Letter to my present self:

Mihika Kumar

11:26 p.m, 9th April, 2021.

Dear Mihika,

I can’t lie to you - this is a hard letter to write. I won’t lie to you because the relationship between us has witnessed countless lies. But we’ve made so much progress from there. This is a hard letter to write because I have always struggled to love and accept you, and I still do sometimes (especially on the bad days, when I absolutely hate everything about you). But the truth is that I am proud of you, and I do love you, and with every passing day I hope these feelings will rise, and that our relationship just becomes better and better.

To start off, I am proud of you. I am proud of you for waking up every day. For waking up every day- on the good days and the bad- and facing every day. I know that things have been so rough lately, and there have been days where you’ve lost your sense of purpose, your sense of belonging, your motivation to do anything. So thank you- thank you for waking up and just facing every day, even if it doesn’t go to plan. 

I am proud of you. I am proud of all the work you put in. I know I’m not easy on you, and I know that I push you to great extremes- and hardly ever praise you for your effort, your dedication, your commitment. Thank you for all of your hard work- it is going to pay off. I don’t know where you’re going to end up, or how this journey will take its course. But you will end up somewhere, even though it may not be exactly what you envision. We’ve learnt that life is a series of constant changes- whatever place you’re in will never be the place you’re stuck in forever. Your hard work will pay off.

I’m proud of you. For growing as a person, and for growing up. You have faced so many hurdles, so many ups and downs, so many uncertainties, so many challenges, so many obstacles- there aren't ever enough synonyms to describe one’s experiences. During these tough times, I know it has felt like a standstill, like things will never get better. But I’m looking back at it- and wow, you’ve learned. You’ve adapted. You’ve fine-tuned and sharpened your weaker sides. You’ve grown. You’ve carved a person that I am proud of. I can say that I’m proud because I see it in your behaviour- I see you standing up for yourself much more than you ever have, I see you vocalising your beliefs and opinions, I see you getting rid of any form of toxicity that comes your way, I see you making better choices with who you are friends with, I see you becoming more independent, I see you handling every harsh situation in a healthier manner. I am so proud of the progress you have made, and that you continue to make, and that you will make in the future. You have so much more to work on now, and you will have so much to work on in the future- and I am excited for you. Thank you for taking each situation as an opportunity for a learning experience and continuing to grow with each passing day.

I know how much you have struggled with both your physical and non-physical traits, your actions, and your insecurities. But you are more confident than you were a day ago, a week ago, a month ago, and a year ago. You have made progress, and I am proud of you for that. Of course you are not perfect and will make thousands of more mistakes- but there’s a feeling in my heart that each of those mistakes will help you make more and more progress with time. Of course there are bad days, when it feels like you are back to square one, when there is absolutely no confidence in yourself and your capabilities- but you have to keep your head up and look forward to the better days, just as you have in the past. 

You have compared yourself to other people your whole life. Your grades, your eyes, the way you walk, your talents, your clothing size, your everything. But look at you. You are incredibly talented the way you are. You cannot compare your talents to anybody else’s, your passions to anybody else’s, your grades, eyes, walk, and clothing size to anybody else’s. There is no ‘one size fits all’. There is no standardised feature across anybody. You are amazing the way you are, with what you’ve been gifted, and with what you’re still developing and bettering.

You’ve been given hundreds of compliments by teachers, coaches, friends, family and even strangers- and you’ve found it so hard to accept them, let alone believe them. But now, I am writing these words from the bottom of my heart, and I think it might make accepting and believing all those compliments a whole lot easier. I know I should have said these things to you long ago, right from the very start, but it is never too late. You hold so much potential. You look beautiful. You have so much value. You are powerful. You are kind. You are courageous. You are strong. You are smart. You are talented. You are growing. You are enough and more...

I always felt like the grass was greener on the other side. But you know what? The grass here has grown a beautiful shade, the way I’ve watered it. The grass has faced storms and sunshine, trampling by some people, and watering by others- but it is still here, and with every day it grows. I love this grass. I love you- I love me. I know that you can get through today, tomorrow and all the days that follow- I know that I can get through today, tomorrow and all the days that follow. I can’t wait to see what you become- I can’t wait to see what I become. You deserve my love- I deserve my love.


With love,