December 5, 2022

Taylor Swift’s latest album, “Midnights” featured a song that became close to my heart. “You’re on your on kid” and “Anti-Hero” deeply shattered all walls I had built to protect myself. I thought I was healed of all my past traumas, but all my “what ifs, what could’ve been” haunt me.
The “Midnights” album is a collection of Swift’s midnight and 3 a.m. what ifs. I, too, have thoughts I would like to say; thoughts specifically to address the future thoughts my younger self kept on thinking. I am not so sure if these thoughts are anxiety building up, or if I just love to plan, but these thoughts drown me. And to my younger self, here is the update you would like to receive about my present, and your future.
Dear you. I know that tonight, you are cramming for that exam, ignoring messages from classmates or friends. Ignoring invites of going out because you think you might fail whenever you try to enjoy. I know that you have starved yourself after being called “too big to fit the room”.
You might feel like the anti-hero of your own story, but you are being too harsh to yourself.
I know that you say, “It’s okay that I’m alone, I’ve always managed,” but I know at night you’ve wondered what it would be like to be genuinely liked by people. I know you will do things, actions that are outside your personality, pretending and winning Oscar’s Best Actress, but you don’t have to.
You might think that you have been on your own, but you are not. We have found a set of good friends and a support system, which everyone badly needs. You have to remember that while you wake up and sleep alone in your bed, there are people out there willing to hold your hand when you feel lost, people who are willing to go with you inside a dark room, people who would defend you behind your back. You don’t have to do things alone.
You’re on your own, kid, but today you have found people to make friendship bracelets with. You might have pages turned with the bridges burned, but now, you are not your own kid. It is okay to burn bridges to toxic relations, family, or friends, but we grow up and learn to stand our ground. We learn to fight back, we learn to rest, and we learn to relax.
Taylor Swift sang in would’ve, could’ve, should’ve, “memories feel like weapons”, we might be healing from our past but our midnight memories still come back haunting and piercing and destroying an ounce of strength and courage we have built up. But I am proud to tell you, my younger self, that we are coping. We are not weak because we found people to rely on, we are strong because we know our weaknesses, and found new strengths, to be adventurous and to enjoy life as it is.
To my younger self, our wounds, scars, and insecurities are still there, but we are getting there. We still have breakdowns and bad midnight thoughts, but we are getting there. To my younger self, I know you’ve sacrificed time and energy for the wrong people and the wrong priorities. But do not punish yourself for looking for adventures and for enjoying life as it is.
Today, we have learned to rest and enjoy, and we are still achieving the things we have planned since we were young.
To my younger self, know that I am proud of you, we are proud of you.