I want you to know that I'm proud of you.
(Photo by Yam Jawad)
I'm sure, you thought that being Twenty Two means being carefree and enjoying your somewhat young-adult life. You thought that being Twenty Two means being free from all the heartaches the world can throw at you. It was different in your case. You were heart broken, lost and afraid. You weren't happy with your job anymore, you wanted to escape everything you have at that time and be someone else. Yes, it was a real life roller coaster ride. Most of it are blurred memories now, but I know that everything are treasured deep down.
I want to thank you. Thank you for being tough at the time you most needed to be. It was a rough road to take for someone young like you, but you did it, you took it and survived it. Thank you for not being afraid to push yourself beyond your limits. Thank you for loving yourself when you became the person who was hard to be loved by someone else. Thank you for not giving up, but also, thank you for knowing when to stop. Thank you for throwing away the baggage that was keeping you from going forward. We both know, it was one of the hardest decisions anyone at your age can make, but you did it anyway, you made a decision, stood by it and that changes everything in your life in a very good way.
You are brave, alone - yes, but not lonely. I know that it was your choice - one of your hardest choices - to shut down your heart's door. It was a smart choice to shut down your heart to anyone else, because you knew you needed that. You knew you had to fix yourself on your own and you shut down your heart to anyone else to avoid giving the same heartache you were having. You didn't want anyone to come in, or even come close to you, because you knew you weren't ready. You know you were just too tired - to love, and get attached and to sustain. You tried, I knew you tried to open it again. I guess you just knew then that it wasn't the right time, you had no right reasons and you weren't in the right place. It was one of the hardest, but bravest decision you did - for you at the time and for me today.
I am sorry. I'm sorry that I doubted you. I doubted your capacity to stand up again and move forward. I thought you couldn't do it on your own, but you surprised not me, yourself but everyone else around you. I thought you weren't that strong, but you just showed the world how strong you can be. At Twenty Two, you were struggling to find your own rhythm, your own soul. You did everything on your own. You did find your own rhythm, you did discover your own soul. You fell down, but you got up, washed off all the dirt and started running again. You proved everyone else - even your future selves - that you can do things your own way, your own pace. I'm sorry if you had to go through a lot. I'm sorry if the universe had to test your faith and made you so afraid. I'm sorry that we weren't there to tell you that it's ok, because everything - in the right place, at the time and for the right reason - will be better than "ok".
Like any other 22-year old, I know you are sorry for your wasted time. Don't be, my darling. You don't have to be sorry for anything. You don't have to worry about the time that were put to waste. You don't have to worry about the stupid decisions you've made. You don't have to regret the feelings that were thrown away. You should know that you had to do all of that to learn more, to grow up and get better. You should know, you had to go through all of that to become who you are now. So chin up, and don't be sorry.
I want you to know, surviving Twenty Two only means bigger battles will surely come to your life as you grow older. Storms that will again test your faith and courage. Quakes that will shake your guts and scare you. We're not sure if you'll survive all of them, but promise me that as we grow older, we will be wiser and tougher than Twenty Two.
Lastly, I am proud of you. I am proud of you for who you have become. You are a living proof that there will be always the rainbow waiting for you after every storm. I am proud of you for getting back that smile again. I am proud of you, and you should know that. I promise, I promise to also make you proud. I promise to continue becoming better everyday. I, your Twenty-Four-year-old-self, promise that I will open our heart's door again, because I think it's the right time, I'm in the right place and I have all the right reasons to open to again.