What would you say to your 5 years ago self if you were able to speak to them on the phone for 5 minutes? Who were you 5 years ago? What were you doing? How does it compare to now? And if you could speak to that version of yourself, what would you say?
I’m 24, so 5 years ago I was 19. Back then, I was lost, unconfident, low and unsure. I was at university and wanting to quit.
If I could speak to 19-year-old Siana, I’d say…
“Hey, Siana. I know you’re suffering right now. I know you’re unsure about your life. I know you think you’ve made yet another mistake. It wasn’t a mistake. You had to do this to know that it was the wrong thing for you. I forgive you, so forgive yourself. And it’s not so bad, things work out okay. You end up doing so many things, meeting so many people.
There are going to be times when you get really low. When you want to give up on life. When you want to turn off the lights and not leave your bed. You will forget to eat, forget how to sleep, and push people away. You will feel like the epitome of failure and hopelessness. But it’s not real. It’s an illness and it’s not real.
You have so much that you’ve yet to do. So much you’ve yet to feel.
You’re going to heal. You’re going to learn about yourself and realise some hard but healing truths. You’re going to realise your worth and start speaking up for yourself. You’re going to speak up for others, too. You’re going to share your hardships and advice as you heal, helping others to do the same.
And gosh, in just 5 years you’re going to be unrecognisable to the person you are now. Not in a bad way, in a good one. All the best parts of your remain (the kindness, the love for writing, the helper, the creative) but you will switch out a lot of hurt and fear and uncertainty for wholeness, truth, and bravery.
You’re going to read great books. You’re going to write exciting ones, too. You’re going to eat food you never thought you would, and not get anxious so much about socialising. You’re going to live with and love your partner, with your fluffy fur-baby Joey there too! You’re going to love those playful idiots so much, and realise just how much you need them to stay grounded and not lose yourself again.
You will see great things, experience great things, and have so much life inside of you again.
You’re going to feel lost again, though, but know that this time, your internal compass is stronger and you trust yourself. That even though the road isn’t yet clear, you trust yourself to try your best and keep going.
So, thank you for staying strong. Thank you for making hard decisions for me.
I advise you now to start loving yourself sooner. This means getting to know yourself, trusting yourself, letting others love you, creating without fear, standing in your truth, and above all, forgiving yourself for not being perfect.
Because, Siana, you are perfect to me. A perfect part of my story that couldn’t have, and shouldn’t have, gone any other way. Be brave, and soon enough, you’ll be me and I’ll be someone else, 5 years later, hopefully having learned and grown so much more.
And isn’t that just so exciting? Take care, kid.”
And so, I want you to think about what you would say to yourself 5 years ago.
What advice would you give?
Kindness or forgiveness?
It’s a great exercise; emotional and inspiring. Give it a go. Write a letter or journal about it.