A letter to the past me

Taken at Uni of Melbourne.

Recently I watched a movie and dorama that has this story where the characters send a letter to themselves, whether in the past or in the future. Well, I knew I posted about one of them already in one of my old posts (here!), and I won’t post about them here either, but maybe later, but it really gets me to think about what I’d write to my past self or my future self. And, thanks to personalized hashtag on Instagram, I found that I had actually written some, so I guess I’d just post them here since, as I reread them, I guess what I want to say to my past self will be the same.

I write this one below last year, on my birthday:

“If I met the ten-year-old me, I think she would be too overwhelmed to understand that the 30-yo her is taking a PhD. Forget PhD, she wasn’t even sure that she could continue to high schools. She didn’t know what studying in college was, or did she have to? Could she? So, yeah, she couldn’t imagine herself taking a master’s degree and, furthermore, a doctoral degree. Just what are they? LoL If I told her that she’d go to US n some other countries, she must wonder how she’d be able to do all that. I wonder if she’d ask at all, though. That insecure brat. Well, I know she loves stories, but maybe she would think I’m lying and she wouldn’t believe that I’m the future her. That untrusting and always suspicious rascal! I wonder what she would think of me, though. Haha But I hope she wouldn’t ask if I’ve been married or not, because if I recalled correctly, she wanted to marry young. Well, I’m still young, aren’t I? 😌🤗 But, well, when my Mom was 30, I was already in junior high school, so I don’t know 🙈😅 But if time machine did exist, should I really meet her and tell her all that? Or should I just watch her from afar and let things surprise her?”

This one was taken at a waterfall in my hometown, Indonesia.

And I wrote this one below around 2 years ago. Also on my birthday. But I guess I haven’t written on this blog back then.

“If I had a time machine, I’d go back to the past and see this girl (I posted a pic of the little me). I’d smile at her, thank her, and hug her tightly. I wonder if she’d retaliate. Maybe she’d ask who I am, but I won’t tell her, yet. I’d just let her feel my embrace. I’d love to hear things she kept to herself. But maybe she’d stay shut. Her insecurity was somehow amusing. I’d love to let her cry in my arms, but maybe she’d be scared if not mad. A prideful little rascal! She’s got such a temperament. But I’d tell her a few things. I’d tell her to keep being herself. She’d be confused but I’d keep going. I’d tell her that she’ll have a wonderful life, literally a life full of wonders-and miracles. She won’t get everything she’s wanted, but she’ll get things that she had never dared to even dream of. How would she dare to dream if she didn’t even have any ideas that those dreams existed and that it’s okay to have such dreams? But I’d tell her that she’ll be content, that she’ll be happy. Life won’t be easy, but she’ll survive fine. There might be things she’ll regret but I’d tell her not to worry since they’re also the things she’ll learn from. I’d tell her that she’ll travel some parts of the world. She’d wonder what world; her family, her hometown, was the only world to her, and that’s already vast. I’d tell her that she grew up believing she was ugly. She would tense, but I’d tell her that she’s not, still, she won’t believe me. Too many people have made her believe she is, why trust me? But I’d tell her that it’s fine, she’ll be okay with that, and maybe she’ll actually be thankful that she does not feel beautiful because there are many other things that she could finally appreciate of herself. I’d tell her that she won’t marry young like she’s always wished. She’d be puzzled, it’s not her dream yet, that’s a wish she made a few years later. But I’d tell her that she’s okay. Still content. Still happy. And always feels loved, despite often worrying that she’s actually hated. I’d tell her that she’ll have a lot of friends. So gorgeous and awesome she’d never figure out how and why they befriend her. Sometimes she’ll feel she doesn’t deserve them, so what she’ll do is being thankful and trying to not take them for granted. She’d be curious. I wonder if she’d take me as a mere stranger. Or maybe she’d think that I’m crazy. Then I’d see her face, gently cup her cheeks, look deep into her eyes and put on my nicest and most sincere smile. I’d thank her again. For being her. For working hard. For holding on. For never giving up. For believing in God. And for believing in herself albeit her self-doubts. I might cry. I wouldn’t be able to help it. Still a crybaby. Then, before she finds things too overwhelming, I’d tell her that I’m her future. That I’m her, in the future.”

But I also added this: “But I’m glad that I don’t have a time machine. Because actually I’m not sure if it’s her that I’d love to comfort, or just me myself.” And, I added, “A princess in disguise. A future queen. Happy Birthday, Lady! Today you’re reborn. Enjoy your late 20s, you will not get it back.”

I’m not sure if my self-love has gone too much or too far, but rereading these letters to my past self is somehow “refreshing”. Well, yes, sometimes it feels so sad I feel like crying, but at the same time it’s kinda “motivating”. I mean, life was hard back then, but I survived it, and maybe life’s even harder now, so if I could do it back then, then I can give this moment a try too, no? I mean, life was hard back then, but I didn’t remember complaining or thinking it was that hard. I just thought that that’s just how my life was, and that I just had to make do with what I had. If the past me looked at the current me, maybe she’d think this life of mine was a luxury. She wouldn’t understand the problems, if any, I’m having now. And if I looked at my past, yeah, it wasn’t easy, but still, I did it, and I made it here anyway. And, I think it’s important to have such conversations with ourselves sometimes. We often listen to what everyone else says and let it cloud our mind and affect our feelings, but, have we heard ourselves enough?

At Uni of Melbourne.

What I’m trying to say is that, if I did have a chance to talk to the past me, I want her to know that I appreciate all her hard work, and I’m not in any way blaming her for all the things that I might not currently like, which might have resulted from what she did or believed in the past. Life is a journey; it’s a process. The me back then did all she could based on what she knew and what she believed was right, on what she thought would give me a better life and make me happier. She didn’t do things deliberately to make her future (the current life of mine) miserable. She didn’t do things purposefully so I would regret them later, no. Everything she did, it was the best for her, though maybe not the best for me now, though I’d still love to believe it is, too, for the current me. Hence, I think it’s not fair to blame her for what I’m not liking now because, thanks to her, there are many other things that I’ve been loving too, things I “harvest” from everything she had been doing. I mean, we all made mistakes, right? The things I wish I did but couldn’t, maybe I can try to do it now. There’s no point holding on to the past and blaming the past me for not doing what I now think she should’ve done but couldn’t or maybe she could but she didn’t. There’s also no point holding on to the past and blaming the past me for doing what I now think she shouldn’t have done but did. I mean, we have our own situation and consideration. The past me had it. I’m having it too now. Life is not to be compared anyway.

And, mm, about a letter to the future me, well, I do have a couple of words to say, but I don’t think I can post it here. Or maybe not now. But, what about you? If you could say something to your past self or your future self, what would you say?

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