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A letter to my younger self- An ode to self-acceptance and hope...

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My 13-year-old self,

The box he has closed himself In,

Street to hope, A county of colors

Delhi, India

Dear Kid,

By the time you receive this, your school must have closed for the summer vacation. The freedom of home-bound restrictions must be quite a relief, isn’t it? Especially in the lack of audience, you must put a show for. It’s just Mumma, papa, and kk now; they don’t seem as harsh as people at school, isn’t it? Well let me assure you, they won’t be in the future too; they will come around, eventually.

Even after 12 years, Kk would still annoy you. I guess younger siblings have that sort of predisposition; you can’t live with them nor can you live without them. Remember the time she read aloud your journal in front of Mumma and papa? And the times you were so furious that you scribbled a “Kk not allowed” on a board and had it hung outside your room? The board is still there though and a laughing stock for the two of us. The times you two would catch up with each other on your way to board the school bus are still one of the most intimate moments between us. Kk might seem like an insufferable archenemy for now but ironically, she would grow up to be one of the closest people to you, the pettiness between you two will never go away though. Maybe try to take the fights between the two of you less seriously?

Papa, he might be infuriatingly restrictive when he would scold you for spending money on random purchases or the times he would tell you to act a certain way or his “we didn’t need this when I was growing up, I dont get why kids need it nowadays ?”or the times he wasn’t able to comfort you. But eventually, you’d learn to look at him with empathy, for he too does not know any better. That's the thing about people; they change. I appreciate papa now for a few of his liberal ideas. Mumma may seem unapproachable for now with her working hours, you may miss her presence, especially after a bad day at school. Try to reach out to her; push yourself if you have to and remember she has been and will always be there for you. You’d soon grow up to replace the resentment with admiration for the ambition she embodies. The new school will mark a huge change for you (I’m sure able to feel the ripples of it) and it is the ambition that she has passed down to you which will be the sail for you through many storms you may face; being different will not be as smooth of a voyage and we are a living testimony to this.

(source- gettyimages)

When you chose to stay indoors doing art while all the boys around you would sweat on the cricket ground or when you’d choose to play games in an all-girls group Or the times you could feel your heart in your throat as you snuck your feet into platform heels, I see you. I see you as you muster up the courage to step out of the house while your hands are tinted in henna and as you learn a lesson the hard way; being different has never been and will never be easy. I also see the narrative being stagnant while the set changes from play areas to neighborhood and from one school to the next. I know you look at your classmates helplessly, as their newfound interest in the boy who recently enrolled in the school slowly sublime into piercing stares and in-group giggles. I know you feel empty as you stick with people who crack jokes at your expense- in your face and behind your back too. I know that your silence which should have deafened them deafens you instead and you feel terribly alone while you question your worth..

I know the teen years are a confusing and frustrating time - the bodily changes, a roller coaster of emotions, and the urge to fit in, make you feel overwhelmed. And on top of it the strange attraction you feel towards people of the same gender - along with a sense of loneliness that leaves you wondering if you’re the only one like yourself. I know it is a lot to handle and very tiresome. But you know this loneliness would enable you to think, and you would birth your calling in life. Soon amidst all that noise, if you try to hear, you’d find a faint voice telling you that you deserve better, hold on to that, it will take you places.

(source- TheQuint)

But there’s hope and the future is overflowing with changes, good and necessary ones. You would also witness a major shift in society as more and more queer people occupy spaces, voice their opinions and are cherished. You’d see India as it grows more accepting than ever with the onward motion of empowering steps. You would also find the warm embrace of people who would love you for who you are and as you are, but more importantly you’d be at a healthy place of self-acceptance. You would find a community of people like you,who are different in so many ways yet beautifully alike. You’ll become effortlessly confident in so many things about yourself that you’ll be unrecognizable to the people you surround yourself with presently, you may wonder if it is your company bringing you down, trust me, you will have your answers very soon. The most crucial of the change would be marked by you being able to free yourself from the need to get validated by people other than you, a true sense of freedom.

The most cherishing moments would be the ones when you'd realize the things from your past which have been holding you back and you consciously decide to let it go. The tunnel may look confusing, dark, and endless but let me assure you, good things are coming and happiness beyond your wildest imaginations. I hope one day, you gestate enough contentment to look back at yourself with the kindest of eyes the same way I look back at you while writing this, with nothing but unconditional love, and forgiveness for yourself and everyone dear to you (who didn’t know any better). Until then, hang on. Do not shut yourself off, and invest time in your relationships and doing things that are fulfilling and make you feel good.

Here's to hoping we see each other someday soon.


The more-grown kid <3

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