Dear younger self…(Part 2)

Dear younger self 2

Welcome to this week’s blog. As promised last week, I’m posting the second and final part of the “Dear younger self” series. I hope you loved the first one as much as I did and I hope you love and learn from this one too.

Putting this one together was emotionally challenging as seeing people become honest and open with themselves is beautiful in as much as it is overwhelming. Without dragging, I’ll go right into the last of the responses. Also, if you didn’t read part 1 of this series, I suggest you do that before you read this one. I know that’s a lot of reading but it will give a better understanding on what exactly is going on here.

  1. “I would honestly say, ‘Life is going to get harder, enjoy everything you have now. Enjoy the people you have around you and cherish every single one of them. Life isn’t easy at all but I promise you’ll get through it. Just remember to count on God always and you’ll be fine.'” (20-24 years)
  2. “Insecurity. There is such a negative connotation attached to the word that you would think that it’s obscure when in actual fact every single person has battled with or battles with it. My insecurities mainly stemmed from the fact that I felt sub par and like I didn’t really fit in. I never talked about my insecurities and the isolation only gave them room to grow and overshadow some of my best qualities. I often felt like I was alone when I definitely wasn’t. I had and still have some amazing friends and family so the advice I would give myself where this is concerned would be to think about all I have. I’d just make sure to let myself know that I’m just as valuable as everyone else and that I wasn’t alone in feeling insecure. My personal growth has put me in some uncomfortable places emotionally and mentally but I’ve had a lot of help along the way, some of the best advice being to ‘work on my emotional intelligence.’ Learning about yourself absolutely makes learning about other people and dealing with their emotions so much easier and I will be eternally grateful to my family, in particular my mother, and friends for allowing me to grow (including the girl that runs this blog) and pushing me to be the best version of myself.” (20-24 years)
  3. “I would tell younger me to live in the moment simply because every single one is gonna be worth it eventually and the Owner of our script finished before He started.” (15-19 years)
  4. “Be content with what you have now. Believe that life can be better than what it is now. Discipline YOURSELF and do good. Self is capable of doing evil and this can break your relations with God and people. Life will give you suffering in different forms-being teased about your appearance, being treated unfairly by friends or family, and failing at something. Suffering is inevitable but you can CHOOSE not to remain in a state of suffering. Ask for help. Accept the situation, not necessarily agreeing to it. It’s not easy to do but you have to try to. Believe in your looks and appearance. As young people we compare our looks to each other. Believing that we are beautiful and accept ourselves helps a lot with building self-esteem/ confidence and avoid peer pressure that seeks to please. (30+ years)
  5. ” One thing I’d tell my younger self is that it’s okay not to please everyone. Not everyone and everything requires your attention. You are enough and you don’t need the validation of others to get through life. Mistakes will be made yes but everything is a lesson. You are beautiful. You are strong. You are wise. You are enough.” (15-19 years)

That’s the last of the responses I got. It’s amazing how we are able to look back in our lives and identify points where we could have done better or identify points of growth. At every stage in life there are lessons to be learnt and that’s what makes this journey exciting. To my fellow young people, we will go through struggles and we will go through challenges. Some will seem harder to go through than others but one thing I can assure you is that some how we will get through this.

Thank you to everyone who took time out to respond and take part in this challenge with me. I had an amazing time working with you and learning from your experiences.

This is the end of this week’s blog and the “Dear younger self” series. If you loved this, follow the page, like the post, comment your thoughts and jump on this challenge if you haven’t already. See you all next week.

love,

Wonani, Xx.

Dear younger self…(Part 1)

Younger self 1

First of all, apologies for my silence this last week and for the late post. I was busy with exams which thankfully came to an end at the beginning of the week. That aside, hello and welcome to this week’s blog!!!!

I’m so excited about this one! Every time I write something to post I wonder if people feel I’m too young to post such “lessons” about life. Like have I really lived long enough to be able to give advice or whatever it is I’m doing? My response to this is everyone has a story to tell. Regardless of age, size, race or whatever,every one has something to say. Your accomplishments and your mistakes can be lessons to someone else and so never feel intimidated to speak or to start something.

This week I embarked on a “What would you say to your younger self?” challenge. I asked people to jump on it and think of what they would say if they had a chance. I did not expect the large amount of feedback I got. People’s responses were amazing and deep. I could literally feel the emotion and honesty in some of the words shared. It was all so overwhelming. Due to the fact that I had so many responses, I decided to turn this particular blog into a series with two parts hence the “Part 1” in the title.

Everything I’m going to share here will be anonymous, apart from one where the writer gave permission to have his identity disclosed, with only age groups shown so that we can see and understand the fact that we all relate to each other one way or another regardless of age or point in life. I had a hard time putting this together as I was overcome with emotion half the time I wrote.

