WhatsApp Image 2016-08-16 at 10.46.09 PM

Dear Reshmi,

Today, you are fifteen years of age! – Congratulations for overcoming the ups and downs of this feat called life!

I come bearing good and bad news, but I’m pretty sure that you’ve grown up enough to handle all of that.

I know all about you, obviously, since I am your future self! – Therefore, I know all of your struggles and heartaches and what keeps you up at night.

Today, I want to talk to you about your future, and the lessons that you should learn as you take on this journey by yourself.

First and foremost, I want to talk to you about your heart. I have seen it, I have seen how innocent it is, and I have also seen how tough it is. You need to relax, honey. Your heart is not like kids your age, who play and run and watch movies without a care in the world. Their hearts are full of love and hope. You need to let go. You need to let go of these impenetrable high walls you have built around yourself, where you feel that you need to be defensive towards anyone approaching you – The world is not out there to get you, so, let down your guard for a while. You are a tough shell to crack on the outside, but a real softie on the inside. I know how you get affected by negativity, and I want to help you. Negativity is not going to vanish off the face of the earth, you have to stupefy it with so much positivity, that it will never be able to surround you. Let people in, make your heart whole, love and laugh – That’s my first lesson.

My second advice to you is about your career – It is super difficult to be able to know what you want to do for the rest of your life! Most kids your age haven’t got a clue and just believe in “winging it” as and when the time comes to make decisions. India is a country where education is so paramount that parents are always willing to shove as much money as possible to get their children into good schools, tuition classes and buy innumerable number of books, just so that they can come out on top of their classes. You are growing up in this rat race, and there’s not much you can do, except, maybe, believe in that tiny voice ringing in your ears. You don’t necessarily need to become an engineer or a doctor – there are plenty of other options that could rightfully use your skills and also pay well. Please do not believe in anyone who says that if you end up being an artist or a model or a photographer, you are going to live poor. Listen to your heart, because no one else can help you know what you want better than yourself. Do what you love doing, and make a career out of it, and trust me, you will be rich – That’s my second lesson.

My third advice to you would be about right and wrong – You are fifteen and you have just begun experiencing love. Do not let the sanctity and the innocence of your love be garbled by the sayings of the society. They may say, don’t do it – They may say, this is wrong – They may also say that you are too young, and that it won’t last – But learn to shut the noise out, believe in yourself – Believe in what you have seen and heard and experienced – Let your own experiences be a guide to your decisions, because age is not accurate measure of one’s wisdom. You are not set out to change the world, but if you want to, go ahead. Let the non-believers lead a life of their own, and you carry onto your own path of right. Let history and society not guide you when you face a dilemma between right and wrong – Do what you feel is right for you, because, at the end of the day, you will be paying your own bills, and not society – That’s my third and last lesson, at least for now.

I wish I could walk beside you, holding your hand and leading you out of harm’s way, wiping your tears, or better even, removing the causes that make you cry – I wish I could tell you everything will be alright – I wish I could stop you from making those mistakes – But I cannot, and I will not – Because leading you out of harm’s way will nullify your experience of falling into harm’s pit and rising above it with your grit – Because removing the causes that make you cry will also result in obliterating the times you wiped your own tears and rose yourself stronger – Because your mistakes aren’t really mistakes in the long run of life – They are experiments and I do not want to ever stop you from experimenting, from trying out what fits you, from experiencing all life has to offer and from finding yourself again and again.

Because, finding yourself is the most important lesson of all.

But, if you’re ever lost, I’m here.

Lots of Love & Best Wishes,

Your Future-Self

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