Dear 15 year old Me,
I know you’re feeling terrible right now. You just got to know that you didn’t score good enough in your board exams. Though you know that you put in your best efforts, you wish you had worked harder. You feel bad because your Dad’s favourite student topped the list this time as well and deep down you know Dad is never going to be proud of you.
You’re about to make a mistake of not telling your parents that you want to opt for Humanities and not Science. For the next two years you’re going to fail miserably in Math and Chemistry, barely manage to pass in the rest and curse yourself for being so dumb. But you’re not dumb. You just don’t have the aptitude for Science.
You’re wondering how you can switch from being optimistic to suicidal in a matter of few minutes. You have tried telling your Mom about it. She has almost convinced you that you’re just being sensitive and letting negative thoughts control you. You’re worried that your Mom will find out that you broke her favourite vase. You hate yourself for doing it, but you have no idea how and why you did it. It scares you. And you resolve to control your anger. It will take you almost 8 years to seek professional help and find out that it is bipolar disorder that made you do things you have no clue about. You will take even longer to accept it and start loving yourself.
For now, all you want to do is shut yourself in your room and dream of a future where everything will be perfect. Your room is dark, full of cobwebs and you have made sure there are no mirrors. You detest the short, dark, chubby, ordinary-looking girl who stares back at you from the mirror. You like to think that may be a decade later you’ll be pretty. And successful. And loved…
I hate to disappoint you, my dear, but things are going to be even more difficult when you’re in your 20s. You’re yet to have your share of heartbreaks and failures. And even when you’re 24, you’re going to be the same short, dark, chubby, ordinary-looking girl, but your definition of ‘pretty’ is going to be a light years away from how you define it now and a part of you will tell you that looks don’t matter anyway. You’ll be dumped, in the most painful way possible and you’re going to cry over it, quietly in the bathroom. But there’ll be a part of you that will tell you that he doesn’t know what he has lost. Your mood swings are going to get worse, with frequent surges of depression and hallucinations, but you won’t be ashamed of them anymore and stop referring to it as a ‘condition’.
You’re going to make a lot of mistakes in the coming days and I won’t stop you even if I could. The mistakes are what are going to make you a strong woman. Your mistakes are going to make you wonder why a woman is always criticized and it will lead you to Feminism, an ideology you’re going to hold on to. You’re going to discover that you have a passion for writing and that you’ll help others like you through your words.
You’ll realize that your dreams of being beautiful, successful and loved have come true after all. Only very different from the way you imagined them.
24 year old Me.