So I came across this interesting fact the other day that says that the human body technically replaces itself every 7 years. Our old cells die and a new cell takes it’s place. Which basically means that you are now a new person than you were maybe 7 years ago! It’s a neat idea, isn’t it? I mean, every old cell of our body dying and getting replaced by a new, more street smart, more dynamic and a more youthful cell. So you can imagine how turning 20 resembles something phenomenal to a person. By this time, every 20 year old has been replaced by a newer version of themselves at least 2.9 times and they would be replaced 3 times completely when they turn 21. Okay, no, I am not here to impart biology upon your very clever minds but I guess what I am trying to say that I do believe in this idea ; even if it’s just a myth. This 20 year old version of me is like a parallel universe to my 7 or even 14 year old existence. We are the same person, sure. We might even resemble each other but yet we think so differently. Our priorities have changed so much and I know so much more about life than my previous versions.
If I ever got the chance , I would tell so many things to the ‘early me’. Here’s a brief summary of the 13 things that I would tell my younger self and hopefully she’ll be humble enough to listen to me and hear to what I’ve got to say :
Dear Younger Me, I know you are going through a lot. Every new assignment feels like the end of the world and every unanswered text or phone call makes you doubt your importance. You fall in love faster than you can say the word itself and you always end up with a broken heart. But you know what? Someday you will wake up and realize that these things are not at all important. Sure now they feel like the end of the world- everything does! But slowly , with time, every embarrassing moment becomes a funny story to tell your future friends, every heartbreak makes you stronger and every betrayal makes you wiser. I know how much you wanted me to visit you through a time machine and tell you that everything will turn out alright but they still haven’t made the time machine yet and I guess it will take some more time. So guess what, I am going to write you this letter and hope that through some divine cosmic co-incidence it reaches you when you need it the most.
So listen up! I’ve got some things to tell you.
1) Take it easy on yourself. I know that you hate your curly and unmanageable hair. You have been teased for your hair ever since kids started relating them to noodles and bird’s nests. I also know that you always sit and think to yourself about why you had to be so different. I know it all. I went through the same thing. But you know what? As you grow older, you and your hair will fall in love madly and deeply. It’ll all be like a romantic comedy, trust me. You guys are the couple who inspire big budget romantic movies.Really! And remember, for every person that has teased you for your hair there has always been one person who has complimented it and loved it.
2) Take better control of your body. I have seen you put your body through herculean tasks like making it stay awake till 3 am when it really needed rest, fed it all the junk you could find when really it needed nutrition and most importantly not exercised it when it need that 10 minute run. Yet somehow, it still hasn’t given up on you. It’s getting a little adamant with age and has been lately demanding it’s rights as a body but that’s okay. Once you treat it right, it goes right back to listening to you.
3) Don’t overeat just because you don’t want to waste food. I remember that you were scolded as a kid when you didn’t finish your plate and maybe rightly so. But give up that habit now. Don’t overeat. Don’t try to eat as much as you can. You are not in a competition. Give away the remaining food if you have to but learn to say no.
4) Cut Kiwis from the end (that is the end which has a broader base) . This way you won’t waste too much of the fruit.
5) Learn to be more dedicated to something that you take up. You are now a half guitarist & half an Indian classical dancer. That’s something.
6) Learn to fall in love with the ones that respect you and care for you. Learn to be friends before anything else. Love does not happen after a few stolen glances or few ‘meeting of they eyes’. You fall in love even before you’ve said hello and that always leads to you falling flat on your face.
7)Embrace your talents and never let someone tell you that your talents are not amazing enough. You’ll slowly discover that your passion for things makes you, you. Nurture them and they’ll nurture you right back.
8) Be proud of the way you look at life. You might walk in a way that’s different from the others and that’s important.Perfectly coordinated walks only implies that you are a pre-programmed robot who can’t think for herself. I mean who wants that?
9) Stand up for yourself. Learn to say no when you don’t agree with something. Learn to stand for those that do not have a voice. It’s one of the greatest joys.
10) Watch better cinema and read better literature! There are some real pearls of wisdom hidden in those things.
11) Wander away alone. There should be just one person on this trip with you- you. Travelling alone gives you that sudden rush of independence, that sudden rush of confidence, that sudden rush of adrenaline and that perpetual rush of happiness. It’s blissful.
To summarize, I’ve learnt that using my voice to not only express my feelings but also that of other’s is the most humbling experience ever. I’ve also learnt that it doesn’t matter how the world sees me, what matters is I how I see myself. But there’s one more thing I want you to do. I want you to live in the moment. I want you to know that life eventually does get easy. It’s like this constant cycle of good and bad times. When bad times come, take joy in the fact that good times are not too far behind.
Oh and also, just be you. Okay?
The 2.9 version of You.