A creative blogger and the owner of India Ink blog
Dear younger India,
At the risk of sounding condescending (we hate that), there’s a lot you need to know. You’ll be glad to hear my confirmation that life is in fact better when you’re an ‘adult’. The teenage years are a farce. You’ll be sad to hear, however, that the puppy fat is still here, and I’m beginning to think that these chubby cheeks are just here to stay.
I wish I could say that your life path becomes a bit clearer, but I’m still figuring it out at my withering old age of 22. You have time though. I have time. I think it’s easier not to think about the future until the present isn’t so hard to wade through but everyone seems to have this need to know what you’re doing for your future.
“I need you to remember that the present is more important.”
How you feel now is more important. I know that everyone’s looking for an answer and it feels crushing – what A levels will you do? Which university do
you want to go to? Why aren’t you trying? Ignore them. There will be times where the tunnels of your heart feel like they’ve been filled with cement and it’s trudging alongside your feet as if it’s attached to your ankle like a ball and chain. It’s shitty but the happy afterwards is almost better than the happy before because you know what it’s like, now, not to have it. You have the better kind of happy to look forward to. Don’t be alarmed when you get that prickling feeling, like the foreboding that English teachers always tell you about. It feels like all of the bad times are simmering and waiting to boil, but most of the time you’re able to turn down the heat, and when you breathe really deeply and feel the pull deep inside your lungs, it’s like relief. Sometimes I still feel like I’m being battered around like a tin-can attached to a ‘just married’ sign driving into the distance. That might not be a comfort, but I think everybody feels the same sometimes.
Sometimes for you, school can feel like a factory, churning out clones of the same model over and over again. I still feel like the educational system in general maybe doesn’t have the individuality of students as its main concern, but there’s no point being angry about it. There are a few teachers who help you, who care, and are really in your corner. I know why you’re angry, but this is one of the rare times that I’ll tell you to stick it out, because it gets better. University is like a graduation into independence. Your creativity is entertained there, encouraged, honed and appreciated. I know that where you are is dark and foggy and you don’t know where to look, but it’s not for much longer. There are some of the happiest moments waiting for you (and for me). I’d also love it if you could put a bit more effort into
your A levels because they put a downer on your otherwise stellar CV. A couple of things to go:
1. Wear sun cream. Your forehead swells up when you burn.
2. Dance while you can and sing while you have the chance because I’m bitter about how rare these things are now.
3. Don’t feel bad for watching so much Netflix – it’s educational (and you’re paying for it).
4. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. You’re doing fine.
22 year old India