To: My Younger Self – #OpenLetterOctober

Hey, kid.

I hate to tell you this, but, life at 25 is nothing like you thought it would be.

You will go through a lot on your journey to 25.

You’ll lose more friends than you gain. You’ll lose yourself a few times, too. You’ll fail some tests, but ace much more. You’ll graduate high school with honors, barely, but still with honors. You’ll have a hard time figuring things out. You’ll think that something is wrong with you when you notice how different you are from your peers. You’ll fall in love, get your heart broken, fall in love again, and get your heart broken… Again. The pain of your broken heart will take a toll on you. You’ll move away to go to school, but end up moving back home four years later. You’ll lose your best friend and believe that you’ve lost everything that’s important to you. You’ll graduate college with a degree in a major that you never thought you’d pursue. You’ll follow your passion, but regret it each time things start to get difficult. You’ll question yourself and all the decisions you’ve made and continue to make. You’ll constantly think that you’re not good enough and feel like you’ll never be good enough. You’ll isolate yourself whenever you’re hurt, causing your pain to amplify. You’ll have a few panic attacks, and many anxiety attacks. You’ll experience depression and think that it’s just a phase, but it isn’t. You’ll learn to live with your depression and try your best to overcome it each day. You’ll leave the church you grew up in and start resenting God, but you’ll somehow find your way to a new church that makes you feel at home, and you’ll rekindle your relationship with God. You’ll become a leader in youth ministry and help students who are going through the same struggles you experienced at their age. You’ll wonder why it seems like everyone around you is getting the things you deserve and worked hard for, while you’re still waiting for a miracle to happen. Worst of all, you’ll always be worried about what will happen next.

Don’t get me wrong, you’ll go through a bunch of amazing things, too. You’ll win some scholarship money at your Academy of Hospitality and Tourism graduation. You’ll learn who your real friends are. You’ll learn to cook things that your friends love. You’ll get to spend Thanksgiving with your brother and your godson instead of staying in your apartment feeling homesick during the holidays. You’ll meet one of your favorite authors and have him sign your copy of his book. You’ll learn more about graphic design and videography, then add them to your expanding freelance photography business, going from MJ.Dadulla Photography to MJ.Dadulla Media. You’ll meet one of your favorite models and online personalities, the beautiful Miss Gina Darling. You’ll live out your dream of playing Pokemon (somewhat) like a real Pokemon Trainer. You’ll find friends who are interested in the same weird, yet interesting things you like. You’ll help and inspire a few people. It’ll take you some time, but you’ll find things that make you happy, genuinely happy.

If I could go back in time and warn you about all these things, I wouldn’t. As selfish as that sounds, you need to go through all the hard times to appreciate the good times. It’s through those struggles that you’ll learn and grow into the person you’ll become. You’ll be far from perfect, but at least you’ll be you.

You will continue to struggle. You will always feel like there will never be any light in your darkness. BUT, you will keep going. Each time you think you’re at ends, you’ll find the strength to get up and always keep fighting. You will keep trying to do better, and more importantly, be better.

You got this, kid. Learn to believe in yourself, love yourself, and invest in yourself.

(Your 25-year-old Self)

P.S. – You’ll be okay one day, I promise.

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