Saturday, August 1, 2015

Advice To My Sixteen-Year-Old Self

Yes, yes, I said I find this pointless in an old old post, but I caved. Actually, I read this - Stephen King's advice to his 16-year-old self: Stay away from drugs. What would yours be? (Also, hasn't Stephen King got so very cute lately with his adorable Corgi Molly aka The Thing of Evil?

Anyhow, writing a post for my sixteen year old self seems like such a me-thing. I am always on the fence about what to do with Conversations, as anyone who has read even a single post would know, but then a topic like this comes waddling along. Well, here goes nothing.

Dear teenage Priya, 

Yes, you will read this and roll your eyes till they hurt, because that is what all teenagers do, and a little part of me is still sad that I am old enough to address teenagers as a separate class of people that I no longer like or relate to, but give me the benefit of the doubt - I am still you. So, here are three four pieces of advice.

Get over it. Because nothing - not even your biggest problems in life - are worth all the very not-productive worry / regret / anger you put into them. Also, stop waiting for someone to pull you out of your miseries. No one is going to care one bit what happens to you, except yourself and your self matters the most, let's establish that. The best life advice that you are going to get is: get off your butt and live, and you don't get to say that that is not good enough.

Okay, I must say this. Stop reading Ayn Rand. The obsession has to end. Yes, it is great fiction, meh philosophy, but there are so many better books to read out there. You spent too many years only reading Harry Potter already! You will reach a point when you have thirteen books at least that you desperately want to read next and often not enough time for even one. So take that battered copy of Atlas Shrugged you are reading for the seventeen-hundredth time, keep it on the shelf and there it should stay till you are thirty two and between reads. Hank Rearden can wait. Go out and explore. Read classics, some romance, a self-help book here and an erotica there. You never know what you'll like.

And that is another life-advicey thing. You never know what you will like, what you are good at, as if it were one confirmed piece of truth. There are no unalterable facts to Priya. Don't let it take you another seven years to understand what you should already know. Give yourself a chance, reality is a lot more malleable than you have led yourself to believe. Be open to change and see where it takes you. Trust me, it is worth discovering how far beyond your perceived limits you can go. 

Also, and I suppose you might have reached this last part by yourself upon reading this awesomely organized letter, but Priya, dear, please improve your communication skills. I know, who doesn't love a good rant? But believe it or not, you are going to be this really cool writer / teacher, people will love what you have to say, and let us face it, you don't want them to get majorly confused along the way and find it hard to keep track of your impossibly long clauses, do you? So, work on that and make things easier for me, won't you?

Love,

Grown-up-ish Priya