To me at 23

A letter to my 23 year old self

Relax. Pause. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Your friend just landed a career making gig. Your other friend started a business and you can already see the profit accumulating. You look at yourself and feel like you don’t even know what you want to do with the next five minutes of your life, let alone the next five years. You’re anxious. You’re feeling like time is running out. You feel like you’re getting left behind. Well, relax, pause and don’t put so much pressure on yourself.

Remember the picture of the iceberg. You see the white tip sticking out of the water and it looks like a small floating piece of ice, and yet beneath the water is a huge boulder so big that you can’t see where it begins or ends. This is a metaphor for the friends you are comparing yourself with. You see only the surface. If you go deeper, you will find that there is a lot more to what you see. There is luck, there is privilege, there is circumstance and there is sacrifice. The same is true for you. You have been through a lot that only you know about and yet when people see you they only know the little you are willing to show them.

The truth is that you cannot compare your journey to that being travelled by another person. You are made to be strictly unique. Even if you had a twin, a carbon copy, you would not be the same. Your beauty is in your difference. So, allow yourself to breathe and do not compare yourself to anyone else. You’re only racing against yourself. When you reach your finish line, you will be the only one who can account for the journey.

So, make it count. How? Slow down. Take stock. Appreciate your blessings. Think about what you really want. Decide. Plan. Don’t be afraid to wait. Stillness speaks volumes. Allow yourself to listen. There are lessons to be learned here. Try move at someone else’s pace and you could learn the hard way. Take it easy on yourself for a bit. Life will test you when the time comes. Be prepared.

The best is yet to come. Keep the faith and work on your routine. It will all make sense soon.



Getting back onto your own path

At times it may seem like you’ve lost your way. This may not be the case. You might have just allowed yourself to stray onto the path of another. Or even allowed yourself to be pulled onto the path of another. However, all is not lost. There is a fundamental difference between a car driving down a path not knowing where the path  may lead and you walking your own path. The difference is an in built form of GPS, though you may get lost a couple of times. Your destination does not change despite the route you may take, and this is not an allusion to the state in which our lives end these days in terms of death as an eventuality. Rather, this is an indication of your ability to reroute and realign your steps to your destiny. Some detours seem like wonderful ideas until we encounter potholes that were not meant for the kind of tyres we’re running on. You may hit a giant ditch Every time you try to speed up and may not even realize that this is not through your own doing, it is just that you’ve veered off the path designed especially for you, thinking that a detour with a more experienced driver may lead to quicker results but soon realize that it doesn’t work this way. Like the saying goes, if you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together. The one part that is not mentioned is that together you may go far off in the wrong direction. You may do little and still find that you are so wrong that it hurts. In your unintended wake, you may leave behind corpses that were never meant for your eyes to behold nor your soul to encounter. That’s when you realize that you should’ve actually said “no” when the opportunity presented itself for you to take a quick detour. But don’t fret, we all have that built in GPS and though it may take us a bit longer, we will arrive at our destination.