Revisiting childhood is the best way to remind yourself that your choices are only half as good as anyone else and growing up you should have given more thought to your accomplishments and mistakes, in a manner that you weren’t encouraged to.
After reading a beautiful letter by Amy Jo Martin (you can read it here) written to her younger self, I decided to write one myself and in the process realized that its equivalent to doing Past Life Regression minus the cost and discomfort of a therapist.
So, here is the letter:
Dear Young Me,
Thirty-five years is a long time to write to someone you love this much, lets just say I was caught up with things that don’t look life altering at first go, but alter your life anyway.
I think about you on and off, mostly with nostalgia and sometimes with a sense of envy. However, you will be glad to know that I have a pretty OK life, which you will experience yourself as time passes. Sadly, like most grown ups my age, I know more and understand less about a lot of grown up things in life. It’s an information overload here, I tell you!
I intend to inform, educate and warn you about things that most grown-ups will try to inform-educate-warn you about, but with an enhanced personal experience these tips might help you in future, if you intend to use them. However, knowing you it seems a bit impractical and far-fetched.
Anyway, now that I am writing to you on a sleepless night, there isn’t any real damage in dispensing them:
· When mom scolds you to go to bed on time to get your 10 hours of sleep, instead of getting rebellious, Thank her! You will be lucky to sleep even for 6 hours once you are thirty. You will have a love-hate relationship with sleep once the world hammers the notion of responsibility and achievement in you. Enjoy it till you can.
· Value your schooling and extract the most out of it while you can. Although organized education will corrupt you anyway, your core values will be in place by the time you leave school and you will have to live with them for the rest of your life.
· Pay heed to feedback that you constantly get from your teachers about reading & speaking very fast, also trust Nana’s explanation to it that you think fast, that’s why you speak fast! But improve, nevertheless.
· Read a lot of books, not with a pre-occupation of gaining dramatic knowledge from them. Just read with a lot of love and attention, they will make you wiser anyway.
· Write more often. Scribble your thoughts on paper, even if nothing makes sense. Also, do away with the habit of hiding your diaries near the old newspaper area; mom might just give them away to the scrap guy along with the papers. Just saying.
· The girl in ninth standard will refuse to kiss your pimply face by the stairs, as you probably look ugly as sin. Don’t worry; you will end up looking surprisingly handsome. But that too is momentary, as age will teach you.
· You will fall in love. With many. There will be heartbreaks too and in plenty. Your first love will dump you unceremoniously, making you think that the world has come to an end. You’ll survive that, to end up falling repeatedly for many other girls. Finally, you will find the one you would be blessed to live your life with, many more might appear to come after that too, ignore them!
· Don’t hold on to angst. Remember that random scary guy who held you in a dark alley and asked you to touch his penis and you seething in anger vowed to take revenge. You will meet him again when you are around thirty while he will be like a ragged, middle-aged, tired man, striving hard to make ends meet. You will feel strangely sorry for him in a way you never thought you would. You will forgive him.
· You might not appreciate this now, but you are blessed to be aware of your passions and likes. The world you will grow up in will be highly confusing and would try to standardize you for ease of operation. Staying true to your passions will help you resist the urge of being part of a crowd. Keep nourishing them.
· Learn to deal with loss, Pete and Russo didn’t go to mama’s country home to protect the cattle as mom will try and tell you. They got old and died a peaceful death. Death, like all things real is a certainty. You might see a couple of relatives and friends pass away, cherish every moment you spend with the ones you love and give your time to the elderly, it makes them happier than you could imagine.
· Growing up, you will be reminded constantly that guys don’t cry. Its absolute horse-shit, cry as much as you want to, but do it alone, as it lets you get over things faster. Never dwell on your mistakes for long, don’t look for people to blame. Owning up is the fastest route to moving on.
· Finally, like trees you will get attracted and grow towards sunlight. Choose your Sun carefully. Do what excites you the most, whatever make you shit-scared and makes you sweat. Climbing that high and narrow playground wall might look scary now, one day you will jump from a plane at 13000 feet, climb that wall often.
I hope you learn things faster than your older self.
PS — Sex is highly overrated, don’t sweat if you don’t get any till twenty-one. You will be supplied with plenty after that.
PPS — Your first sexual experience would be a disaster, don’t over romanticize it.