Dear 26-year-old me,
Hi. This is me, the 21-year-old version of you. I wonder what kind of life you’re living right now. What industry are you in? What company are you working for? Maybe you started your own business? Or maybe you decided to live an unconventional life? Do you (finally) have a boyfriend? What’s he like? Or maybe you’re gay and have a girlfriend? I won’t judge you, if that’s the case. Or maybe you’re romantically interested in boys/girls younger than 18? …Let’s have a little chat about that later on. How’s life been treating you? How’s your family? Are you happy where you are?
In case you forgot who I am, well – hi. I’m Kring, and I’m a fresh graduate. Right now, I’m working as a freelancer, writing for Gatorade; they send me to different places to write stories. I think it’s one of the coolest, best-est, jobs I can ever have, because writing is my first love, even though I’m no expert at it.
I hope you’ll surprise me. I hope that when I see you, Kring, I’ll see you working hard to achieve your dreams. Whatever those dreams may be—right now, it’s to become a writer or a TV host, and do a little bit of drawing every now and then—I hope that you’re still working hard and walking the path towards your ambitions. I hope you’re not stuck in an office. I hope that you don’t love your job because you’re FORCED to love it; I hope you don’t love your job because it’s the only option you have. I hope you’re living the amazing life.
Remember your college days? It wasn’t extraordinary, wasn’t it? Admit it, you floated your way through college—never caring about anyone, too lazy to join anything; you just went to class then headed straight home. You thought your university was overrated, but then, at the last minute, you realized that you though it was so because you didn’t take the time to appreciate the fullness of it. If you want to know: your 21-year-old self feels bad about it. I feel bad that I never soaked anything in during my 4 years in university.
I hope you’re more of a go-getter now. I hope you aren’t lazy and have learned to say yes to every opportunity. I hope you’re less manipulative and more genuine. I hope that the “real world” hasn’t poisoned your mind into thinking that you need to spin your words and ass-kiss your way to the top. Please prove your 21-year-old self wrong.
Do you ~finally~ have a boyfriend? Is he your first? If he isn’t, I’d be a little surprised; I know you’re a little incredibly hard to get. What is he like? Is he handsome (by your standards)? Is he rich? Is he old? Will he die soon? Did you go over his last will and testament? KIDDING. Seriously, though: what is he like, and how on earth did he manage to woo you? My guess is that you two became very good friends—best friends, maybe—before you got together. If that’s the case, then congratulations—that’s the most romantic thing that could ever happen. You have made your 21-year-old self proud. Tell him I said hi. (Oh, and in case you’re gay…then just replace all the he’s with a “she”. I’d be confused, but I know that if you do turn out to be gay, it’s because you thought about it very, very, very carefully.)
If the above paragraph does not apply to you, then it could mean any of the following: you’re married, heartbroken, happily single, still single, or a paedophile. If it happens that you’re:
Married. I seriously hope you didn’t marry at 23 or something; I was planning for you to get married at 28. But congratulations, you finally found the man/woman for you! Now, a tip: be very prepared before getting pregnant. Once you have a child, there are some sacrifices that you have to make, like your freedom. Enjoy your husband/wife for now <3
Heartbroken. I’m so sorry to hear about that. I don’t know how it feels, but it must feel terrible. Please don’t think about jumping off a building.
But really, in case you’re hurt—so hurt that even your body reels in pain—remember: there is a reason for everything. Life has a way of putting things together. You may not understand why you’re going through whatever it is you’re going through right now, but there will come a time when everything will make sense. You’ll understand your heartbrokenness’ place in the entirety of your existence; you’ll see that it was made for a purpose. Be it to make you stronger, to prepare you for greater things, or for something else entirely, your emotional ache will help you become someone far more awesome. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?
Happily single. That’s fine. At least you experienced being in love. Travel while you’re emotionally unattached!
Still single. Holy baloney, are you freaking nun?! I thought you’d have someone by now! But in case you still don’t…then that’s cool. You’re probably not lonely, anyway. That’s probably by choice, not chance.
If you’re still an SSB (Single Since Birth), then remember: while you’re alone, commit to being the best version of yourself. Focus on your talents; spend your energy creating something from your mind, from your hands. That, in my opinion, is the best way for you to get to know yourself. When you do just that and someone comes along, you needn’t rely on that person to find yourself. You’ll be the best Kring you can be.
A paedophile. I know you want encouragement, but NO. That’s just wrong. Never EVER think that liking someone below 18 can be morally acceptable. And don’t spew some “I’ll wait for him/her to be of legal age!” crap on me. You’re 26—you can’t wait for someone that young. Besides, by the time it’s socially acceptable to date that kid (whoever he is), you’re probably past the age of delivering healthy babies. And you know that you want to have healthy babies.
I talked too much about love, didn’t I? Moving on…
I have some requests. Don’t worry; these requests are for your own betterment. In case you’re far from what I expected you to be, then listen.
My lovely, 26-year-old me, please never stray. In case you have, remember: you needn’t start from scratch. The scratch, after all, is with me—and I’m building it carefully so that whatever I hand to you is strong; so strong that it could weather any storm and stand any pain. You have what you need, trust me—just look around carefully. Never be blinded by the world other people have built.
Please follow your dreams, and never think that your age is a factor. If you hate your job, quit it; if you feel like it’s taking you nowhere you hoped you’d be, then ditch it and go somewhere else. You might disappoint people, but remember: what matters are your feelings towards yourself. What’s the use of pleasing people when you feel like you’ve put yourself down? Follow the path of your ambitions. I promise: it will be so worth it. It will be so fulfilling that your eyes will get teary with happiness. Never be afraid of the journey that you’ll have to take to get it.
Lastly, please have compassion towards everyone. Each person is fighting his or her own battle, so never judge someone just because they did something that’s not to your liking. After all, you have your faults, too; and you’ve probably done some weird things which, if you didn’t know the story behind them, would disgust you to the high heavens. Learn to understand, learn to be patient, and know that each person has something unique to offer.
26-year-old me, I have so much faith in you. So much that I’m investing all my time and effort into making you a super amazing, awesome woman who lives by her standards and upholds her values. I cherish you so much that all I think about is how to make you better, how to make you live the life you love. Please never disappoint yourself. You’re worth more than you think.
So, how about answering the questions I asked from the very beginning? I might not know the answers at this moment—April 27, 2012—but like I said for the nth time, I’m excited. You’re amazing, really amazing. I can’t wait to be you. Stay golden.
With all my love and faith,
dear to the 21 year old kring, you are one of the best writer i know. you always have been (with all that weird stories you use to make back in grade 6) this letter made me think. laugh. inspired. (don’t worry too much about your love life..do tell me when you meet that guy or girl, i’ll tell him/her something :) ) you know, your 26 year old self will be very proud of you. ~ceanji