Letter to My Younger Self

Yesterday I came out of a 14-day isolation period. Not that I had contracted Covid-19, but I was in close contact with someone who had this killer disease. At first, I was worried about being seriously ill but after two negative tests results, I was more bothered about my lack of freedom.

The only point of contact with the outside world was through my phone. Dependent on online shops and social media, I moved into survival mode. This wave of panic was getting out of hand. One knock on the door and the delivery man was already leaping out of sight. Beware of the invisible COVID sign, I was now the untouchable. Sigh!

“Life has many ways of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once.” – Paulo Coelho

This daunting time was not going to disappear overnight. I needed to do something, take back control of my life and avoid depression. I was sure life would be different if I had a plan. I recalled memories of happier times. This time last year I was preparing for my trip to Rome, and the year before that to Mother Russia.

Unfortunately, I have an annoying habit of leaving something behind during my holiday – not intentionally of course. I accidentally left my house keys at the hotel reception in Rome. I only noticed when I got back home in the middle of the night and could not get in.

I was upset of course but a few days later after getting a new set of keys, I was able to laugh at my stupidity. I even shrugged the whole incident off when the hotel failed to return my keys. A key can easily be replaced. No big deal. Life goes on.

Had it happened ten years earlier, my mental state would have been affected. My life would have been ruined. I am older and more experienced. I can deal with disasters and have learned to control my emotions instead of letting them control me.

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That’s why they call it the present.” – Deepak Chopra

How I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self not to worry when faced with decisions and choices. How I would tell ‘mini me’ that there would be no success without failure and not to beat myself up when I made mistakes. I would tell my younger self that life is a journey full of adventures, hop on and enjoy the ride.

I wished I had known everything I know now when I was 18 – the age of independence yet so fragile and naïve. How I wish I had followed my passion and not let someone else dictate my future. Not to settle for second best but strive to become the best. How I wish Cupid did not use my heartstrings to make chord for his lyre. Being single is not a curse.

“Homo proponit, sed Deus disponit” – Man proposes but God disposes

The future is not set in concrete. It is okay to change path when we find ourselves on the wrong one. Covid-19 has brought the whole world to its knees. Plans and hopes have gone up in smoke – dreams shattered, replaced by a fear of dying. Social gathering is frowned upon. We now live in our own bubble to the point of being unsociable.

A little advice from my older, wiser self

So, my dear younger self, I encourage you to throw caution to the wind. Be more courageous and take risks. What would be the point of sacrificing yourself when the future is uncertain? Do not feel rejected and insecure because of peer pressure. You cannot be what everybody wants you to be. Instead, learn to love and respect yourself. Life is a wonderful game. You just need to know how to play it.

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