With that said, I want to encourage everyone reading this to read with an open mind and an open heart. Nobody is perfect. We are all just trying our best to live up to a certain level of perfection we have drawn out for ourselves. I learnt from each and every thing that was shared and I hope you do too as there is something to be learnt.

  1. “If I had a chance to speak to my younger self, I would tell myself that really,patience pays. I would tell myself not to rush into doing anything stupid just because the moment feels right. I would tell myself that living the ‘old-fashioned’ way is maybe better than this ‘new’ way. I would tell myself to cherish the love and wise words that come from my mom and dad because they really speak wisdom. I would tell myself to never lose confidence in myself, no matter what choices I make. I would tell myself to do things that make me happy, and not things that please others. Most importantly, I would tell myself never to doubt or forsake God despite any situation I face. I would tell myself to dare to be a Daniel (Biblical reference) and stand alone when everyone or everything else just isn’t right. I would tell myself to never feel abandoned, because I’ve got family, friends and a God that care for me. Also, I would tell myself to just tell my crush that I like him and get over it.” (20-24 years)
  2. “Well it would definitely be ‘Put yourself out there more kid, take risks, live life and go for whatever your mind sets to do!’ To explain more, I guess all I’m saying is there’s so much stuff I love that I buried back then because I was too serious with living according to the note. I hope that makes sense. Like I should have learnt how to play an instrument, taken my art thing more seriously and the like.” (20-24 years)
  3. “1. Just save your money. 2. Don’t think twice, think Thrice.”- Reuben M. (20-24 years)
  4. “Okay I would tell myself not to try impress friends or try to fit in with anyone who I don’t feel right about. I would have treated Sophie (my first girlfriend) better. I would have avoided being stupid to a lot of people and I would have told myself not to sleep with my ex because it wasn’t even a good experience. I would have been more hardworking in High School. I would have told myself not to go for girls that think they are better than everyone. I would tell myself to let go of everyone that made me feel less and just try being me without feeling like I’d be disappointing people. Forget thinking everyone I date is ‘the one’.” (20-24 years)
  5. “‘Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Think twice before choosing your friends over family. Body hair, pimples and your height will be the least of your worries. Change is good. Accept your reality. Tolerate what you don’t like. It won’t last forever. Strengthen your belief in God’s plan. Have patience, you are here for a better purpose than whatever you plan to do.’ Yeah sure I wish I was mentally prepared for a lot of things that happened but it’s because how unexpected life can be, I am where I am and who I am…you get?” (20-24 years)
  6. “Love God and love people. Until you begin to see people as God sees them, you can’t love them as He does. Growing up as a young person, life may seem so unfair especially when others seem to have it all (material things, good life, friends etc). You think others are more blessed than you are. But remember, your perception of having it all may be a distorted one. You think you are disadvantaged in a way. You know the way people start at life looks so different and YES it will also end differently. This is what should give you HOPE. What matters most is what happens between the start point and the end point. So, the decisions you make, the hope you have for the future, belief in yourself and the like will definitely change how your tomorrow looks like. It’s the will power that you have that will drive you to achieve your goals and live your dream…” (30+ years).
  7. “Tall, lanky and insecure. These are the most prominent words that come to mind when I think of my younger self. Sometimes I get introspective and reflect on my past experiences strongly trying to make sense of my reasoning and general behaviour when I was younger. ‘Was that really me or was I having an outer body experience leaving my body vacant?’ This is the question that always pops up. All jokes aside I feel like a completely different person. When I was younger I didn’t have the tools necessary to cope with life’s challenges and this would leave me feeling spent or incredibly low. I was quite defensive as a preteen and teenager. Social factors strongly influenced my feelings and perception of myself. Any talk of my appearance or one of my many quirks would set me ablaze. I didn’t have a short fuse. My fuse was microscopic! It sucked the joy out of my life in so many ways and so this brings me to my first piece of advice,’RELAX! It’s not that deep!’ This past flaw is the most in congruent with the me of today because I can’t imagine not making fun of myself or erupting into laughter when my friends pass a hilarious comment (in good fun of course) about me. Laughing is a gift from God that we should all embrace…- (20-24 years)

I will not add or subtract to what has been said but I will leave you to learn what you need to from this. Would you like to jump on this challenge too? Get your personal notebook or diary and write a Letter to your younger self. Read through it and learn whatever needs to be learnt from it.

If you enjoyed this piece, like the post,leave a comment sharing your thoughts and follow the page to see more posts from me. That’s it for this week. The second part of this series will be up next week.

Love,

Wonani, Xx.