Part 5: ‘Dear Younger Me’
Dear Younger Me,
The first, and most important thing I want to tell you is this – growing up is hard, but things will always work out in the end.
Becoming older will teach you a couple of big lessons about life.
There will be times where you will wonder if you will ever recover from some of these experiences – heartbreak, failure, bad habits, illnesses. The answer is, yes, you will. You may not be the same person at the end of the experience, but you will recover, and you will find that you will be better for it.
Often, even as you are growing older, you will feel like a child – lost and confused. You will wonder if you’ll ever stop feeling this way. You won’t, not really. But you will get better at dealing with it.
As you grow older, you’ll also learn how to be kinder to yourself.
The little things about yourself that you used to get angry about – like your weight, not being able to produce the best piece of work, chipped nail polish – will stop bothering you as much.
If anything, these little things will make you laugh at yourself more. You will realise that laughing at yourself helps make life a little better. Life will start laughing with you.
You will get a little worried and scared when your body doesn’t work the way it used to. Try not to let it overwhelm you, because you will learn to deal with it. Your body will be the first to protest when you push it harder than it can tolerate. You will learn to love your body anyway. You will be gentler with your aches and pains. You will hydrate more and moisturise thoroughly. You will know the names of your vitamins and what they do for your organs. You will scoff at yourself for growing up to be that woman, and then you’ll laugh.
You will start to be more sympathetic with people much older than you are. You will be kinder to your parents on the days they are grumpy and intolerable. You will be more forgiving of their stubbornness because you will start to see bits of that behaviour in you.
Ageing will make you want to keep things the way they are. It will frustrate you sometimes, when you aren’t able to do things the way you used to before. Acknowledge the frustration, but don’t let it control you. The joy is in the process.
You will think about death more, more so than before. You will wonder how you will die and what will happen to your soul afterwards. You will become so conscious of the passing of time, you’ll try your best to make the most out of it.
Just remember to slow down when you can. There is no point in hurrying through life.
As for the rest of what you can expect, I’ll let you figure out on your own. Growing older may be terrifying, but the joy, my dear younger self, is in the journey. Remember to be happy, always.
Arathi Devandran curates personal experiences, snapshots of the world and the stories people are willing to share with her through prose and poetry http://www.miffalicious.com