Dear 25-year-old me,

I hope you are doing well and have settled down with a good job. I hope you have found who you are and learned to love yourself wholly. I hope…

Bitch please.

Do you really think we are going to start this letter with all this wishful bullshit? We’re not writing another average dear me letter. We’re not being boring today. I’m writing to you because I want to remind you of this important stage of our life, that at 21 life has come to a point of no directness but you have stayed strong and given all what you’ve got. I want you to remember every single struggle we face, every tear we shed, every effort we make to overcome the disadvantages of our background and reach our goals so that at 25, or any year coming, you will be able to look back and see exactly how far we’ve gone, how tough we’ve had no choice but to become, and give ourselves the credits we — the kids that come from very little, damn well deserve.

Knowing us, I know you must have changed a lot. Because in only a few short years, as I was reading our old writing and note-to-self letters, I realized we have completely shifted our thinking and mindset. Back then, we were impulsive, irrational and lost. We were constantly obsessing about relationships and seeking validation from the people who meant nothing to us. We were so painfully desperate to be loved because we couldn’t love who we were. We had this vision of who we wanted to be but we never knew how to. The aftermath was inevitable — we made all sorts of mistakes and ended up paying a price we were always too young to afford.

The wonderful thing is that those mistakes, those scars, those suicidal thoughts and all the damn times we had to be our own hero and pick ourselves up, have given birth to this me and pretty safe to say, you too. Yes, I would be lying if I said I had no regret but it’s true that I’ve learned to accept the past and our wrongdoings because there’s really no point wasting our time otherwise. After all, they are our root and the thickness of our characters. They’ve guided us, sharpened us and narrowed the gap between who we are and the person we want to be. Finally, I don’t feel like I’m a fraud any more. I’m my own person and I can take good care of myself.

Today I have become very aware of my values and where I want to get to. I know I can’t have everything but I will make the most of what I could have. I also know it’s not going to be easy but please mark my words, I will make sure we try our best and never, ever, give up on our dreams. And you, 25-year-old me, listen. No matter how much you’ve changed and grown, you have to promise me one thing: never live life ordinarily. Never forget the passion that’s burning in your heart, your bravery, your rawness and all what’s beautiful about you. Never let anyone or anything take that away from you. Never be sorry for who you are. And stay focused.

There will be hardship. There will be obstacles. There will be days your mind takes you to a very dark place and you want to end everything but you need to remember that I have been there before. I understand it’s hard but look, I’m still standing, I’m standing for you so yes, you can do too. That being said, I trust you and I trust your judgements. I forgive you like I forgive myself because I know at any given time, we have made decisions to the best of our knowledge so there’s really nothing to think twice about. And after all, we’re only human. You have my permission to fuck up, to get tired and want to quit, to do what you want with your life as long as it’s where your heart leads you to.

Although I have taken care of most basic things we need, at this exact moment, we’re still in a haze about our future. However, I have a strong feeling that something good will come out of this. And even if it’s not now, we will make it happen at some point one way or the other. So don’t worry. Don’t take life or yourself too seriously. Have fun and enjoy every moment.

Your past loves you and I ask of you only one thing: stay strong and true to yourself.

Much love,

Me from 2015.