A Letter To My 22-Year-Old Self

envelope with flowers
Photo: Katerina/Unsplash

Dear 22-year-old Mina,

I know things are not exactly as okay as you would hope, but trust me, it’s not going to be like this forever. In fact, I am writing to assure you that things will be a lot easier in the future. They are going to be so great that you will find it hard to believe they are real. It will even get to a point where you’ll simply find yourself crying out of happiness.

One of these moments will happen after one of your morning workout sessions seven years from now. During your last few minutes on the treadmill, a familiar song will play on your phone, and suddenly, you’ll realize how far you have come.

By then, you will be married to the love of your life — a man who will always respect the boundaries you have set for yourself, appreciate you for who you are, and bring out the best in you. You won’t have to tend to his needs as though they were more important than yours, and because of that, you will have enough time and energy for yourself and the things that matter to you. Instead, he will always be there to cheer you on, and he’ll do his best to make things even easier for you.

Together, you will live in a nice apartment in the heart of the city you have always loved — the city that has taught you to dream bigger. Life will be comfortable, so you won’t have to worry whether there’ll be food on the table the next day. You will have two adorable cats, and you will be amazing fur parents to them.

At the same time, you’ll hold a job you will genuinely love, and it will allow you to pursue other things that matter to you — a master’s degree in your alma mater, literary projects into which you will pour a much love and wisdom you can, and other passion projects that will make your life even more interesting and inspiring. You will be on your way to healing, and you will have healthier habits, too. You’ll be kinder to yourself as well.

On that morning, you will take a look back at your many younger selves, including the one who cried a few days before her university graduation because she still couldn’t afford all the fees she had to pay before she could march. You will also remember the version of you who once cried in a club because she felt so unwanted by someone she thought was a great man but wasn’t at all. You will be reminded of those times you tried to find comfort in strangers, not even minding the risks, because you were simply desperate for care and attention. You will remember them all, and though you will feel sad about how bad things used to be, you’ll also find comfort in the fact that you’re in a good place now. And of course, you will also be proud of yourself for not giving up and for having made it.

When you get to that point, you will also learn to accept that just because things are great at the moment doesn’t mean they are about to fall apart. You will understand that you deserve all the happiness you have, and you deserve even more. That’s why, instead of worrying about impending doom — something your circumstances have always taught you to expect when things suddenly feel so right — you’ll choose to enjoy the moment and embrace the fact that though it sometimes feels like the world is against you, it actually isn’t.

It doesn’t mean, however, that there won’t be hardships and pain anymore. There will still be. But, unlike before, you will be more equipped to deal with them because you’ll be stronger and wiser by then. And you won’t have to face them all alone.

So, hang in there. And while you do that, continue being the fierce person you already are. Stay kind but take shit from no one.


30-year-old Mina

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