A Letter To My Younger Self

Close up of a girl smiling on the beach as she brushes hair out of her face

Dear Zara,

Count yourself as blessed, your life is one that is full of love and laughter. I know that there were difficult times when you were not sure how to smile but you will come to understand that with good times also comes difficulty. It’s through that difficulty that life becomes all the more sweet. 

You have never had trouble in making friends but in keeping them. As you grow older you will lose people from your life fast and hard but you need to understand that this is nothing personal. It is a natural part growing up. Your interests have started to change and there is less common ground to cover. In the long run, you will see that this is better than trying to maintain meaningless relationships with people. The loss of your friendship group makes you get involved with people who do not have your best interests at heart but you struggle to see that. Keep faith because you will and forgive yourself for not seeing it sooner. 

Around the same time you feel the shift in these relationships your mental health issues will come to light. You refuse to talk to many people about it and you are scared – I can relate. I want you to know that when you make the decision to start talking about it you will see that these issues will start to become more manageable. It will take years before you are able to admit it – even at 25 you skirt around the issue with employers but you will continue to gain courage. You will begin to write about it and share your thoughts and this small act of courage will open doors to opportunities you could not have imagined. 

Close up of a girl on the beach staring off into the distance

Be kind to your family. You will realise as you spend more time away from them just how precious they are to you. You will argue with them and get angry at them for not understanding but they will learn in time. Nothing happens overnight and they love you just as you love them. Be patient. They will not all be around for as long as you think. 

You have planned your life out and it will not go the way you think. Your A Levels are not what you ever expected and you will pick a plan B that you are entirely unsure of but you will fall in love with it. You will meet some of the best people whilst you study your ‘back up plan’ and fall in love with a subject you had no prior knowledge on. You will find so much love for it that you will continue to study it for 7 years. Maybe things happen for the best? Don’t let the fear of failure scare you – let it drive you. 

Girl walking on the beach, towards the sea, with her back to the camera

Lastly, Zara, I want to tell you I am proud of you. There was once a point in your life where you didn’t believe you would make it to 18. You will spend endless nights that will roll into mornings wondering how you will get through the next day. I am the proof that shows you that you will find a way to keep going and that you will not only make it to 18 but all the way to 25. You have faced a lot over the years and you have won every single time. If nothing else, know that you are strong and capable. 

You have so much to look forward to and I know that you will love it all.

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