An Ode to my Past Self

I was looking through some old pictures and it suddenly took me back to my school days. Days when I was an awkward faced teenager with braces on her teeth, struggling with self confidence, and like all other teenagers, wanting to be ‘cool’ and ‘popular.’ I sigh because I was naive (who wasn’t when they were growing up?), but that’s okay, because I’m pretty sure everybody has made silly mistakes in the past, mistakes that would make them groan and laugh at themselves. 

I remember trying so hard to ‘fit in’ but I just wouldn’t, like an odd piece of a puzzle awkwardly sticking out, at least that’s how I felt. Maybe there were others who felt the same, maybe there wasn’t. The point is, I tried to deny who I really was, this incredibly book loving person and a quiet ambivert who’d use words as a form of escape, because it just wasn’t cool enough, because cool people were pretty, popular and almost always had boyfriends. 

But I laugh now, because my struggles as an awkward teenager came to pass, and I needed that to grow into the person I am today, just like my future self needs me now to turn into her later. If I could give advice to my old self, I’d probably tell her to be herself, as cliché as it is, because there IS no better way to say it.

Be yourself. Be the girl with her awkward braces. Be the girl who reads. Be the girl who takes studies seriously. Be the girl who has her silly fun doing silly things. Be the girl who sits for hours with her guitar and her classical music notes. Be the girl you are.

For when I look inside, I still have that girl inside of me, the girl who loves reading, writing, classical music and also the girl who takes her studies seriously, and still feels like an awkward face out of all the other pool of beautiful faces. The only difference now is that I love the girl that’s there, because without her love for books, how would I go for adventures all in my head? Without her love for writing, how would I ever be able to tell somebody how I feel? Without her seriousness in studies, even though that’s considered ‘uncool’ universally, how would I ever dream of repaying my parents back?

But most importantly,

without her, 

how would I ever find myself 

and the people

who love me?