To my younger self,
Thank you, for sacrificing many of things you deserved.
The untried hobbies, passed opportunities, and fluctuating peace of mind are just a few. I know you have big aspirations for my present, but please understand that the challenges you are facing are a priority. You have not, and will never, let me down. Do you know why? Because you have gained my deepest respect. Although your life may not feel like it has significant meaning at present, your story is now the only one that wakes me up every morning, determined to become the person you have always wanted us to be. You are my inspiration, role model and the only person who keeps me sane in this wonderfully nonsensical world.
Most of the people around you won’t understand why you to function the way you do, but just know that I do, and you my darling, are doing such a wonderful job. Forgive all those who unknowingly make your life more difficult with their wrong doings, sayings, and actions. You are more than what they try to define you as. I know it seems like you are the common denominator, but when you substitute yourself out of the equation, you will realise that it isn’t you, but the collective mentality of people struggling with their identity and meaning. Life is hard, and it can sometimes bring out the worst in people, especially when most are fighting a hidden battle. So, take comfort in knowing that the hurt they inflict onto you reflects their own pains and not your worth. They are just coping in a way that makes sense to them. Though I know you understand this already; it still doesn’t make it an easier truth to accept.
But that’s not the only thing you face. At your age, how do you explain to others that it feels as though you are being held hostage in your own mind and that every day is a power struggle? You spend years questioning if you are to blame for this ‘self-sabotage’, whilst fighting to stay afloat in the murky waters of your own abyss. But as much as you try to fight it, the day will come when you will sink, deeply, into your unconscious. But here you find that the darkness is the only place that gives you the answers you seek. You begin to allow yourself to feel the insecurities that you never knew you had. The regrets, the memories, the fears and the anxiety. But you keep going deeper. Your mind begins to go into overdrive as it tries to pull out every trick in the book to keep you from rebelling, so you use this as an opportunity to study your defence mechanisms. You start to feel weak but you keep pushing through the excruciating mental pain barrier, vowing to get rid of anything that no longer serves you purpose, until …. you slay your last demon. You collapse. After a 5-year battle, you reign victorious, and emerge from your ashes; reborn.
Though you will have battle scars. Wear them, as you would as a medal of honour. When you are reminded of them, remember that they bring deep strength, wisdom, courage to not only you but the to the ones who now meet you. Because not only did you win your own war, you helped others to muster the courage to overcome their own demons, and for some, from even ending their life. All because you walked this path. So, I want to take this time to say thank you. Thank you for being true to yourself when, at times, it made you the least popular person in the room. Thank you for having the courage to venture into the unknown and thank you for staying by my side through it all. You have given me more blessings that I can be grateful for. So, in return here are my promises to you. I promise:
To let go of anything and anyone that deters us from going for our dreams
To embrace a life full of adventure, mistakes, emotions and discomfort
To educate and inspire the masses
To be unapologetically myself
And, to be grateful for every moment.
Not because of what could have been, but to celebrate what we have both gained. I stand strong knowing that you give me the strength to climb a thousand mountains, and pride to radiate the light of a thousand suns. So, from this day forward, I dedicate my life to continuing your legacy, as I embark on ‘A Journey of My Mind’.
I hope I make you proud.