Little one, you may be an old soul— but you have a world of experiences to come. You’re going be drunk, you’re going to be stupid — have fights, make love, have fun.

You’ll get your heart broken, again and again. But be careful of how many hearts you break. The ‘what goes around, comes around’ saying is true.

You’ll try drugs. You’ll be high. Very high. You’ll live on the edge. You’ll do stupid things to remember on your death bed. You’ll laugh, play games — both literal and mental, you’ll witness your first death and your first birth. It’s surreal. Some days you’ll wake up without wanting to sleep ever again and some days you’ll want to sleep without wanting to wake up again.

You’ll forget old friends. Make new ones. Forget them too. Make excuses justifying your behaviour. You’ll constantly be torn between living a conventional life according to a timeline (degree abroad — with a suitable amount of travel thrown in, fancy career, marriage) — then you’ll read a book, watch a film or have a conversation that changes your mind. You’ll want kids for a while, then you won’t. And then you will again. But then you won’t. You’ll want to travel more, move abroad, live alone, scuba dive, learn Spanish, write a book. You’ll do it all — except the book. You’ll also learn to do laundry, kill a flying cockroach, cook dinner, deal with workmen, let go of money and pay bills on time.

You’ll learn to deal with loneliness and depend on nobody but yourself. You’ll appreciate those moments when you’re somewhere between being asleep and awake on your sofa, listening to the radio, tired from a day’s work — willing yourself to get up and change into home clothes.

You’ll take courses. Many of them. A spiritual one will strike a chord. You’ll start to follow it. You’ll watch Ted talks and read articles. One every day — till your eyes start to glaze over and all you want to do is watch reruns of Friends. You’ll cry. And your happiest moments will be when you’re listening to your favourite song in the bathroom.

You’ll have fun. Real fun. The kind of fun that high-school movies and music videos are made of. You’ll experience euphoria, dancing with your friends, laughing till your stomach hurts. You’ll tear up at weddings. Especially when it’s your closest cousin who gets married. You’ll start to appreciate family. Especially older family members.

You’ll have your first surgery, feel real pain. Feel real fear. Then get over it and feel brave. You’ll fall for your best friend and mistake comfort for love. You’ll go on dates and search for meaning in it all. You’ll tire of the same conversations, but never with friends. With friends the conversations are the same but the outcomes are often different.

Little one, with your hair falling over your bedroom eyes. You have many lessons to learn, experiences to have and many, many mistakes to make.

And is it mine if I want to be one of them?

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