"The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at broken places," - Ernest Hemingway
|one of my favourite writer of all time with his cats|
Recently, my mentor came up to me and said, "Hey, I found someone who reminds me of you," I thought to myself, "How cute," then he said, "She's a damaged girl too,"
To be honest, such statement is not something you expect to hear in any given circumstances, even more when you are struggling with patching 'broken places' of your own. But it managed to strike a chord in me and a frail, 22-year old girl in tight blouse and oversized knee-length skirt manifests in front of me. She's waiting for the bus at 7:30am sharp, as always, thinking about the crisp thosai breakfast she might have from a shop opposite the office, if public transportation ever comes on time in this country. Suddenly, the ground shakes and loud screeching comes out from every vehicles on the crowded road, every thump of the brake pedal being pushed brings out a long wail. She struggle to grab on to a solid structure and keep on standing in the dizzying state, "Going to work without breakfast can do this sometimes," she thinks to herself and manage to hold on to the lamp post next to the bus stand as she recovers her breath. The bus finally emerges from a distance, like a mysterious wayfarer in the heavy smog of carbon dioxide, dust and construction debris. She hop on the bus, not knowing that in a few hours time she will be taking the same bus again to an unexpected stop.
"She's still young, only 22. I want you to talk to her and help her,"
It struck a chord in me. Will talking to someone who remind others of a younger me be of any help to her? It struck a chord in me. If someone had intervened for me when I was that age, would I be in a better state and place by now?
The late night conversation hover over me for the next few days and as I stare into the monitor, my fingers dance on the keyboard following a combination of memories and lessons I've gathered in my short, young life; a combination that weaves a rhythm only my heart can understand. I start to write a letter addressed to my younger, then 22-years old self. And if I'm given the opportunity to go back in time and talk to her, this is what I will say:
I know times are hard, more often than not, it has always been but perseverance and patience will take you places, so hold on to that. Listen, honestly, listen to yourself. Listen to your intellect and instinct. These two are powerful gifts that will guide you and most importantly, protect you.
There are good people in this world. Learn to see that everyone is beautiful in their own way and there is goodness in them. But know, that there are bad people too. Sometimes they can be the people you trust most, so be careful.They might present themselves as your saviour but a wise woman knows that there is no saviour for her than herself and if anyone tries to tell you otherwise, go back to the lethal combination. Most often that not, they are lying anyway. Look, they can't even save themselves.
There are times when you will fall—that your heart and mind just refuse to co-operate—don't go for the easiest option even when you have never feel more unloved than at that moment. Trust me, it will get better.
This could be the hardest thing that you need to do but learn to love the reflection you see in the mirror every day. Don’t wait for the so called ‘one’ to come and show you what love is. He’s not going to come, not anytime soon, at least. And the only way to attract the right ‘one’ is to learn to love yourself first. Learn to open your heart to yourself, know your worth and then, only then you can open yourself for others. It doesn't work in reverse and usually when it does, the results are ugly. You know that. Often the ugly you see in you are just the manifestation of your fears. They are unreal. They need to be conquered so do it and your will emerge stronger.
Lets move on to the second hardest thing to do then...Forgiveness. It takes courage and a big heart to be able to forgive those who hurt and betray you. But nothing can be of better benefit for you, nothing is more liberating than to forgive yourself.
The decisions you make in the next few months will change the course of your life. Choose the path to take and choose the best path for you.
People are in your life for reasons that sometimes goes beyond your imagination. Respect that and know that the people are in your life to teach you lessons and sometimes they are not meant to stay.
Give yourself the benefit of the doubt. Be courageous and take responsibility of your own actions.
Life is fleeting every second. Don’t spend it in the past. What’s over is over. Everyone has a secret wish to turn back time if they can, so do you, but be brave to brace the future. It will get better. have I told you that?
Stop worrying about the big things you can’t control. Do the small things and do them good.
Your endless curiosity is a gift. Don't stop wondering about everything and write about them. be consistent too.
Read. Read. Read. That’s the only path to good writing.
By about this age, you will wonder about the kind of woman you want to be. Lacking guidance from adult women in your life and limited interaction with those of your peers with experience, it is imperative that you thread into the wilderness adventure of maturity on your own. It will require several big steps but unless you do it now, you will have to face it eventually when you are older. So do it now.
A grieving heart is a heart on the path to be strong and courageous. Don't dwell in the negative that surrounds you. Keep your heart open for every possibilities. Know that vulnerability, openness is the key to give and receive love. The greater you want it to be, the more open you must become.
Good luck :)