Dear 15 years old myself,
It might come as a surprise to you but we are about to turn 25 in a next few months! Yes honey, we made it out alive till 25. Certainly a lot has changed in these past 10 years but we surely are breathing and apart from a low level of hemoglobin in our system, we are a owner of a healthy body. We still love painting our nails with chic colors, we have evolved a bit (not much) in fashion sense and we still look as pale as some Asian horror movie ghost. I know we had assumed so many things might’ve happened by the time we hit 25; so many achievements and much more successes. We imagined we would be in a state where we would be content with ourselves and in a better position by our mid-twenties. I assure you that we are. We are happy and have found our own joy… just not how we had expected 10 years ago.
Here me when I say that our dream to step outside into the world did come true. We celebrated our 19th birthday in England, miles, oceans and countries away from home. You should be proud to hear that we took the flight all by ourself and although it did hurt to say goodbye to Mom and Dad for the first time, they knew that we would be just fine. We saw our first snow, the sea and so many beaches. The breathtaking scenery of Durdle Door, the hills of Wales, the vastness in the Isle of Wight, the atmosphere of London, the themed cafes of Manchester, the getaway weekend in Brighton, the ancient castles…. we experienced them all. We were taken to South Africa by the University and though that cost us a hefty amount, Mom and Dad were extremely supportive towards the decision. They said that the experience counts and they sure were right. With the wilderness and the blessing of being surrounded with nature for 19 days everyday, somewhere in between the jungle rides and the rain to beat the heat, perhaps we found a purpose, a meaning to what we were doing with our life.
Although it took us some time, we did adjust in a foreign land and slowly adapted to cultural barriers. We started viewing some orthodox culture that prevailed in our society through a different perspective and blended into few of the newly accustomed ones in a new land. And we made friends… oh such great friends. We made friends from different countries – England, Turkey, Spain, America – and we enjoyed exchanging information regarding traditions originating from our homelands. Some ended up being just a name from the friend list, some ended up becoming more than friends, rather a family. One stood out among all, and as we relied on her to find a home away from home, she found composure in us amidst her chaos. She became a sister, a confidant to go to whenever things were not right, whether it was personal or literally just the unstable weather. She took all our ranting with grace and we will forever be grateful to have met her.
Like we had always wished, we earned our own money. Along classes and endless assignments, we worked for our pocket money. I will be honest though… we sucked in the beginning and we got picked on for being a bit too slow to catch up with the job. But all those remarks didn’t let us weaken our determination to get things right and within a year, we aced the job. We got extremely fast with whatever we did, doing three people’s tasks all on our own. We didn’t expect much from what we did, but still got promoted. Never faltering in our performance despite the elevation, we earned true respect. We might’ve hurt co-workers’ feelings once in a while with our blunt mouth, but they still admired us for who we were. Yes, we remained straight forward throughout the time we worked there and without sugar coating anyone. we earned our rightful respect.
We fell in love my dear. What started with a friendship escalated to the kind of love we had always dreamed of. He saw all the dark side of us, the kind where we become the meanest bitch of all and called it our confidence. He saw our weaknesses in the days we cried our hearts out and consoled us without running away. Even through our weirdness he found a reason to love us. And boy did we love… with every piece of our heart. For once, we thought that it was in his arms, beside him that we belonged, that we had found a safe haven. We learned how to love unconditionally, to give all we had and yet feel like we aren’t doing enough. We fell in love hard my dear, a love that consumed us and we were absolutely fine in being consumed. We were perfect with him… until he left… to mend our broken heart all by ourselves.
Words might not be enough to explain the actual pain we felt after the heart break. The most I could tell you would be the feeling of wanting to take the heart out of the chest so it wouldn’t hurt as it did inside. Perhaps it was meant to hurt that way; after all we had designated him as our soulmate. We battled through the pain each day and for a while nothing really mattered. Then, we healed. We grieved on what we had lost and we healed from the pain that once seemed so unbearable. It wasn’t an easy road, but we walked through bravely and today we are thankful that he broke us only to make us realize that we were our own savior. The heartbreak was a turning point in our life, where we learned to love ourselves for the first time. Maybe he was our soulmate, who came in our life, shook us completely and left us so that we learn more about ourselves while we picked up our own pieces.
Had there not been a heart break, we would’ve never acknowledged some of the people in our life who were always there to stay. We reconnected to some who stood by us while we processed the loss. The best friend from our high school days sat beside us and cried for our tears like she always did, the friend we lost contact with fed us with the words of wisdom that our soul yearned, the dear cousin quietly felt our pain over the phone despite the miles separating us and for once, the nagging aunt had nothing to say but just sit by our side while we sobbed in agony. Sometimes we made a fool out of ourselves and trusted the wrong kind of friends who took advantage of our fragility. To them, we said goodbye and today we are strangers. But we also found a guardian who listened to us cry without asking why and in that moment, without saying a word, he made us feel understood the most. To him, we swore our loyalty and decided to never take him for granted.
Today, I am back in our parents’ home, in that same old room, writing to you to say that well… there is no high paying job for us. In fact, I’m not even sure how much they will pay me by the end of this month. We surely have lost weight but every clothing we earn are too big to flaunt our newly achieved figure. There isn’t any apartment with a nice view like we always wanted by 25 and the only pride we’re holding onto right now is that we don’t have to ask money with mom for some personal expenses.Yep, life has trickled back to where we stood 10 years ago and materialistically, there isn’t much of success.
Yet, we have succeeded. A lesson learned after every bitter (or sweet) moment, a self acknowledgement after every mistake made, gratification over every friendship earned and lost. We rekindled our dreams to travel all over again. We made friends with no prejudices. We learned that respect isn’t something you claim, but earn. We loved unconditionally and understood that sometimes, even if it feels perfect, it isn’t meant for you. We felt heartbreak, embraced it without hesitation and came in terms that pain is the wisest teacher of all; you just have to be patient with it. We discovered that only the strongest people let go of a relationship, a memory, a friend or even a lover when it is too hard to hold onto. Although friendship was always special, we saw our loyalty being tested and we accomplished in regaining our faith in the bond towards out kins.
Alas! Life hasn’t been a stroll around the beach on a sunny day. We went through hell and still we survived. And no we are not only surviving; We live everyday, hopeful for a better tomorrow. Yes we let go of some dreams, memories and people. But we also have new dreams to achieve, beautiful memories to look forward to with the right kind of people. I admit, life has been a bitch. She took that innocent picture about love and replaced it with a whole different level of complexity: that love isn’t always enough, and neither is the undeniable chemistry between two people. She modified our views on living and brainwashed us by stating that “To survive doesn’t always mean you’re living”. But fret not my dear 15 year old self, because you have battled every circumstances and showed life who’s the bigger bitch in the game.
I am neither sure if you would be able to relate to any of the things I’ve written down, nor confident that you would understand the beauty in gaining the spiritual growth what we’ve achieved today. After all, you’re just a 15 year old teenage girl with expectations as high as those stilettos we wore for the first time (We ended up falling off the staircase miserably BTW). But do remember, that 15 year old teenage girl has grown into a wise 25 year old women today. Will her heart be able to hold onto the tranquility in the years to come? I guess we can only know when she writes to us…. ten years from now….
Your 25 years old self