An open letter to the 18-year-old me

Gabi,

First and foremost: we don’t know each other yet. You are going to meet me in 10 years, and believe me when I say that it isn’t as much time as you think it is. It will go fast, but I don’t want to write ‘so enjoy it as much as you can’. It’s so cliché! You will do that, in your own unique way.

Also, you will do that backpacking trip you are constantly dreaming about. You’ll do even more: you will visit places and people you never thought you would. You’ll spend a night in the desert in Africa and talk in different languages to people that don’t know how to write, but they speak more languages than you. You should start that French course now, do not wait one more year! It would be so much better in the future… Yes, you’re going to use it in France. Also in Belgium and Morocco. That won’t be enough for you. You’ll realise how big the world is, still, how possible it is to reach its hidden secrets even though you are absolutely small.

Hey, that is important. You are small. You are not fat. You are beautiful. Even if you were, you would still be beautiful.

You’ll finish your bachelor with a first class even though you are not reading all those texts (even though you should’ve). This doesn’t mean you are doing this for the rest of your life. Isn’t it unfair that you had to choose now what you’ll do for the rest of your life? That’s why you are not doing it. Yes, perhaps applying for a Chemistry degree in the last minute wouldn’t be such a crazy idea. It doesn’t matter now, great things are happening anyway because you worked hard. Still, do you know that little uncertainty that sometimes comes at night, the one you barely give it a tiny little second of attention because you’re kinda drunk after a house party? So, this is me saying you might not be sure that this is what you’ll do it for all your life.

Guess what? That’s ok. You are still good at it, very good at it, and this will take you to great achievements although sometimes you’re a little lazy. You’ll travel for work and expand your boundaries and despite being tired as hell, you won’t be lazy in those days. It will take some time, but you will get a job when you come back to Sao Paulo. Just remember to be brave to give a step back to reach further in the future. To be honest, you should’ve done it before. You should listen to your intuition more. Feel your gut, that is where your best advice comes from because that is where your really self comes out. There is some part of me in this whispering voice in the back of your head, but you are not listening to it because you are giving too much attention to the ones shouting in front of you.

Again, it’s fine, because eventually you’ll listen to that and get another job. When this new job leads you to even greater achievements, you’ll also understand the need to listen to yourself and take some time to get what you really want.

Ah, this is also important: do not postpone decisions because you think you’ll hurt people. This will hurt you more and people will hurt anyway. The best way of dealing with it is: be honest, be sincere. Again, listen to your inner self and everything will be fine. All the hurt will heal — in you and in the others — and that is how we grow up.

You’re gonna live some love stories and you’ll let people go in your heart. Some of them won’t make good use of it. Yet, you’ll regret only one. It doesn’t matter: you’ll also live a fantastic love story. An unique one. Perhaps one day you’ll write about it. So far, you haven’t.

By the way, talking about relationships… this guy now is cheating on you. Leave him.

BUT HEY. Back to my point. Be patient. While listening to yourself, please, do not let anxiety take over. Take breaks, do not pressure yourself so much, it will only take you out of the track and you’ll breakdown. Again, my advice is the same… Take a break and listen to the inner you to understand why it always happens. When you do so, you’ll stop collapsing.

Most important: stop letting it out unfairly to other people! This is your shit. Deal with it. Don’t worry, this will make sense when you take tough decisions and when you hug your parents after a long break out of home. I know, now you enjoy being away even in the weekends. That’s fine and healthy. However, you will miss the possibility of coming back for a quick Sunday lunch with them. You don’t see it now, but they support you so much and you’ll only choose uncertainties because they give you confidence and a safe place that is not actually a geographic space. This safety is something called unconditional love.

Ah, say ‘I love you’ more often to the people you don’t usually say it just because they’re always there. That’s when you really mean it.

Perhaps you should think twice before saying you don’t wanna marry or have kids. I know it sounds absurd now. It won’t sound like that later. That doesn’t make you weaker.

Psst! Just one last thing. Let me end with a spoiler. You’re gonna live abroad. It isn’t where you think you will… And it’s going to be damn good.

Yours,

Stripolias

________________
Today is my birthday, I’m turning 28. This was inspired by my beloved friend Bel’s post.
You should read hers.
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