There was nothing wrong. You were fine: A letter to the 22-year-old self

Dear 22,

Should I ask how you are now? It hasn’t been 24 hours yet I still wonder. I don’t feel distant although I believe I would soon feel that, just like how I feel disconnected from my other younger selves. Right now, I still feel your presence on the other side of the mirror. You stood there, with a look I still can’t quite figure, while I turned towards a foggy abyss, feeling determined and anxious at the same time. I wonder how you’re feeling. I wonder.. were you happy?

Remember last year’s 26th? You wanted to spend a normal day and tossed the meaning of June 26 out of your head. It is a day of reflection, but you were tired of thinking of the past. You’ve always seen June 26 as a special day, but you don’t know why. What you do know is that your mom could have decided not to have you. But there you were, sitting in your favorite spot in that old dusty library, staring at busts of dead people thinking how it felt to be like them. You eventually skipped your last period and went home.

Give yourself some credit. I should have told you so a long time ago, but I knew it wouldn’t mean the same if I did.What I didn’t know is how it could have turned your life around. Well, it’s never too late,is it? We were both afraid that those words would bring back the 9-year-old you–proud, uncompassionate and greedy. I remember my teenage self going through a lot to bury her. I should have realized being vigilant is a double-edged sword. Perhaps that could have saved you from all the confusion and from losing confidence.

You’re undeniably amazing for clawing your way out of a tough and confusing senior year with an honest heart. Words cannot express how much I owe you for getting yourself out of that university.  The whole thing sadly didn’t satisfy your wish to live happily anymore. I’m sorry it was that suffocating. Leaving was yours to cherish.

I’ll be forever thanking you for  letting God run your whole life. I’m glad you momentarily forgot how controlling your mom and sis could get. They still haven’t realized this themselves and may never will. Could I also thank you for understanding unconditional love, knowing how much hurt you went through because of it? Also, thank you for being strong enough to open that vulnerable part of me. I probably wouldn’t have known it existed and wouldn’t have realized another complexity.

I’m sorry you’ve stopped living and just decided to exist. I know it was the only way for you to protect yourself. You were right not to let society overwhelm your being, but there’s only so much toxicity our sanity can handle. I’m sorry you had to ignore your happiness for others, but do know that I appreciate all those moments. I’m sorry you had to pass up other opportunities. I’m sorry you had to cry those tears and for making you miss your friends so much. I think you’ve already lost them. Things, no matter if he says otherwise, are not the same anymore.

I know you went through all of it mostly because you had to. I wish they were more “because you wanted to”. Nothing much has happened within the past 15 hours. Don’t worry. I’ll try hard not to fail you. 22 definitely didn’t happen for nothing.

Hoping and dreaming,


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