I usually pre-plan my blog posts but sometimes I don’t. This one is completely spontaneous.
As I reach my late twenties this year, I look back and reflect on the younger me who was a teenager & who was in her early twenties.
Truth be told, I am hoping my thirties will turn out to be better than my twenties and unlike some people who make a hue & cry about their twenties being over, I am glad I am turning older & wiser & fast approaching my thirties.
I have gained a lot of perspective in my late twenties and I am much calmer & overall just like this version of myself better than the previous one.
So today, I am writing a letter from the current version of myself to the younger version of me.
Here it goes:
I am sharing a few things I have learnt as I have reached my late twenties.. I hope you find these points useful in dealing with your life.
- It’s okay if people don’t understand your journey
You are young and you expect people to understand where you come from. Especially certain people you considered close enough.
You aren’t very vocal about it, but you expect people to understand. Life doesn’t work that way. It’s okay for people to not understand you and your problems. Even if you understand people, you cannot expect the same understanding from them in return, since they are not obliged to do so. Each individual is different & has different ways of perceiving things.
2. Ignore the body-shamers & stay confident.
While you have never been obese, you have been overweight for quite some time, especially when you were a teenager & in your early twenties. You have been healthy & have made efforts to keep yourself in shape. Yet, you have been body shamed to be a certain ‘size’ by many people including extended family & friends circle. I know that you have received lots of unsolicited advice by people who themselves are not perfect and try to portay themselves as being so. You have gone through hurt and periods of depression because of certain comments & have felt underconfident of yourself.
This is a recent realisation and although your approach towards dealing with such people has evolved through the years, it was not until recently that you had the complete realisation of all these things.
I hope you realise that just because someone calls you their ‘friend’ or is in familial relation with you, does not automatically change the basic character & nature of that person. If a certain person is spiteful, jealous or hateful, they will remain so, irrespective of how close to you they appear to be.
To be fair, you have also received a lot of good comments and many people, even strangers have complimented you and called you ‘pretty’, ‘beautiful’ and the likes..
Also, you are lucky to be surrounded by certain good friends & your parents as well, who have been your pillar of support, especially your mother.
You are someone who has never body shamed people or tried to put others down to make yourself feel better. Unfortunately, I have often come across people who are like this and I have realised there is little you can do about such people.
Dear younger self, don’t get bothered about comments from other people. Just stay confident & do your thing. Be grateful for all the positivity you have recieved till date & ignore the negative.
After all, “What people say about you is a reflection of what they are, not what you are.”
3. It is okay to say ‘No’ sometimes & have boundaries.
As a young girl, you did so much for everyone, you listened to people’s problems, became an agony aunt for your friends, gave relationship advice to your peers and in general you were the typical introverted teenager who listened to people but kept her own issues to herself.
You have been kind, caring, loving and compassionate to the point of exhausting your energy and saving none of it for yourself.
It’s good to be compassionate & the world definitely needs a lot of it, but save some of it for yourself too.
Dear younger self- Its okay to create boundaries & speak up and do things you like and stay away from toxic people & situations.
After all, an empty cup can offer nothing. A cup filled with self-care & love, will offer good things to others as well, right?
4. Don’t try to downplay & undervalue yourself
As a teenager & in your early twenties, you have always tried to downplay your talents & worth. You felt you that you were worthless and you worked on low salaries for a long period of time when you started out. You never went out and asked for more and because you tricked yourself into believing that you weren’t good enough.
You also downplayed your degrees,your education & your qualifications because if you spoke about yourself when people asked you to, they seemed intimidated by you, or acted cold towards you.
You then started downplaying yourself to win the affection of people. You did it to a point that you started believing you are a loser. You started to not be yourself and you became someone else altogether. Of course, being vain is not the answer, but having a basic belief in yourself is vital for your sanity.
Dear mini-me, it’s okay to be yourself. Just acknowledge who you are and stay self-assured. Don’t underestimate or overestimate yourself.
5. Don’t get swayed away by emotions & be more practical
You have always been someone who is extremely emotional (I know, you’ll say most women are), but you have been just too emotional in your dealings with people & you have been swinging from one emotion to the other.
I know now, that your emotional side helps you to be more sensitive towards other people and care for them. but if you don’t watch yourself, you can take certain decisions based on emotions rather than logic and it can be deterimental.
Dear younger self, while it’s okay to be emotional, you need a practical view towards life as well, in order to live a well balanced life.
6. Don’t take everything so seriously, have more fun!
I have realised that you took a lot of things too seriously in life. Every comment, every assignment, every task. Oh my goodness!
While this seriousness & sincerity has definitely helped you professionally, in your personal life, having a great sense of humour can change the way you see things.
Dear Mini-Manasi. just lighten up and take things easy. Don’t be so serious all the time! Enjoy and have fun and learn to see humour in the toughest times, it wil make things easier for you!
I hope you found this letter useful,
To sum it all up, I would just simply wish that my younger self knew all the things I know now, that is, to be more carefree & have fun, to strive to be healthy and to ignore the haters & not let negative comments get under my skin and to set boundaries & realise everyone is wired differenly & not to expect people around me to understand me.
I still struggle with certain things that I have said above and many other things as well, but I have realised that I have come a long way in acknowledging certain things & that I am not perfect, I have my flaws & that itis absolutely fine to be imperfect as long as I am true to myself!
No one owes anything to anyone in this life, we all are free to make choices, it’s upto us to make the one’s we feel are right for us and for the poeple around us.
Also, it’s okay to make mistakes, because, otherwise, how will we learn??
Every step of life brings out a different & upgraded version of ourselves, doesn’t it?
So, I hope you enjoyed this article and maybe some points hit home for you and were applicable to you too!
What kind of letter would you write to your younger self?