A LET­TER TO MY 16-YEAR OLD SELF

Business Bhutan - - Editorial - KEZANG CHODEN The writer is a fi­nal year stu­dent at Royal Thim­phu Col­lege

Dear Kezang,

You will be alive at 21. Ch­hime will still be your best friend. You’ll even have a male best friend. What you’ve al­ways wanted. Mom, dad and Dawa will be fine. I study in­ter­est­ing things. No, there is no Math. Or Chem­istry, or Physics. I’m hap­pier, less rules to fol­low, less pre­tence of re­spect­ing sel­f­righ­teous el­ders.

Later when a teacher heart­lessly snips off your hair at the morn­ing as­sem­bly in front of the en­tire school, you will pre­tend like it wasn’t a big deal. You’ll smile through the whole day. I still smile so much. Even got some smile wrin­kles. But once you reach home, you will turn the faucet in the bath­room on and cry, mak­ing sure mom doesn’t hear. She’s still more ob­sessed about my hair than I am!

Don’t cry. You will chop off your hair one year in to col­lege any­way, and love it.

Mom and dad are still pro­tec­tive. But I’m mak­ing them learn to let go. I think it’s dif­fi­cult for them. You will be an obe­di­ent teenager, never caus­ing trou­ble. Don’t obey so much. It’s okay to break their hearts some­times. You’ll pre­pare them to ul­ti­mately let go.

That first boyfriend who dumped you for a skin­nier girl? You’ll fig­ure he wasn’t your type any­way. You will be at­tracted to kin­der, smarter, more unique peo­ple.

An­other teacher will harshly scold you for dis­turb­ing the class when you raise your hand and point out a mis­take. It’ll break your heart. Don’t cry. You will go to a place where teach­ers ap­pre­ci­ate be­ing chal­lenged. You’ll be hap­pier.

Some­times when I’m bored, I read your diaries. It’s quite de­press­ing. Don’t starve your­self. You’ll only end up binge eat­ing and feel­ing even more mis­er­able later. Don’t drink that filthy slim­ming tea. That’s not go­ing to help. You’re beau­ti­ful just the way you are. Don’t let one guy stomp on your self-es­teem. It re­ally isn’t worth it. But if you want, go for a run maybe. It’ll clear your head.

Re­mem­ber all the nice lit­tle books about nice lit­tle girls you read while you were younger? They taught you to be kin­der, un­der­stand­ing, for­giv­ing and gen­er­ous. This will end up hurt­ing you in the fu­ture. You will meet peo­ple who will tram­ple your heart and walk away. Don’t chase them. Let the fak­ers leave.

Love, Your 21-year old self

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