Letter to a girl who was me

shakila_letter_to_my_younger_self

Ever wish you could’ve told your younger self a few things to spare the headaches and heart breaks?  If you’re young and bright-eyed, here are a few key things an older you might want to advise you on.

Dear Me,

If you’re doing what I think you’re doing right now, I’d like to ask you to STOP right there.

I know you’ve just picked up the pen and started another ‘Dear Someone’ letter and started dreaming about everything he is and could be. I know you’re making up someone perfect. Someone you’re almost entirely sure you’d meet. You’ve started imagining the fated meeting and the happy ending. I KNOW you’re doing this … so PLEASE just stop! I’m here to tell you a few things you might not want to hear but I swear, you’ll thank me when you meet me (eventually).

First of all, you need to stop making up the perfect man. I know you imagine him strange, beautiful, kind and with eyes that see you whole. You imagine him drifting on an ocean to find you standing on an island. He will find you, he will see you and he will be impossibly beautiful. Yes, I know what you’re already making him out to be. So stop crafting this imaginary, fantastic character right this minute. The more you imagine him, the more impossible he will become.

If you keep this up, you’ll end up looking past every single fantastic boy that crosses your path. You’ll pick at their flaws. Realize they aren’t that imaginary boy and you’ll lose them, one by one. That is a sad truth. This is only for your own protection because one day you might very well meet the boy who lives up to the ideal and it will floor you and if you lose him (that is not to say you won’t hold on to him) but IF, and IF you lose him, you will break. And that will waste a lot of time.

Another thing you need to stop thinking is that in 5 or 10 or 20 years time, you may not be alone. I know, it’s a horrible thought. My GOD, how cruel. Not to be getting married at 29 or have kids by 39 or watching your children graduate by 49. But listen carefully, it is VERY possible that you might end up alone. BUT, and this is very important … it’s going to be OKAY. I’m here to tell you that being alone is not so bad … if you’re prepared for it, of course, and this is why I write.

My dear younger self,

I wish someone had told me at 19 that Fate might have it that you never meet that perfect someone. He may not turn up and hold your hand and pick you up from the rubble. Being alone is a reality and we need to prepare ourselves for it. Start to work on feeling complete all by yourself, don’t wait around for that perfect stranger to fill in the empty spaces, be strong, be free and most importantly, be your own woman.

There will be dreams to chase, places to see and plenty of people to care about. You will find yourself happy on many occasions, but the sadness will be inevitable. The key thing here is, don’t wait. Don’t waste your time hanging around waiting for the perfect man to show up and save you from whatever it is you’re running from. Face your fears, conquer your battles and live without expecting someone to make you happy. Don’t be afraid to leap when opportunity knocks either, find love and give love freely. Don’t let those great fun experiences pass you by.

I swear, if someone wrote me a letter like this one when I was your age, it might’ve saved me a lot of time. But I am here, now, and I look forward to meeting my older self. She might have some good advice as well … 🙂

5 key pieces of advice I want to tell my younger self

1. Love. 

Believe in it. Find it wherever you can. In your family, in your friends, in religion, in the things that make you up. If you start to understand what Love is, in the largest sense of the word, then you will find that you are never really alone and that if it is in your life, in any form, you can’t be unhappy.

2. Like what you do.

It’s simple. If you’re sitting in an office hating every hour that goes by in a job you can’t stand, evidently you’ll be wishing twice as hard for someone to whisk you away to something, anything else. Find something you’re good at, do it well, and you’ll find it hard not to be satisfied.

3. Have faith.

Everything will work out. You’ll see. Believe that things will be ok. With or without a man. With or without a partner. Have some faith that you’re good enough for you.

4. Go places. 

See the world. There’s so much of it anyway. The more people you meet, the more amazing adventures you go on, the more stories you will tell. Witnessing how hard or wonderful it is the way others live will teach you that finding one true life partner may not be the answer to all things and that soulmates come in many shapes and sizes.

5. Fun, fun, fun!

Above all, the real secret to being happy and single? Have a ton of FUN. Enjoy your life as it is. Don’t regret, don’t hesitate, go forth and enjoy yourself … Laugh. Whatever situation you may find yourself in, whatever heartbreak, get over it, laugh it off … if you’re dancing your way through, someone just might dance with you.

Shakila Rajendra
Shakila Rajendra is a purveyor of good food, travel adventures, and awesome stories. A former magazine editor, she now works in the green energy industry in Malaysia.

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