This idea of writing to myself 5 years ago and 5 years into the future was introduced to me by my friend/travel buddy/long lost sister/you-name-it Hang Le whose stunning blog I kept linking to, as if I was paid to do so.
On turning 30, here is the letter I just wrote to myself at 25. The one to my 35 years old will be kept and shared with you all … 5 years from now. Yes, anything worth reading is (mostly) worth waiting for 😉
I can’t believe I’m writing this to you. 5 years does seem to fly by. But looking back at who you were this day 5 years ago, I can only say I’m glad (apart from the regrets I (almost) stopped enumerating ).
I remember you had just started your new job at McKinsey for about 10 days around this time, which turned out to be an experience that opened doors and a different direction to your life, professionally. 2012 was a difficult year for you, being laid off together with all of your colleagues just a month prior, but boy I was glad you didn’t have to quit that job. Even though you learned so much, it was sucking the soul out of you. As your older self, I can tell you that life is hard and sucks in many ways, but that shouldn’t be one of them. It was, even in foresight, a very fortunate thing.
Being an interpreter was not glamorous nor something you’d want to do for the rest of your life. But as with most things in life, you’ll learn that it served some purposes.
First, it pointed you toward your calling (for lack of a better word) which I think you have already known for years. Writing. In whatever form or shape it takes.
Second, it led you to a job you’d always dream of and (back) to Saigon, one of those cities that you happily call home (temporarily or otherwise). Which led to many events that unfolded quite dramatically. But we both are big theatre fans, remember 🙂 ) So be careful what you wish for, or … not!
Third, it got you where I am at the moment, London, studying towards a Masters (mind you, the dissertation you will be working on is maddening at best).
The experience of studying abroad once more was something you worked hard for. At the risk of sounding delusional, I truly think all the scholarships that you either failed outright or almost got were not meant for you. The course you will be doing in London is not either. But London just is. You’ll feel that you were born to be here (even just for a short time) at this transitional year of your life.
While most days you struggle with various areas of life, overall it has proved to be a promising journey. As you might hope but not expect, being 30 means knowing a little bit more about yourself, the things that excite you, and the directions you want to take. It’s nowhere near there, but whoever gets there anyway? Plus, I could only tell you that many of your fears, silly or otherwise, didn’t come true. And many unexpected good things did.
You wouldn’t have believed it yourself at 25 but I can assure you that at 30, you have become an exquisite beauty and a very fine lady (well, I’m too biased where you’re concerned 🙂 ).
Your work towards your emotional well-being (the only downside to being a Cancer 😉 ) did help so continue to work on it.
Finally, ”you are perfect the way you are, yet you can always use a little improvement”. So be more disciplined, work on things that matter, and be patient with yourself along the way.
Your thirty-year-old-and-three-days self,
PS. The ballet teacher said you must be doing yoga (which is so untrue), so get back to it!!!