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A Letter to the Young Girl I Once Was

Dearest Sunaina,

It’s me. Well actually, it’s just you, but from the future. You’ll be delighted to know that you’ve made it to the final year of your 20s and mostly achieved all the things you wanted to when you were a young girl. Unfortunately, making it on to the Forbes 30 under 30 list is not one of them.

Anyway, today is International Girls Day (we have a day for everything in the future), I wanted to write to you all the things that you desperately needed to hear when you were a young girl. Here goes:

  1. You’re not fat. It doesn’t matter how many times Trisha tells you that you are - YOU’RE NOT FAT. You don’t need to starve yourself. I know you don’t want to believe this, but it’s true. You’re going to look back at photos of yourself and wonder what made you crazy enough to think that you were the same size as an orca whale!

  2. Spend more time with your family and be nicer to them - especially your sister, you should really stop telling her she’s adopted. You’re going to miss them when you leave home. You only realise just how much mama and papa (but mostly mama) do for you, after you leave. No one is going to love you more than your family does.

  3. Let go of the anger. You didn’t deserve what happened and it wasn’t your fault. You can’t control how other people act, you’re just a kid.

  4. Stop stressing about what other people think of you- they seldom do. You’re going to read this as a quote at some point in the future and it’s going to make you feel incredibly liberated. Everyone is wrapped up in their own little world, and you should just do whatever you want to do. Write that sketch! Keep playing tennis/basketball!

  5. Hold on to your little brother, Charlie, really tight and never let him go. Just. hold. on.

Lots of unconditional love,

An older and definitely not self-actualised version of you.

Hindsight is a gift. I asked several women - “If you could give advice to your younger self, what would you say?”

Here’s what they had to say:

Your self worth and value is more than what people, especially guys, think of you. You can do what you want, as long as it's what you truly wanted to and not what you thought others did.
- Marie Toulemonde
Stop procrastinating, write the blog no matter how shitty, start the style blog, apply to a bunch of publishers
- Avanti Malhotra
Study but it's not all about the final grade. Life doesn't end if it's not perfect (despite what the teachers said)
- Laura Barnes
Don't stress about guys 🙈 Use that energy to cultivate relationships with friends, family and most importantly yourself!
- Alicia Hickey
Stop being so naive and gullible. 😂
- Naiya Khushlani
Never be afraid of being judged because the world is going to judge you no matter what. You can’t go pleasing everyone!
- Sanjana Dasgupta
It is ok not to plan and overthink things. I would tell her to live in the moment and not worry too much about what is coming tomorrow, as as much as we'd like to know, the future is unpredictable
- Nina Kerkez
Be more confident in yourself and don’t be scared to want things and go after them. Don’t get hung up on the details, see the bigger picture. Force yourself out of your comfort zone
- Emily Graham
Be nicer and gentler to mum as you grow up and listen to her advice
- Emma Donaldson
It gets better
- Victoria
Chill out. You’re less to blame than you think. Also, be nicer to your sister!
- Pallavi Sengupta
You did the best you could with what you were given and you are going to live an exciting wonderful life very soon. You will see elephants and love fiercely and fly on a plane and paint huge oil paintings and swim like a mermaid and meet wonderful humans. Just you wait for that!
- Diana Patient