A Letter to my 15-year-old Self

Dear 15-year-old me,

I promise I’ll try to avoid spoilers which could ruin the fun of future for you.

You’re probably busy juggling reading, writing, studies and what you’ll later consider to be your first meaningful relationship. Trust me, you’re doing a great job.

I know you aren’t too nervous about the exams, but in case you’re wondering, you’re going to do just fine this time. You won’t really get what you were hoping for, but that’s not going to bother you much. You’re going to work when it counts (which is in your last year of school) and that’s good enough. Have fun while you can, girl; you’re not going to be a teenager forever! On that note, I strongly suggest you stop dreaming of being all grown-up. Even at 25 (which is an acceptable age for your standard grown-ups), you aren’t going to be too sure what “being grown-up” really means. Also, it’s not as fun as you think it is.

I’d have loved to give you a peek into my present life, just to dispel the foolish thought that you have your future all planned out. Don’t believe me? What if I told you that, by this time, next year, you’ll have decided to completely change the career path you’ve chosen for yourself? Or that it will shift again, by the time you’re in college, and then again when you’re out of college? You won’t regret most of these decisions, except the ones which you were forced into. But then, life has this strange but incredible way of somehow getting you where you’re supposed to be. So, maybe those weren’t necessarily bad situations even though they weren’t of your choice.

You are going to have fun with your career (atleast until 25, for sure)! You’ll get to dabble with a couple of jobs before you decide what you want. While every profession will have its ups and downs, you’re going to be relatively happy with most of it. Enjoy while it lasts, and if you’re ever confused, just go with the flow and follow your heart (yes, I know that sounds cliché and cheesy, although you won’t realise it at 15). One serious piece of advice for your work life: no job is worth killing yourself over.

That relationship you’re so crazy about in school? Well, you’re going to fall out of love in another year or so. You will learn to love again, in ways more than one (including an all-consuming relationship that’s going to change you to a great extent). Which also means you will go through heartbreaks (yes, you’ll have more than one. Or two.) and have dawn-nature-sunset-womansome really fucked up experiences (half of which will take years to make sense to you). I know what you’ve been through and I truly wish I could say it gets better. But it doesn’t. Unless you do something about it, of course. The single most powerful advice I can give you, which could possibly change your life, would be – learn to say NO when you have to. Don’t keep blaming yourself, kid. Not everything that happens is your fault. I couldn’t stress this enough, but it’s going to take another ten years before someone gets that drilled into your head.

Don’t be afraid of falling or making mistakes. Because there will be a lot of it. But you’ll have people to help you up, most important of them being your family and your best friend from school (oh yes, that bitch is going to stick around for longer than you thought). Meanwhile, keep reading, be open to new authors and different genres. Almost half of who you are and your perceptions will be because of the books you1321e-stipula_fountain_pen read. I still don’t know how you began writing but it’s going to stay with you for life from the looks of it. Find your voice, experiment and explore, but whatever you do, keep at it. While I have nothing to substantiate this claim yet, I’m sure your dream of becoming a writer will come true. Also, you’re going to start a blog soon. Please try not to abandon it every now and then.

Have faith in yourself. You are and will continue to be stronger than you think, overcoming life’s nasty (and not-so-nasty) twists bravely. Don’t worry so much about the meaning of life, try to figure out who you are and want to be, because you shouldn’t get lost in the crowd when you have to face the world in a couple of years. I could go on and on with this, but then what’s the fun in life, right? So, I’ll let you discover the rest of it for yourself. 🙂 Oh, and by the way, you don’t stay skinny all your life.

Lots of love,

Your wiser and awesomer 25-year-old self.

PS: As much as I wish I could somehow get this to you for real, that’s not happening, unfortunately. Even though a decade sounds like a long enough time span, time travel is still pretty much a fantasy. You’re going to have to wait till you’re 25 to know all this for yourself and write this letter. Sorry about that. And, no, post-scripts aren’t supposed to be so long. I just tend to rant. But I’ll stop. Now. This was fun.

Grow Up, Kiddo!!!!!

When I was in school, I used to look at the seniors admiringly… They looked so happy, so free… And that was something I always associated with being grown up. At that point in life, everything important happened once you were grown up. All my dreams, desires and ambitions could be achieved when I grew up…and I eagerly waited for that phase. I used to hate the rules at school. I found it suppressing and longed for freedom. College was my ticket to liberty, I believed. I dreamt up many a castle in the air…lost in the fantasy that once I was out of school, I would enter the ‘grown-up’ territory and then be able to have my fun, do what I want. Once you were grown up, you could pursue your dreams, there would be no restrictions, parents would be more lenient, life would be fun! Or so I thought.

Now, I’m just three months away from leaving college. And I still say “When I grow up, I want to do this and that.” Somehow, growing up just doesn’t seem to have happened the way I expected it to. I admit, college was fun in some ways. I loved breaking the rules, having fun in our ways in such a bullshit place. But it was nothing like what I had in my dreams. I’m not learning what I want to, I’m not bunking too many classes…I haven’t yet found the freedom I thought I would find in college. Anyway, I’m glad I did get to go through so many distinct experiences. 🙂 I know I will miss college a lot. When I consider the idea of going out of college, leaving this safe zone and going out into the world to carve a niche for myself, it does seem really scary. But I’m trying to accept that as another phase I will have to encounter, as part of growing up. I know I will love it; I will enjoy the sheer thrill and unpredictability of the whole experience. Somewhat like how you feel when you step into the water… It does feel too cold initially, but then, as you advance, you begin to enjoy it.

Another fantasy I always had was that I would find my soul mate in college, once I’m grown up, that is. But that hasn’t happened yet. And somehow, I don’t really have high hopes for it anymore. Yeah, good if I do find him…But it doesn’t really matter so much anymore. I have lost belief in all those fantasies, anyway.

Recently, while having a talk with one of my friends, I mentioned something about what I wanted to do once I was grown up. She commented that we are already grown up…as in, we have formed definite perceptions, likes, dislikes and an attitude of our own. I was surprised at hearing that…because I knew she was right. I know I’m grown up, at least according to the standards set by people (read: society). Yet, I do not feel I’m any different from what I was when in school. True, my perceptions may have changed. But I’m still so much the same person at heart. Naive, stupid, dreamy, occasionally displaying bursts of sense… 😀 So, what exactly is growing up? Well, I don’t know, since I haven’t reached that point yet! Though, the weirdest part is…inspite of still feeling so un-grown-up, I notice that I have been engaging in a lot of serious conversations. Conversations that include topics like job, further plans, future, blah blah… Maybe it’s something triggered by the nearing end of college life. But recently, my friends have been talking a lot about all these grown up stuff. So many times, in the middle of these conversations, I have paused for a second to digest the fact that we are actually talking like adults, about serious issues. Wow! And I thought we weren’t there, yet. OK, so are we? See…? Now, you understand what I mean when I say growing up is a weird phrase. It never seems to arrive in entirety, but is always a part and parcel of life…looming in the distance ahead, always in the near distance. 🙂

This is something I truly believe in! 😀