You made it this far, you are a champion, a warrior whose scars document the events of years past. You have fought bullies and won and kicked abuse in the teeth. You have proved that your past does not define who you are as a person. I want to congratulate you on surviving your teenage years and learning to stand up for yourself because you are not that little mouse any more. Remember those days when you used to surround yourself with people you knew that hated you because you were afraid of being alone. You were pushed around and called names, made fun of because the bullies saw you as a target. They told you that they bullied you because you were a pushover and you thought to yourself what kind of excuse is that? I never made you bully me but I saw through all your insecurities, I realize now at the age of 22 that the people I called my friends during secondary school were never real friends and asides from two- Nazifa and Kiran- the others are history, ashes to dust.
You will enter university a new woman, putting men behind you and focusing on yourself for once. There will be hardships, of course there will be but grit your teeth and get on with it because you are so much stronger than they are ever be. You will learn to put your trust issues aside and meet friends who will be there for you to the very end. Watch out for C, S, T, A, and D because these people will make your life a living hell, don’t let them win and persevere to prove everyone wrong. Because at the end of those three years you will stand there, surrounded by friends and family with your too big grad cap and your billowing gown, bursting with anxious pride… in time you will realize that university was just the beginning, there is a whole adult life ahead of you. You look at the twenty two year old you in puzzlement as you exclaim ‘ I am already an adult’ but just you wait there are more surprises in store. There is less love during these years, a few unrequited crushes, several dickheads but each time you realize you are better off alone. Those guys who used you are long gone and you feel free for the first time in life. You fall in love with other things instead; feminism, campaigning for social issues and you start blogging.But alas you get sick, you are worried but people tell you it is nothing. But you know that they are wrong and time seems to be grinding to a halt. You can’t sleep, barely eat and every waking moment is filled with pain. Stop being so negative people will tell you but don’t listen to them because you have every right to be worried. Doctors will be left scratching their heads and people will be ignorant to your pleas. Never give up because one day the pain will slowly fade and you will be left stronger and happier than before. Your mental health will come into question and you will spend many dark days alone too scared to tell people what is wrong. You will be made to feel like your mental health is a burden and you will be blamed for other peoples wrongdoing. But still, never give up. Stay as positive minded and as bubbly as you once were and when the days get long and the night gets rough just remember that I, your future self will always watch over you no matter what. Over the years you will experience heartbreak and loss and find yourself in frightening situations that you thought you had escaped but hold your head up high because I promise you the only way up is down.
You will find yourself again through blogging; remember when you used to follow blogs as a teen, hoping one day that you would make it? You already have, you sow your seed and reach out to the thousands of people who read your blog every month, comforted by the knowledge that for the first time in your life your voice is being heard. Remember all the rejection you got by publications who refused to hire you because they thought you were too young? Don’t get downcast because no matter how many rejections you get, your blog will be the one thing that you can fall back on and that blog will be the legacy you leave behind as you leave teenhood. You used to keep diaries, private diaries that you wanted no one to read and now those diaries are public. You will feel liberated because for the first time there is no secrets between you and the rest of the world. You will ask yourself why you didn’t do this sooner but let me tell you the time is right. You will find your voice and the image you want to project. Within mere weeks you are working with brands you admired from afar and its not long before your blog wins two awards, an honour for someone who used to think she was a loser. Well stop it, you are not a loser and never have been ; you are a bright young spark with a zest for living life to the fullest and don’t let the demons take your bubbly enthusiasm away from you.You will find yourself tested by the people you once loved like your own but you must brush them under the carpet and focus on yourself for once. I know you used to feel guilty about self-care and looking after yourself but being sick will make you realize that life is a precious commodity and should be spent with your ‘last day’ in mind. You will officially adult and rent your own room in London for the first time in your life, closer to the things you love and you will feel elated. Your financial difficulties will be paramount but instead of letting it bother you like you once did you will remain calm and grounded, remembering that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. You will outweigh the good with the bad and realize that the best things in life are free; love, friendship and solidarity. You will find a sisterhood and meet friends who will always have your back.
Then there will be the friends who you have never met but will always be there for you even across the vast stretches of oceans that lie between you. You will fall asleep tired but satisfied knowing that for once in your life the time is ripe and that dreamless sleep will lead you into a new tomorrow where we will meet again,Until we meet again dearfriend,
Yours Ana Aged 22
What Would You Tell Your Past Self?Shop The Look: Necklace & Bracelet- Jewellery Box, Kimono- Apricot ( Sold Out) Vest- Primark