Through this letter to my younger self, I hope to share with you the pieces of advice I wish someone had given me all those years ago.
To my younger self,
Firstly, you are doing absolutely amazing, my love. You are 22 and guess what? Most of the things that felt like they mattered a few years ago really don’t. You might have been an awkward teenager who was too tall and too round to really fit in, but you have blossomed incredibly and the people who matter to you do not care for these superficial details.
You are not fat. That is not the only thing about you there is to know. You are smart, you are beautiful. And you, are incredible kind. You are golden and good and made up of only glorious light. There will be people who tell you otherwise, but you are not to listen to them. They do not matter. The people who will not let you be unapologetically yourself do not matter in your life. Trust me, by the age of 18, you will know that the people who didn’t accept you for you are no longer a part of your journey.
I know that people you thought loved you told you that you were too tall and too big to ever enjoy the good things in life or even be ‘normal’, but trust me when I tell you this, you will continue to live an amazingly fulfilling life that most people can only dream of. You will carry yourself with pride even on the days you feel worried about the way your clothes look on your body. And it is especially on those days that the people who love you will remind you that no matter what you think, you look incredible in the clothes you chose to wear because it is you who chose it. They will be a constant reminder that life is not destiny or fate or this romanticised book unfolding, but rather a collection of choices that you have made to build the version of life that you love and believe in. Life is a choice, and it is up to you to choose a life filled with peace, love, and contentment. It is up to you to choose to be happy and ignore those who put you down because you are not the same as them.
You do not need to be the same as anyone. Your mother gave birth to a revolution and named it after you¹. Do not embarrass her (or yourself) by choosing a quiet life. Rise up and revolt, my love. The end result will be beautiful. I, at a ripe age of 22, tell you this with an absolute sureness in my heart: you will not regret the choices you make because the differences that make you stand apart will be the things that make you who you are. They will be the things that make you look across the room and realise that there is nobody else you would rather be than yourself.
You, my love, are the universe in ecstatic motion. I mean, I’m sure Rumi was talking about the love for God here but listen, you are love itself and therefore just as important and pure. Take pride in yourself and accept that you will not be the mirror image of the friend standing next to you, and that is okay. It is okay. It is, and always will be, okay.
The world will always have something to say whether you do good or bad, so get out there and be unapologetically yourself.
With all the love in the world,
[originally written for Amaliah]
¹ Day 147 of 365daysofayesha: Part 1