A letter to my younger self

Dear Sonali-

Happy birthday, today you are 21. As I write this I remember all the difficult times you endured when you were 13 through 19 and I wish I could go back in time and tell you things that would have helped you along the way.

I hope you enjoy this letter, and stop worrying so much, it will get better.

Here’s a few things to help you live a little.

Learn to love empty rooms

I know how much you love performing. Dancing and playing music has always been a huge part of your life, and I know how you thrive on the applause and kind words from your audience, but what you should really focus on is when you’re practicing alone in an empty room. Because regardless of who’s watching, you will still love the pieces that you create. It’s not always about the applause, it won’t do as much for you, as you think it would.

Useless hobbies are good for your soul

You have always had such a busy schedule, school, tuition, religious activities, dancing, music, the list goes on. Make some time to do things that is not going to improve your life. Sit on the floor drawing while you sing at the top of your lungs when you’re home alone. You don’t always have to do things to make your family happy, instead of worrying about making them happy, worry about making yourself happy.

Enjoy what life has to offer you. Sit in the garden daydreaming about boys that you will never have the courage to talk to, go ahead, it’s a dare.

Lay on the beach reading books for hours, go for walks to nowhere, you don’t have to always do things for other people and for a specific reason, it’s okay to just simply be.

Let yourself be stupid happy

Happiness isn’t a circumstance, it is simply a mindset, you don’t have to feel guilty every time you feel happy. You have done so many things to sabotage your happiness along the way, that you have forgotten what true happiness is.

You don’t have to be the happiest all the time, you have to learn to fight for your happiness at times. You have to learn to strive for happiness during your depressed period.

Happiness is inside of you, even though you feel like your life is a wreck, it’s okay, because as long as you find that happiness that’s within you, you will always be able to turn things around.

Listen to you

Throughout your life, people are going to constantly tell you what to do. Some will have your best interests in mind, others have simply wanted the worst for you. It’s going to be very confusing for you.

But the one person you can always trust is you. Listen to your inner self, that small voice inside you. Pay attention to it because your intuition is always right, maybe not extremely accurate, but will always steer you in the right direction when you are uneasy about something/someone.

The more you listen to that small voice inside you, the more louder and clear it will get.

You can say no

No, I don’t want to talk to you. No, I don’t want to eat that. No, I don’t want to go with you. No’s are important. You don’t belong to anyone, you belong to yourself. You don’t have to do anything you are not comfortable with.

This may not seem so profound as compared to the others, but it is important to know that you can always say no. don’t give anyone the right to choose for you.

Learn how to stand up for yourself, ASAP

I know sometimes it’s just easier to sit around and to wait for someone to make you feel special, to make you feel like you belong or to make you feel like you’re safe with them. You are going to wait for a man to open the door for you, or for him to take care of you, but the truth is that there is no use waiting.

I’m not saying that those people/men won’t come, believe me, they will, but there is no greeter feeling than being able to do something for yourself, and I have only learnt that this year.

It doesn’t mean be independent and don’t ask for any help, I just mean that the feeling and power you will have when you take charge of your life, is unexplainable.

Don’t be afraid to say what you want

Your whole life you were always afraid to say what you truly meant, you constantly use to beat around the bush when you had something on your mind. Don’t tip toe around things, say what you mean. It’s okay to say that you want to be alone, that you want to leave, to express your thoughts and feelings. Say it to your family, friends or even to God. When you express the truth out loud, it will make you feel better, and understood.

Forgiveness is key

I’m not going to lie to you, people are going to hurt you, very bad, for many years to come. Forgive your friends, forgive you family, forgive those who tried to love you for you, but failed.

Start practicing forgiveness with minor things and eventually it will be easier to forgive bigger things that are yet to come. But always remember that forgiving is not excusing, most people are trying to do the best that they can, most of the time.

Don’t take yourself as seriously as you do

The only way to be successful is to learn from your failures. Teach yourself lessons from them, and laugh about the stupid failures that you have. Failure is okay, it will only make you want to work harder and achieve greater things that I know you are capable to achieving.

Take up some space in this big, beautiful world

Be loud, eat what you want, don’t step back to make others happy. Laugh as hard as you can, be crude sometimes, it’s OKAY. Remind yourself that your choices, are yours to make, no one else’s.

Don’t worry about overshadowing someone else, they can step out of your shadow, there’s enough sunshine for everyone. Just whatever you choose to do, never forget that you have earned your little space in the world.

You are smart. You are brave. You are beautiful. You are big, and that’s alright, because you are you.

I can’t wait to watch you blossom, I love you.