I wish I could write a letter to the sixteen-year-old me, and change my life for the better. But such is life, we cannot go back in time armed with the lessons we’ve learnt along the way. No, but seriously, have you ever thought what are some of the things you would want your younger self to know?
What are the four best pieces of advice that you think, if you had gotten earlier, your life would not have been upside down now?
24 is a very young age to write this letter because people usually impart such wisdom when they are nearing the later decades in life. Having had enough experience, they feel the need to finally share the struggles they faced, but I don’t want to carry these heavy thoughts in my heart until I turn forty. So here goes:
Dear Younger self,
I’m writing you this letter with full awareness that you’re going to think everything I’m about to tell you is complete bulls**t. This may be because you are just another scared and ego-driven kid who has just stepped out into the world to “conquer” it. First of all, you should know that your plans to conquer the world are not going to manifest. There are a lot of better things waiting in store for you, but you’re too blinded by your own ambition to see that right now. I would like to share some important points that I believe if you avoid, would help you in becoming and growing as a better/wiser person who is in complete control of all her emotions. If you implement this, you will become someone who has been guided so well that she knows exactly how to react and when. You would become someone who very well understands that life throws curve balls at every single person and you should always take it with a wide smile because that’s how things are supposed to be.
Remember, your life will always take the shape that you give it – whether a circle, square, or a triangle, completely depends on your creativity and the desire to achieve things with integrity.
Life will be nothing like you had imagined. I’ll just go ahead and say that it will, in fact, be a thousand times better. It will come at a cost though. It’s going to take a series of failures, four in particular, for you to arrive there. Let me list these down for you so that you can try avoiding these failures in life before they hit you hard. – Not prioritizing your family – Centering everything around a relationship, and considering yourself incomplete without it. – Treating your initial jobs as your only job opportunities – Overreacting to petty and trivial stuff I am sure every teenager will go through these four failures at least once, and maybe the sequence might change. People realize some things a little too late in their lives, and your friends might not even consider sharing these things with you. But that’s okay, it is completely okay.
Failure No. 1 - Not prioritizing your family
This is the worst and the most common mistake every teenager makes. You will get to meet five new people every day in your life. Some will keep you entertained, some will help you explore emerging technologies, some will take you to a completely fancy world which is so interesting that you often forget your route back home. Don’t do that, your parents try to act super modern but deep inside they can actually not sleep when you reach home at 4 am after partying hard all night long with your so-called “friends”. Maybe you will not understand this now, you will think that I am being stupid, or maybe, just maybe, you don’t even realize that you are slowly creating this distance with your parents. And don’t misunderstand this whole thing as “Your parents need you”, trust me, it is completely the opposite, “You need your parents much more than they need you.”
Failure No. 2 – Centering everything around a relationship, and considering yourself incomplete without it
The die-hard-romantic person in you will eventually die. You’ll stop believing in the love that you hear about in song lyrics, and the kind of love they show in movies. You’ll become jaded, you will somehow convince yourself you’re in love, break two or sometimes even four or more hearts, and in the end of it all, you will find yourself in a place that’s rather empty. The plus side is, after going through all this, you’ll have a wake-up call and come to the profound realization that there is a massive difference between settling and settling down.
Failure No. 3 - Treating your initial jobs as your only job opportunities
Jobs will come and go, and your career is going to be a somewhat unending battle. But in all this misfortune you’ll find some solace when you finally start to realize that it all happens the way it was meant to. In many ways, your life will be like the second wave in a set and you’ll only understand when you get where you were meant to. Second waves in a set somehow are always adventurous. Everybody goes for the first, and most of your friends will make it in the first wave. They’ll fall in love, get married and have kids before you do. But, just know that the second wave is grand, totally worth it, and more often than not, are one hell of a ride.
Failure No. 4 - Overreacting to petty and trivial stuff
For the love of god, don’t make such a big deal out of small things. The traffic jams will make you feel traff*cked, but guess what it happens to everyone, every day! Don’t whine over telephone bills, routine responsibilities and people that get in your way, because they are just a test of your patience and a daily part of adulthood. Unfortunately, you’ll fail this test repeatedly. Fortunately, each failure will leave you with many valuable life lessons. Your greatest weaknesses will turn out to be your greatest strengths. I know it’s a tough one to swallow. In conclusion, I would like to say that if I knew then, what I know now, I would have changed my life for the better. But like they say, the only way out is through, so I probably wouldn’t know any of what I know now without having gone through everything I mentioned above. So, one should accept the journey as it is and let it take its own respective course.
There will be times when you are so sad that you can’t lift your head, and there will be times when you are so happy that the sensation of life knocks you down, but most importantly, you will always have yourself, and only you can walk your own path.
Wake up with a whole new and better version of yourself, every day.
Your older and wiser self