I’ve recently developed this habit of thinking about what I’d say to my future self. I think about what I would tell my next year self, my 30-year-old self, and my 50-year-old self.
I never thought about what I would tell my past self. What I would thank her for and what I would blame her for.
I had never thought about that before now.
Now being the time when the millennial disenchantment hits and you’re tired of looking to the future so you decide to look back instead.
Dear five-year-old self,
Thank you for being stubborn.
This strong characteristic you were beginning to develop has slowly turned to determination along the years. It has become a well-placed sort of stubbornness, at least when I’m aware enough to push it in that direction.
Dear seven-year-old self,
I blame you for not hanging out with classmates at recess most days. I blame you for staying in class most of your breaks to draw on your copybook and practice fixing your handwriting.
You’ve stripped me from the chance of learning how to connect with people instantaneously.
Dear ten-year-old self,
Thank you for having trouble making friends. You are the reason I never stop pushing myself to hold on to the roots and not the branches. You are the reason I’m never afraid of being alone.
Dear thirteen-year-old self,
Thank you for accepting to switch schools. You taught me that change is inevitable and the best way to put up with it is to embrace it in all its ups and downs.
Dear fifteen-year old self,
Thank you for building a strong connection with your father. He has and will always be a best friend just like he is a parent and I couldn’t have done that without you.
Dear seventeen-year-old self,
I blame you for not speaking your mind when you could have. You have made me develop a fear of confrontation which I still struggle with ridding myself of.
Dear eighteen-year-old self,
I blame you for sticking to people who you knew would do you more harm than good and that’s not because you’re better than them, it’s simply because not everyone in this world is meant to be friends or more for that matter.
Dear nineteen-year-old self,
Thank you for your courageous chance at redemption. Thank you for leaving everything and moving to Denmark for a healing six-month period. If it weren’t for your persistence and spontaneity, I would have never become the independent person I am today.
Dear twenty-year-old self,
I blame you for not following your heart. Your intuition was nearly always right yet you refused to listen. You channeled your five-year-old self in the most negative way and chose to stick with decisions which led you to closed doors. You ended up being your seven-year-old self again except it was not a classroom and a recess; it was life and you found yourself alone in it.
Dear twenty-one-year-old self,
Thank you for keeping in touch with the people who meant the most to you. You taught me that everything in life takes a lot of effort to maintain. You put your heart and soul into the people and things you felt would help you grow and so you did.
Thank you for forgiving all your past selves.
Dear twenty-two-year-old self,
I blame you for settling. I blame you for losing track of what you wanted to achieve. You returned to an antisocial bubble of comfort and took back years of progress you’ve made to break out of your shell. You struggled with breaking free and getting pulled back in.
You distanced yourself from your own self but twenty-three was there to catch you.
Dear twenty-three-year-old self,
Thank you for keeping your promises to yourself. Thank you for being fearless and for chasing your dreams. Thank you for catching twenty-two and for embracing all yourselves in an effort to become a whole person despite knowing you might and most probably will fall into pieces again. But at least for now you can hold yourself together and embrace the lessons which have given you yourself.
The present self.