Dear Future Me,
I hope you’re happy. Yes, happy—and passionate, full of creative energy. Whether that energy translates into your writing or any other artistic form, I just hope that you’ve been nurturing the spark that lights up your life. I wonder if you still notice the beautiful minutiae around you—the static sparkling off television screens, the rare blue of an ocean at dawn, the pattern of skin when left to snowy atmospheres. I hope you do, regardless of how busy you get or the number of curveballs life throws at you.
I hope you’ve started embracing the imperfections of life. I won’t preach to you since you’re obviously older and wiser than me right now… But I really hope that you’ve learned to appreciate the fact that life is sheathed in uncertainties. And more than that, I hope that you haven’t entirely given up writing in pursuit of more… “profitable” ventures.
I wonder if you remember what you were like in the winter of your senior year. A bundle of zeal waiting to find her next creative avenue. A girl religiously dedicated to her magazine, editing and journalism ventures, and poetry blog. A student struggling through the uncertainties of the college admissions process and trying to swim past the ups and downs with limited success. Do you know what you were doing while writing this letter? You were sitting on the couch, your laptop on the couch’s arm, its battery draining as you tried to come up with words to describe your complex emotions. Season 2 of Seinfeld was playing in the background while your parents ate dinner and laughed at allusions you couldn’t completely understand. Seven different college essays were open on your laptop, and your printed-out IB Extended Essay was sitting two feet away, begging for your attention. You were hungry, but somehow writing this seemed miles more important than eating.
So, you’ll be graduating from college soon! That’s great, and it feels strange writing this—since this whole application process is just so unpredictable, and the thought of settling down at a college for four years seems incredible. But regardless of where you’re studying or what you’re doing, I hope you’re enjoying yourself. I wonder if you still watch Modern Family reruns or read Ayn Rand in your free time. I hope you’ve had the time (or will find the time) to go on those adventures you’ve dreamed about since middle school: going to Disney World with friends, scuba diving, getting the autographs of your favorite authors. Or actually, more than that… I hope that those dreams are still alive within you.
I hope you’re finding enough time to spend with your family. Your little sister would be in her first year of college, right? I’m sure both of you are extremely busy—but I hope you’ve vowed to meet each other whenever you get the chance. It’s odd that when you read this, she’ll be older than you were when you wrote this letter.
And most of all, I hope you’re not ignoring yourself for your grades or internships or activities. I wonder if you’re taking off time to love yourself. And by love, I don’t mean endless bubble baths or boxes of dark chocolate or wreaths of flowers adorning your desk (although those sound lovely, too). I want you to socialize with people who make you feel happy, to meditate for a few minutes everyday, and to tell yourself that you are good enough—no matter what you hear or how you’re feeling. You’re a proud, self-sufficient person—but don’t be too proud to ask for help when you need it the most.
2016 is over, and I’m amazed by how much I’ve grown since its beginning. And yet, I still feel like the person I was a year ago—just more self-confident and aware of the world around me. 2016 was probably the most important year of my life so far, but I’m sure the next few years will only grow in their importance.
Good luck for the new year. I have no idea what’s coming but am definitely curious. Just know that regardless of what lies down the road, you are capable and powerful. I have full faith in you; I just hope that you have faith in yourself. Don’t forget that, okay?
Richa Gupta, 17
Richa Gupta is a seventeen-year-old poet and blogger from Bangalore, India. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Moledro Magazine, and she enjoys reading for Glass Kite Anthology and Polyphony H.S.. Richa is also a blog contributor with The Huffington Post and Voices of Youth. When not reading or writing, she can be seen playing the piano or singing Hindustani Vocal.