A Letter to me

This piece now also features in Thought Catlaog and can be viewed here.

Dear 17 year old You,

Have you been? I know it has been a while that I absented myself from this space, but I was busy traveling month after month.

However, I am back now. I will relate my travelogues soon, but before that I have something important to write to you; something which I have been musing a lot over the past few days and wish to share with you.  
So, how was it turning 17 last year? Birthdays are all about friends and festivities today. Please know that this is great and it is okay to indulge in it as much as you can now; you will have all the time to be recluse and quiet later in your life. You will slowly learn it is possible to enjoy the silence in the same way as you enjoy the sound today.

I know you dont understand companionship the way others do right now, and somehow have a penchant for being lost in a crowd, and erecting boundaries all around you, but  these times and these friends wont last 10 years from now. Except some- and those bonds will transcend all barriers of time and space; but even they will get busy with their lives and so will you. So cherish and enjoy to the hilt the moment that is now; and trust me when I say this - there is nothing better than going splits over recollecting fond, old memories in a friends bachelorette in Phi Phi Islands, some 10 years after. 

I know you are stressed with your college applications and about what your future beholds. Know that it is okay to not know everything. And believe that you have a promising career ahead of you, because you do. So, dont fret too much and just stay true to yourself in whatever you do. And most importantly, have your own dream and live it; dont buckle under the pressure of someone else dream. Thats not you and you will never enjoy doing it for long.  

You will stay indecisive even after completing college and will continue to harbour doubts and give into experimenting. You will regard yourself as an epitome of confusion and loathe yourself for being that. But know that being indecisive is okay; refraining from making a decision is not.

I know that your high school crush makes you go weak in your knees today and you are consumed by his thoughts all the time. You think you are living a perfect love story and that you will marry him one day. But no, you will not. He will marry someone else and have a child before you even think of marrying. And I won’t be honest if I say that you will be okay being a stoic because you will not be. But you will move past this and years later, when you will run into him with his kid in that old book shop of the city you grew up in, you will find yourself laughing at the feelings which you take so seriously today.

Sometimes, you will hurt people you love even when you have no intention of doing so. And you will beat yourself up for it. But you will understand that sometimes life doesn’t give you much choice, so try not to overthink. But you will overthink anyway and you won’t like it. And then there will be times when you will be hurt too. You will understand pain in ways you never understood before. And, the uncanny knack of attracting complications that you have will only take deeper roots in years to come. You will try hard to unravel the web and it will confound you. But please know and trust that with some patience and strength, you will break through all these destructive patterns -so give staying calm a try.

I know you feel that you are less worthy when it comes to how you look.  In some years, there will be people who will underpin this for you and yes, their opinion will affect you.  Sever ties from such people right away, but you will wallow in this for some time before realizing that people who love you will love you anyway. And those are the ones who will make you feel amazing despite how you look.

You will realize that love is very different from what you’ve read in books so far. You will know love as an ecstasy, a passion, a storm and silence. You will then know love as a constant undercurrent in your life, an inspiration, a haven of trust and stability. You will learn to give second chances, first to yourself then to anyone else. And then, you will do what you considered as impossible.

You love staying nestled amongst your novels today; you read them even between your pre-boards. You will develop a stronger love for paper books and the written word despite electronic reading becoming a vogue. In a few years from now, you will also plan travel to places near and far and find a lost love in traveling. Contrary to what you think today, you will become an independent traveler and thoroughly immerse yourself in the experience of the places you travel to. You will indulge in humour, but also wish that if only you had not slept in your geography classes and were more attentive then.

You will not only travel but also write about the places you travel to. So do not ignore the little sparks of creativity that you harbour. Writing in some years will become an extension of you, a catharsis, and a refuge. And while you do this, there will be people who will undermine your efforts or probably not give them their due. Try to ignore them; because that’s the best you can and should do at times. However, there will be people who will not only applaud you in your endeavours but also encourage and propel you to do more. More often than not, you will take their support for granted- sometimes, because of dearth of time, and sometimes, because of dearth of enough thought. But, whenever you get your head right, do express your gratitude to all these gems in your life - including your parents, amongst others. Because, whilst what you do with your life is very important, who you do it with is even more important.

So take care and believe in yourself.

Yours truly,

27 year old Me. 

What would you tell your 10 year younger self? Write about it and let me know :-)


Rahul Bhatia said…
A beautiful post coming straight from the heart and gives such a feeling of goodness, Stuti!Keep writing.
Unknown said…
It is a very touching account of a beautiful journey Stuti and I knew the 17 year old then who was awesome but I would say that she was not as splendid as the 27 yrs old one now ....and I am sure it will only get better with time ....
Ankita said…
Hey, this is truly taking me back to my 10 years back! explained beautifully!
A grain of sand said…
It is true that it is straight from my heart.Thank you , Rahul Sir:-)
A grain of sand said…
It will :-D. Thanks Ritisha :-)
A grain of sand said…
Thank you so much for dropping by, Ankita :-)
salu said…
i'm already excited to read your advice letter to 27 year old self :p
Siri said…
So beautifully written as always! :) Did I miss your Birthday or something? If yes, a very happy birthday to you, may you find yourself in even more ways this year!
Unknown said…
It is beautifully written and everyone is bound to resonate with these feelings for their younger selves... I think the advice given stands true consistently and constantly :)
A grain of sand said…
I think so...it is constant and consistent with some minor variations hither and thither. Thanks a lot!
Unknown said…
This is so true. Beautifully expressed! :)
wow it was refreshing...!!! really enjoyed reading it

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