It’s a pity love letters are traditionally only written to the objects of our romantic feelings, as this letter by Oy-Ling to her 12 year old self is one of the best love letters I’ve read. Read it and hopefully it will inspires you to pen one to your own younger, past self or perhaps your older, future self as well.
This is a letter that you’ll least expect and is probably just a tad weird, since I am your future self.
The year is 2010 and I’m sure this is quite a shock to you. I’m writing to you as you hit the interesting double digits of age and life; but before I start: I want you to read this entire letter at least twice; I then give you permission to go ahead and rip it to shreds.
As you write in your diary, tearing the pages with the tip of the pen clenched in your fist; or expand on your secret graffiti under the cupboard shelves in your bedroom, know that even though you may not believe me now, You Are Loved – by your family and the many friends you have, and will meet along your journey to 27 years of age. Even though it will annoy you that most will think of you as their mother hen, because you always look out and take care of them, especially during sickness (and hangovers…) nursing them back to health, this is an admirable trait to have. But there also comes a time when you (and I have to try to heed this advice even now) should take care of yourself more.
I promise that your extreme temper tantrums will stop eventually. This comes from keeping all your worries and doubts to yourself. The Oy-Ling of 2010 is brutally honest with herself and those around her, speaking her mind and heart, and (*shock horror*) seeking advice when need be. You will start to think about your past through sobs of self reflection and come to realise that there is no need to express your emotions with an abrupt “stomp stomp” assisted by a blood-curdling scream. Family, boyfriends, friends, and sometimes even strangers, are there to share burdens.
I know that you’re going through a tough time trying to understand why you were put here on this earth. You’ll eventually come to realise that we are all here for a reason, and that everything in life happens for a reason, even the tragic and unfortunate events. All the hiccups and mountains, the happy times and hardships, make you the honest, compassionate, spunky, creative person you will become. I can imagine your death stare as you read this letter, but as your future self I know this to be true.
Our parents’ adventure-filled life will have already injected dreams of travelling into your soul. You too will have many adventures. You’ll travel some of Asia, most of Europe and live on big and small islands. Your dreams should not stop at London or end with someone you think is ‘the one’! Dream new dreams and write your future, whilst knowing that you have one, even though it will be unexpected. Such is life! Live your life in the present and move on from your past.
As a woman closing in on 30 (that seems mega-old to a 12 year-old, doesn’t it?), I have come to realise that I’m quite comfortable with the person I have become and the decisions I have made. Life is not perfect and neither am I. Each year gets a little bit better than the year before, each day brings new lessons to open my mind. I am ever so grateful for all the beautiful souls that have wandered in and out my life, and for the sometimes strange and downright outrageous situations we’ve been through.
Oylingtjie, you’ll be happy to know that you still want to save the world, you will always be animal lover no. 2 (Animal lover no. 1 is actually living in Botswana working with and in nature every day!) and you are trying all sorts of dance and art!
I leave you with a quote from Robert Brault, “Looking back you realise that a very special person passed briefly through your life- and it was you. It is not too late to find that person again.”
The future awaits you,
Love-Clever Running Leaping Singing Water Box (Oy-Ling Talula Booth).