Dear younger self,
I will try to keep the spoilers to a minimum, but you have quite a journey ahead of you.
Over the course of your life you will see and do things you can’t even imagine right now. Your frame of reference is currently too limited in a small town like Rohtak, India. But, soon (at age 7) you will be heading off to boarding school. Life as you know it is going to change. The transition won’t be easy and it won’t be the last time you find yourself adapting to a new way of life. But trust me when I tell you that despite missing your mom terribly – you will be okay. In fact, it is in these moments – when you are pushed outside of your comfort zone – that you will learn and grow the most. So, hard as they may seem, seek out these opportunities. Don’t ever let yourself get too comfortable. You will be better for it.I also encourage you to surround yourself with people that inspire you, people you can learn from. That includes people who may not share your point of view – and believe me there will be plenty. Embrace the diversity in the world around you. Be open to new ways of seeing things. It will make your own vision that much clearer.
Equally important, learn to value your own voice. Don’t worry so much about fitting in or trying to be someone else – that is a recipe for failure. Hold tight to your values and speak up for the things you believe in. At this point I know you don’t have many well-defined opinions, but that will come with time. Just know that the sooner you realize the value of what you have to say, the sooner others will as well.
Now let’s talk about ambition. You are going to be a bit of a hard driver when you grow up. So, do me a favor… remember to take a breather every now and again, and don’t feel guilty about it. You don’t know this yet, but there will come a point in your career when you are going to hit a wall emotionally. Ironically, you will be burning out just as your career is taking off. Take the break you need. Don’t worry about what’s expected of you.
Hard work is essential. There are no short cuts in life and if you want to be successful you are going to have to put in the time and effort. But success should not come at the cost of your own health and happiness. Work will always be there. It’s life that will pass you by if you don’t make time for it. And guess what? That break you worried so much about taking? It will turn out to be the best decision you ever make (spoiler alert – not only will you re-ignite your passion for work, but you will meet the love of your life in the process!).
I don’t want to say too much more. Part of what makes this life so grand is that we never know what’s coming next and I don’t want to ruin the mystery for you. But, allow me just one last piece of advice: if you are so inclined, please re-think the decision to wear those tight jeans to your first job interview.
All my best, your older self