I have had a wonderful experience, interning at Women’s Health ME. The team has left me feeling more confident and aware of my capabilities as well as my limitations. And with the help of the (extremely friendly) constructive criticism that I received from Yi-Hwa, the editor in chief, I came to realize where my pitfalls in writing were and how to actually tweak my writing style so it falls in line with the magazine’s voice. But apart from that, I have only been an audience member who read WHME on a regular basis and yet being a part of the behind the scenes and writing features has got me falling in love with specific sections of the magazine.
Well, flipping through the pages of the Women’s Health ME was and still is entertaining for me but the section I enjoy reading the most is “Letter to my younger self”. Reading this feature has got me thinking a lot and about many things to the extent that I decided to write a letter for my younger self, except it’s a little more personal and maybe depressing XD but I know that many people will relate to what my letter has to say.
Every step you take in life will have consequence, which includes the good and the bad. Therefore, think before taking any actions. In other words, don’t make promises when happy and don’t make decisions when you’re sad. And mind you, there will be many instances for the latter because you will be hurt by the closest people to you and that includes your family. You will be called names and let down by the people who mean the most to you but don’t let that drag you down the wrong side of life. You will probably feel hurt, unloved, humiliated and you’re going to find out that many of those who call themselves your friend will end up leaving you when you need them the most. You’re going to grow up to be alone but one piece of advice: Alone doesn’t mean lonely. I know you’ve been left alone ALOT but if you would have searched deep enough, you would have found out that you are lonely (not alone) because you felt unwanted and unloved. You thought that you deserve being alone, while on the other hand you could have been occupied and not lonely by doing the things you love like painting and dancing. And that would have probably boosted your confidence because you are good at it!!
You kept pushing everyone and everything away from you just because you were so too scared of failing and being mistreated. This makes me give you the advice that Cinderella’s mom said: “have courage and be kind”. You are a great person on the inside and probably not everyone sees that. In fact, people will see the total opposite in you just because you were alone, no, I would rather say lonely. But guess what? You should ignore them and don’t join the crowd just because you feel that you don’t fit in. You are not ABNORMAL, you are UNIQUE. So, back to courage, just because people are mean to you that doesn’t mean you should be mean to others. I know all that jazz about observational learning (learning by observing, obviously!) and treating people the same way you were treated but don’t let people kill the beautiful, innocent child that is in you. Treat people the way YOU would like to be treated, even if they treat you bad, because THAT’S KINDNESS. And never fear anyone or anything because the more scared you are, the more used and abused you will get. Just be strong and don’t fear communicating your opinion as long as you’re being respectful of others, regardless.
Sometimes you have to be your own best friend; all the time in fact. So, listen to this one carefully girl: don’t look for a best friend or for that prince charming who will supposedly sweep you off your feet and fix all your problems because you own the solutions to your problems. The way you handle your hitches dictate whether they will be solved or not. Don’t look for someone to love you and give you the confidence you need because that someone can be you. Learn to love yourself because no body’s perfect. Learn to forgive and stop blaming yourself. We are human beings and we all do mistakes, of all sorts. And quite honestly, the point here is to acknowledge your mistake, admit it and fix it. Don’t keep ruminating about something that’s only going to destroy your psychological wellbeing.
I remember the famous quote that says “forgive and forget” but NO. I advise you to forgive but NEVER forget. Learn to forgive those who hurt you whether on purpose or by accident because remember what I said about you owning the solution to your problems? Well, forgiveness is the key to solving any argument no matter how big or small it may be but if you forget the way people hurt you, you will fall in the same messed up trap over and over and over again. Non-stop. But if you never forget and only forgive, you will know and remember the actions that stressed you out, why did it hurt and how can you fix it and that will encourage positive psychological growth in you (only if you forgive).
On an end note, I would like to tell you that life is a roller coaster that will show you its ups and downs more often than you think. So, don’t get whiny about stressful experiences because everything you go through will literally leave you with wisdom and knowledge that only life can teach you. So, make peace with the mirror and watch your reflection change...
Your older self,