Dear past me, don’t run away…
It’s 7pm, and I’m guessing you’re still in bed after aimlessly scrolling on social media that make you feel like your body is not toned enough and that you aren’t having as much fun as other people your age. You woke up, and it was dark. You decided you were going to stay in bed all day.
I understand. Some days just feel like this. Perhaps your coffee isn’t as nice as yesterday’s one; maybe you’ve woken up with a headache, or the day is a bit too gloomy for your liking. I understand that these menial aspects of life trigger you to hibernate in the safe space of your bed. I understand that your mental state is bad right now, as it has been for the past few years. Every day you wake up in a vicious cycle, constantly sleeping and doing nothing, yet feeling drained at the end of the day.
When you have these waves of depression, even waking up is an instant battle you are not ready to fight, confronted by reality and the thoughts and feelings that navigate your life. The feeling of running away is subjective and consuming: it does not allow you to acknowledge the coexisting truth that you are not getting any younger, and no one except you can live out your days.
I understand that at 14, you were bewildered by these negative emotions, your once glistening and hopeful mind now tainted with feelings you cannot understand. At 16, you had to go to school with this sadness dominating your consciousness. You saw the life teenagers your age should have had in coming-of-age films and were drained with your reality. At 18, you thought you were different, in a bad way. The narrative that you would outgrow this phase of sadness by adulthood and flourish did not seem the case with you. You decided to hang on because you thought it would get better, but it hasn’t.
But it does get better! And I am not just saying this. The misconception you’ve been holding onto is that change does not come without the choice of progression. Instead of allowing your feelings to consume you, maintain a mindset of presence. Say yes to the present. Yes, you would love to go to a yoga retreat, make a smoothie, or read for hours. Do not run away from the future. Yes, you are not getting any younger, but you are also building the life that your older self cherishes.
If you sit in bed all day, you won’t experience the extreme joy that matches this pain. You won’t go on nights out with your best friends and cry euphoric tears together when you are all home. You won’t be able to cook the recipes of your childhood and explore your culture in cities you have never been to. You won’t see Lana Del Rey in concert, which is your lifelong dream. You won’t go to festivals and unique restaurants and wear clothes that are authentically you. You won’t be able to view your bed as a place of rest rather than a pit of gloomy escapism, and, most importantly, you won’t hear your parents say they are proud of you when you graduate from university.
All these things are worth it. You might be stuck in this situation for a while, but your potential is not going anywhere. I am excited for what’s to come for you and will be so proud of every small accomplishment on the way.