope you can enjoy and maybe relate.
I am still growing, and still learning today and always.
I am writing this as I am now twice as old as you and twice as wise. A lot comes with living and experiencing and hindsight can be a wonderful thing.
Looking back you have experienced so much. Happiness, heartache, despair, love, good times, fun times, hard times and nothing times.
If I were to write what not to do, this letter would be more like a novel. Yes you have made some really bad decisions, but one thing I can say is that YOU made them. At the time YOU thought they were the best that you can do, and that is all I will ever ask of you.
What I can write is that you will grow into an intelligent, self sufficient woman, who knows right from wrong and who will be okay no matter what.
My advice to you now is that you have so much to learn and so many opportunities that a decision you make in the next couple of years will certainly change your life forever.
It involves love, or what you think is love. But believe me you don’t know what love is yet. You have so much to learn and you need to learn it on your own. Don’t cling to that someone who has hurt you so much, but who you think you can be nothing without.
21 is way too young to marry, but you must find out the hard way; or the only way that your path takes you on. You will make many mistakes along the way and you will end up having to hurt people which you won’t want to do, but will need to in order to rise above, and be able to be yourself. Your own true person, who you deserve to be.
Of course, you need to make these mistakes to learn this. You need to feel the pain although it will haunt you for a long time. You need to use this period to grow and see your potential and realise your mistakes.
The hardest part, in fact will not be the hurt or the pain of love, but the pain you will feel from regret. You hate the word. Regret is something you never want to feel, but you will. Regret that you made the wrong decision and regret for what could have been.
And although you know that what could have been is just that, it will play on you no matter how hard you tell it not to. No matter how hard you try to feel thankful and no matter how wonderful life may become. But you must gather strength from it, take control and make each day for the rest of your life count.
A wonderful person will enter your life who has the same hopes and desires as you and who will love and want you unconditionally. And love you more and more each day. And that feeling will draw tears every time, but good tears, thankful tears and tears of calm. The biggest lesson that you will take from all of this is though, that you will be okay – even on your own. You are strong enough. Enough. No one needs to complete you, only compliment you. This is an important lesson, so important.
Be strong. Learn. Accept yourself. Accept that you will lose friendships along the way, but the ones that remain were the only true ones anyway.
Love yourself for you deserve to. You have so many talents that you don’t know about and you will find your place. You will find what it is you are meant to be doing. You will just know. You will see it in your children’s eyes one day – trust me I know.
There is so much more I could tell you but you will discover for yourself, just trust yourself and stay true.
Take each day now for what it is and what you make it.
I am here for you and will be here for you now and always.
Stay tuned next week for ‘A letter to my future self’.
Have you ever written yourself a letter?
What would you tell your 17 year-old-self?
Linking with Jess over at Essentially Jess for IBOT (I blog on Tuesdays)