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Chapter 33 - A Letter to my Past Self (2020)

Writing a letter to your past self has proven to be 'therapeutic' for some. Future Sara if you're reading this - what were you? - a question we ask everyday.

Letter to my past self

Dear past me,

Life has been a rollercoaster, hasn't it? It keeps getting wilder and wilder, but I need you to stay strong. Don't be daunted or discouraged. I want you to remember a few things - they won't make life easier, life may never be easy on you, but maybe, just maybe, it won't seem like such a rollercoaster.

Live in the now

Do you even know how to be present? For as long as I've known you, you're either dwelling about the past or worried about the future. I need you to remember, that the past is a place where you look back, cherish, learn lessons from - not a place to live. You cannot be stuck in the past. You can't even visit the future. You can learn from the past and prepare for the future, you can come up with plans and build dreams, but you cannot live there. I need you to be in the present. Taking things day by day. Live in the present with all the beautiful people in your life while you can. One thing that 2020 taught me is that life is too short, so cherish every single day that you have. Live in the now.

You will change, because you will grow

You have experienced a lot of situations, a lot of emotions - none of that defines who you are. The negative experiences do not define you. What you learn from those experiences and how you choose to grow from the situation is what defines you. You are entitled to be whoever you decide to be - you can decide every day, you can change who you decide to be everyday - so long as you are comfortable with yourself, you need to not care about others. You will change because you grow as life goes on.

Family is everything

Don't put anyone above family. Family means the world to you. Family has held your hand through thick and thin. No one should replace that bond. No one should come in between. Respect family. For everything they have done, for everything they gave you, for the comfort and independence you received. Don't abuse it.

You matter

You are always giving, without any intention of receiving anything in return. You are someone that deserves to be loved and respected. Whether its friends or family, remember that you are the most important person you have in your life. Don't go around spreading love and kindness, without giving yourself any. If people don't treat you the way you deserve to be treated, then walk away. They are in charge of their actions, nothing you say or do will change that. You can drop a carton of happiness and kindness on some people and they won't learn. It's not your problem to solve. You cannot control people’s behavior and it's not your responsibility. You have been through too much in life to be unloved or disrespected. Love yourself, respect yourself and surround yourself with all the lovely people that love and respect you.

Show the world how brave you are

You are the only person who can be brave. You are one of the bravest people your friends know. You are one of the bravest people that you know too. You just don't like to admit it because you're too humble sometimes. But you need to be brave outside of your comfort zone. You need to learn to embrace discomfort. Change is so difficult, you hate change. But you never know what you can accomplish in life, if you're not brave. You can be destined for so much more in life, just take that leap of faith. Be brave.

Let people know how you feel about them

You know better than anyone, life is short. When you love people, please tell them. It sounds like something out of the Notebook, but you don't want to regret not telling people how you felt. You have lost too many people, there are so many things that are now left unsaid. So, pick up your phone, text your best friend and tell her you miss her. Text your parents, tell them you miss them. Text your loved ones, tell them you appreciate them. Don't keep these feelings in you. Similarly, if you don't like someone, say it to them. Stop stringing people along in your life that you have no interest in talking to or getting to know further. Don’t waste your time or anyone else’s. Keep the loved ones closer and others far away.

Believe in yourself

You are a strong independent woman that don't need no validation from others because you should believe in yourself. You can do whatever you set your mind to. Somewhere down the line, you've lost that streak of hope. You stopped believing in yourself. That hurts. Stop self-sabotaging, stop numbing yourself, be the boss ass bitch we all know you are. If people put you down, get back up. People are jealous, manipulative and may make you feel weak, but you need to turn the other way. Don't listen to anyone.

Trust yourself

'We're going to start trusting the one that struggles with mental health issues now?' Yes. People may have made it seem like you aren't reliable in your past. Don't believe that anyone else other than your parents know what is best for you. Don't let anyone give you advice if they are not facing the consequences of the advice. Don't listen to anyone who claims they know you better than you know yourself - no matter who it is - no one knows your mind better than you do. Start trusting yourself - just follow you gut feeling, your gut feeling has never proven you wrong, save yourself the trouble and just trust yourself.

Love yourself

Hardest one of them all right? You're so hardworking, you work hard to become the person you are today. You are constantly kind to others; you would drop everything for anyone to provide any type of support to them. Your aims in life are so noble, you have such beautiful dreams and we hope that all of it comes true. It's not easy to love yourself when you have been in situations of heartbreak or when you have felt discouraged because you didn't achieve all what you wanted to. But that does not mean that you are not worthy of love. You deserve to be treated like a princess - with kindness, respect, love and care. So, get to it, love yourself.

Don't be so hard on yourself

Remind yourself every single day that you are only human. People will say you have changed, but you have grown. People will say you aren't doing something right, but you're doing the best you can. You are literally doing the best you can with life at the moment. You don't need to rely on anyone to do 'well'. Don't rely on anyone. You know that. No one is looking out for you the way you are looking out for you. Just give yourself a break, sit back for a little while, relax for a little while. You deserve to sit back and relax. You don't have to beat yourself up for not doing the 'best'. Just achieve as many goals as you can because no matter how much you do or how long you live, you’ll still never accomplish everything you want to in the end - and more importantly, you will never make everyone happy. So just do the best you can, you're only human, you make mistakes, it's alright.

Stop making excuses for people

This had to end. Nothing changes in life if you keep making excuses for other people’s bad behavior. No one in this world has the right to mistreat anyone else. People who are toxic go down the route of manipulation and use a form of emotional abuse where they blame you for their actions. No matter what day, week, month or year or even life anyone is having - a person who is non-toxic, would not actively hurt you or anyone else. So, stop being every toxic person’s knight in shining armor and justify their actions for others. Tell yourself that you will attract a healthier group of people but get rid of the toxic people.

Stop trying to make everyone happy

There is a difference between spreading kindness and going out of your way to make sure other people are happy. You are not a clown and you are not French fries; you cannot make everyone happy. You have your own life, your own problems, your own decisions to make. It's not your responsibility to make everyone happy. Put yourself first, then anyone else.

Everything is temporary

Every single thing in this world is temporary. From the life, to feelings, to people, to dreams, to ideas, to happiness, to sadness. Some situations feel like they're going on forever, they're brutally painful, but I promise, nothing lasts forever. I'll always be here to help you get through the tough times and will be here to do a little car dance session for the good times. Everything is temporary. Take time out to enjoy the good things in life. Take a moment to mourn about the rough times. But be happy.

Remember - everything that has happened to you, will continue to have an effect on you, but you will learn from situations and grow. All the good times and bad times happened so you could learn from them and grow. They have taught you so much and have molded you into the person you are today. You are the strongest person I know. I love you and I believe in you. I may be tough on you, but its only because I expect the best from you. But no matter what happens, I will never ever give up on you. One thing I didn't ask you to remember is to have faith in yourself, and that's because I have all the faith in you. I know you know what to do, you're just too stubborn sometimes. But I have faith. We made it this far in life because I had faith in you all along. Because of this faith, I know we will go wherever we set our minds to.

All my wishes, love, positive vibes,

Sara Haseeb


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