Who’d ever have thought that one day, I’d be writing to you this way? I can almost see a young girl of sixteen sitting across the table, listening intently, as I read this out—with rapt attention, and a face writ large with a little excitement, little fear and plenty of forebodings— in a city, far away from her hometown in the hills.
Well, leaving home was the very first step to the new chapter in your life. Unnerving, yes, but, you’ve done it! But, instead of feeling all chuffed about it, you’re feeling vulnerable, lost, and full of uncertainties. There is an intense pressure to balance the personal and the academic world but more than that, to prove your success to the world. You know how right from living up to your parents’ expectations to charting out your own path and dreams is something that you alone will have to do. And as you find yourself grappling with rejection, failure, embarrassment, uncertainty, insecurity and a good dose of self-loathing, let me assure you you are not alone. You’ve stepped out of the comfort zone finally—so, well done! Trust me when I say, I know how being on your own is scary, but it is also a heady feeling if you love your freedom.
Whether success comes first or rejection, time alone will tell. But, trust me on one thing—in the days and years to come, what will come to play the most decisive role in your life, will be something totally different. I do not have the chance to go back in time and change that one thing that I regret not doing—carving out the space for the things that made me happy. If you’ve always wanted to go for teaching, then, by all means, go for it. Take out that diary where you’ve been writing your stories and poems and keep writing more. The more you see life around you the better it gets, trust me. Over time, writing regularly will give you the experience you need to (maybe!) get paid for the stuff you like doing— something that you will be glad you did, in the years to come!
Don’t worry too much about how all of these activities are going to add up in the long run. The most important thing for you to know is that one thing leads to another. As you get to meet people who are interested in the same stuff as you, many doors will open up. Never miss a chance to network with people who might be able to offer you leads in the right direction. Create your own formula for success, but always be realistic. So, add a dash of criticism on top, because those naysayers play an important role, too, in life, to motivate you to rise above, to challenge yourself, and eventually to prove them wrong.
And, as the years go, you’ll find that life happens in between the plans we make. We mark our lives with milestones and achievements and yet, in the long run, it is the everyday moments that will come to define who we are. So, make friends, value friendships, make the most of your time with people who matter. Remember, some of the best friendships you form today will remain through your life.
Remember, twenty years from now, what will really matter is that tiny overlap that you see today between things you love to do and things that you’ll get paid to do! The blank slate of life is yours to write, so choose wisely!
I know I can’t go back in time and relive it all over again, but you surely can. So go and give it your best !
(This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.)
This post took me back to those days in KC block. All the memories rushed in. Kutty Pishi, you and me sitting on the balcony during loadshedding and discussing so many things. I can write an entire post if I don’t stop myself right away. Hugs and Love Di
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At 16, life can be so confusing. This is a beautiful letter to your 16 year old self – affirming and encouraging. I wish someone really did write such a letter to us when we were 16. The most relevant message is Life gets marked by milestones and achievements but it is actually lived in the everyday moments.
Exactly my thoughts, Anamika. I so wished I had someone who told me things that I later learnt in life the hard way, of course. But then, it is the sum total of our experiences which have shaped us, the blows, the hurt and the pain that have given us those little gnawing wounds that made us think and look beyond to discover more. Yes, milestones everyone taught me were important, but never the fact that so many everyday moments also made up the life we have. Chalo, der aaye durust aaye! 🙂
I’m sure your 16 year old self was happy seeing how wise you’ve turned out….Glad you don’t have any regrets.
Not sure how wise, Sunita! Life lessons keep coming in through countless ways…still very much a work in progress in every way, you know! About regrets? Well, don’t even get me started. I choose not to listen to them these days.
Oh we all get wise with age. When you’re 60 you’ll realise it! 🙂
Ha ha… sure! There is still hope for me then, you say?! 😀
What a realistic, assuring and profound message to self! The age that you have chose is most apt.. sweet sixteen… when the mind is at its impressionist best! Loved every bit of it!
– Anagha From Team MocktailMommies
Thank you! Not entirely sure how things have panned out…some have been good and positive and I choose to focus on them now!
Loved it when you say ” And life happens..” A good piece of advice full of wisdom. Congrats Esha. #modaymusings
Thank you so stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Upasna. 🙂
Spending time with people who matter are my number two goal after looking after my health .Loved what you said .Real life is the day to day moments .#MondayMusings .Congratulations on winning WOW this week.
I wish I could say all of these to my younger self, specially about writing. I wish I had preserved my poems. They weren’t good, but sounded so innocent and happy.
Your words always reflect wisdom and sensibility. Love reading them 😀
That is so very kind of you, Rajlakshmi. I know, in hindsight we are all very wise people, aren’t we? Me no different either!! I never preserved my drawings or my writings. I actually gave up writing for a very long time and then started all over again now, about three years back. 🙁
a great piece of advice, Esha. Really the younger minds need this.
There are so many things playing in my head. I’d say a beautifully penned letter and how I wish could turn my clock of life,
Wonderful advice any 16 year old would need to improve her confidence, overcome fears and do what shelikes. So, that’s how esha became a writer ☺
I wish I had the advice so I didn’t make the mistakes I did, Ramya. All this now is in hindsight, you see! :d