12 things I’d like to tell my 13 year-old self:

Dear 13-year-old self,

I know that you’re at an age where the tides have been tossing you around and have left you gasping for air. I know it’s tough to keep your head above the water, but I promise you’ll find your calm, even within this chaos. For now, here are a few things that I’d like to tell you:

  1. Thank you for the little ‘Box of Old Memories’ you made with all your old report cards, photos, bracelets, and drawings in them. I look at them now and reminisce.
  2. Your life is changing and so is your body, which is perfectly normal. You just need to remember that what you do with your life is nobody else’s business. A lot of people will come into your life and give you unsolicited advice about how to handle it, but the final decision and responsibility is yours. And the same goes for your body.
  3. Remember that the number of times you hold yourself back from doing the things you love is going to be directly proportional to the number of regrets I’ll have. So try to be liberal with the opportunities that you seize.
  4. Read as many books and watch as many movies as possible from different genres; they’ll help you get different perspectives in life.
  5. Please take as many pictures of yourself as you can, because the haircut that you just got is going to make for a great laugh when you’re older.
  6. You’re going to start staying up late in the night and pondering over thoughts that you might not be able to decipher completely. Your 3AM thoughts are conversations that the deepest, darkest corners of your heart are trying to have with your mind and they’ll keep getting more complex as you grow up.
  7. I know some people seem perfect from the outside and it’s hard not to get influenced by them, but trust me, they work twice as hard to maintain this illusion. You should concentrate on making your life worthwhile rather than making it perfect.
  8. Attention is like a drug that feeds off your lack of confidence. Do not get swayed by attention and also, do not get dejected at the lack of it. Learn to compliment yourself when nobody else does.
  9. Always remember that your periods and the fact that you’re a girl will never be a roadblock in your life unless you let it be one.
  10. There might be days where you might get anxious for no apparent reason, your palms might get sweaty, and you might feel like you’re stuck in a whirlpool of thoughts that you can’t seem to get yourself out of. So, for such days, keep some bubble wrap handy.
  11. Don’t ever let anyone try to force their opinions onto you, and the same way, don’t ever try to force your beliefs down other people’s throats.
  12. Lastly, don’t ever worry about making mistakes, because honestly, you won’t even remember most of them by the time you’re older. The lessons are way more important than temporary disappointments will ever be.

Yours truly,
Your 20-year-old self

Writer: Devisha Narekuli
Editor: Prachi Srivastava
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