On my last visit to the homeland just a week ago, that recognisable feeling of nostalgia crept in, as it often does on visits back. I guess being away makes my memories of places and people stagnant and I tend to reminisice of the good old days. Heck, the small sign outside my bedroom door “Princess sleeping” is still up there. Gone are my lie in days – this princess is definitely not sleeping these days, what with my sleep-allergic, morning-loving boys.
I think of my friends and high school mates and think of how our lives have panned out. Certainly for many, it didnt pan out as we perhaps imagined it to be when we were 16. Loss of loved ones. Heartbreaks (and all that comes) from the loss of a long term relationship and marriage. Career changes and career losses. And perhaps just the direction of life (and certainly for me, body). Is it just me still being clueless on handling mine or other’s life big problems? I bluff my way through hoping I’ve done and said the right things.
Imagine all those times during high school and wistfully looking at the pretty girls and popular girls (oh my extrovert friends! How I wished to be them and be like them!). And being shy and certainly feeling dorky around the cute boys. And now, as I am comfortable in my own skin and happy with my self worth, think how funny it was to feel that way.
I wonder if we wrote a letter to our 16 year old selves, what would we like to say.
For me, it would be to not worry on looks, popularity and to relax on thinking of class ranks and exam scores (I was always wanting to be top 10 in the year but never did!). Work hard yes, but mostly work smart. And believe in yourself a little bit more. Dear young one, it took you another 16 years to finally believe this and perhaps it would save up all those tears, self doubt and self criticism.
But I guess, going through those dorky, awkward stages is a must. After all, I do believe what (and how) you went through will shape who you are.